Eating For a Good Cause

Interview With GroupRaise Founder & CEO Devin Baptiste

Coming together to enjoy a meal with a group of people is something many of us love to do. Now with GroupRaise, you can experience that fun group dining experience as you normally would while also contributing to a charitable cause. GroupRaise help groups organize fundraising events at restaurants and they serve restaurants by engaging local organizations who are looking to plan large group meals and fundraise. Now their online platform has found its way to Europe.

So how does it work exactly? Devin Baptiste, founder and CEO of GroupRaise explained it to us. “Booking a meal with our website is really simple. The organizer goes to groupraise.com, looks for a partner restaurant in his or her city and makes a request, naming the event details and the good cause. If the request is accepted within a week, the event is on.”

The Concept Works

Devin first got the idea for GroupRaise while he was touring with his band and playing in different bars and restaurants all around Houston. One day, he decided he wanted to try out the concept and pitched it to one of the restaurant owners. The owner gave it a shot and it absolutely paid off. Devin explained, “We were counting on 30 guests, then there were 300! When I looked at the people’s faces, I knew that I was on to something big. I made a team from friends of mine and started building up the concept and put it on the market.”

Expansion to Europe

Today, GroupRaise serves restaurants and groups all over the US and several hundred of them offer donations of 15 to 20 percent. Because GroupRaise helps to bring new customers into restaurants, who not only spend more than they normally would, but are also likely to return again, restaurants use GroupRaise as profitable customer acquisition strategy that helps build their brand and increase sales. “Our restaurant partners are represented all over the USA. We want to expand into Europe in the near future,” said Devin.

The Techstars METRO Accelerator are helping with that. According to Devin, “The TMA is a very intense experience for me. I’m surprised by the high quality of the program. The access to new knowledge is huge and will definitely help us deal with all the challenges in reaching our goals.”

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