Watch: How S'More's Founder Wants to Make Online Dating 'Something More' Meaningful

Kelly O'Grady
Kelly O'Grady is dot.LA's chief host & correspondent. Kelly serves as dot.LA's on-air talent, and is responsible for designing and executing all video efforts. A former management consultant for McKinsey, and TV reporter for NESN, she also served on Disney's Corporate Strategy team, focusing on M&A and the company's direct-to-consumer streaming efforts. Kelly holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. A Boston native, Kelly spent a year as Miss Massachusetts USA, and can be found supporting her beloved Patriots every Sunday come football season.
Watch: How S'More's Founder Wants to Make Online Dating 'Something More' Meaningful

Dating — whether online or IRL — is hard enough in Los Angeles. In a city so spread out, many romances face an uphill battle. Even a Hollywood-Santa Monica relationship can often fall into the long-distance category. Add the pandemic on top of it all, and L.A. singles are in a tricky spot. Many people have long been skeptical that online dating can be a way to find a real relationship. But with everything going virtual these days, there is little choice for those looking for love.

Adam Cohen-Aslatei thinks he can help you find "something more."


In this installment of dot.LA Dives In, we talk with Cohen-Aslatei, the founder and CEO of S'More, an online dating app that seeks to provide users with an anti-superficial path to love. S'More, which stands for "something more," expanded to the city a few months ago.

But what makes this app different than the many other offerings in the space? The pictures are blurred out. Gone are the days of endless swiping based on good looks or that bad photo with the haircut your friends begged you not to get (we've all been there). In order to see what your potential love looks like, you will have to get to know them a bit first.

As you start to chat more with someone, their pictures come into focus. And if you don't want to meet in person during a global pandemic, S'More has you covered. Users can initiate a video chat where both sides are blurred for the first two minutes. If both agree to see each other, the blurring goes away.

Drawing comparisons to the Netflix hit "Love is Blind," S'More was born out of a mission to provide singles a space to find a deeper connection. "The average person spends 30 milliseconds on a swipe — that is how much brain power they devote to what is hot or not," he said. "It works if you want a casual encounter. It does not work if you want a relationship."

In his quest to root out superficiality, Cohen-Aslatei has taken S'More one step further. The dating app does not have race or ethnicity filters. It is all part of building a brand-first company that stands for more than a product or feature.

"Our app says, 'you deserve something more. Are you ready for something more?' And the connotation is being anti-superficial. So if we stand for anti-superficial, then everything we do must support that brand."

S'More is also creating content around that theme. Its "S'More Live Happy Hour" — a weekly celebrity dating show on Instagram — is a stripped down look at how the stars struggle with relationships, just like us. The show features personalities like model and entrepreneur Olivia Culpo and cast members from "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," all discussing their crazy experiences and serving advice on how to best navigate the dating world.

"It's a forum to bring up what is happening in the world and disguise it a bit under dating," Cohen-Aslatei said. "Really to have a fun conversation, and for the fans to get to know the celebrity in a different way."

Think of it as getting a little 'something more' from a celebrity. And Cohen-Aslatei's favorite story from the show? You'll have to watch the interview to find out, but suffice to say, dog-walking in Central Park can get a little messy.

And while virtual dating has become a necessity for those looking to connect during COVID, is this trend here to stay? Cohen-Aslatei says yes. The pandemic has forced people to reflect on things that they don't have - and with 50% of millennials being single, finding a serious partner is becoming increasingly more important.

"You might have a great job, and a great set of friends, but during COVID, you are home alone. And that's not a good feeling," Cohen-Aslatei said. "Virtual dating is not going anywhere. It's basically becoming the way that you screen 'should I meet this person? Is it worth my time to leave my house?'"

Watch a shortened version above and catch the full interview here:

FULL: S'More CEO & Founder Discusses the Anti-Superficial Dating Appwww.youtube.com

To check out S'More, you can download it here.

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Kelly O'Grady runs video and serves as the chief host & correspondent for dot.LA. Find her on Instagram @kfogrady and email her at kelly@dot.LA.

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🚁 One Step Closer to Air Taxis in LA
Image Source: Joby Aviation

🔦 Spotlight

Joby Aviation, a pioneering electric air taxi company, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully flying a hydrogen-electric aircraft demonstrator for 523 miles with only water as a byproduct. This groundbreaking flight showcases the potential for emissions-free regional travel using vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, eliminating the need for traditional runways. The company's innovative approach combines its existing battery-electric air taxi technology with hydrogen fuel cells, paving the way for longer-range, environmentally friendly air travel.

For LA residents, this development holds exciting implications for future transportation options. Joby's technology could potentially enable direct flights from LA to destinations like San Francisco or San Diego without the need to visit conventional airports, offering a cleaner and more convenient alternative to current travel methods. The company's progress in both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric aircraft positions it at the forefront of next-generation aviation, promising to revolutionize urban and regional mobility.

Notably, Joby Aviation has already made strides in Southern California by securing an agreement with John Wayne Airport earlier this year to install the region's first electric air taxi charger. This strategic move sets the stage for LA to be among the initial markets where Joby will launch its electric air taxi service. With plans to commence commercial operations as early as 2025 using its battery-electric air taxi, LA residents may soon have access to a fast, quiet, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that could significantly reduce travel times and traffic congestion in the region. In the not too distant future, LA might find itself in an identity crisis without traffic and excess smog 🤞🤞.


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Fuel Innovation: 7 Unforgettable Team Building Experiences in LA
Image Source: Discover LA

In today's competitive business landscape, team building activities have emerged as a crucial tool for fostering a positive work environment, enhancing productivity, and crucially, improving employee retention. Studies have shown that such activities help employees feel valued, with one report indicating that 93% of those who felt appreciated were more motivated at work. Importantly, team building events may improve retention rates, as employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company culture are more likely to stay long-term. With these benefits in mind, let's explore some of the most engaging and effective team building activities available in Los Angeles.

Pickleball

Image Source: Modern Luxury Angelino

Pickleball is a fantastic team bonding activity because of the easy-to-grasp rules and gentle pace make it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The game thrives on communication and teamwork, as players must collaborate and strategize to outplay their opponents, boosting team cohesion. Plus, the lively, fast-paced action sparks friendly competition and laughter, creating a fun and spirited atmosphere that brings everyone closer together. Los Angeles boasts numerous pickleball courts that are easy to rent if you have your own equipment. If you need additional assistance organizing your pickleball outing, there are plenty of full-service companies ready to handle every detail for you.

Resources: Pickle Pop, Corporate Pickle


Escape Room

Image Source: The Escape Game

Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie. They require participants to work together, combining their problem-solving skills and creativity to overcome challenges and puzzles. The immersive and time-sensitive nature of escape rooms fosters collaboration and communication. Additionally, the shared experience of tackling complex tasks and reaching a common goal helps build trust and foster positive emotions among colleagues.

Resources: The Escape Game, 60Out


Day Trip to Catalina Island

Image Source: Love Catalina

Catalina Island is a perfect day trip for a team because it provides a break from the usual work environment, allowing team members to relax and connect in a new setting. Shared experiences during the trip, such as exploring new places and participating in fun activities, help build stronger relationships and foster a sense of camaraderie. There are numerous team-building activities such as an arboreal obstacle course, an island tour, scavenger hunts and more.

Resources: Catalina Island Group Activities


Top Golf

Image Source: Topgolf

Topgolf is an excellent team building event because it provides an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere that accommodates players of all skill levels, fostering personal connections and improving team morale. The unique blend of competition and entertainment creates an ideal setting for building trust, enhancing communication, and revealing hidden skills among team members. Additionally, Topgolf offers structured team building packages with guided activities, discussion prompts, and lessons on culture, change, collaboration, and strategy, making it a versatile and effective platform for strengthening relationships and boosting overall team performance.

Resources: Topgolf El Segundo


SoFi Stadium Tour

Image Source: Discover LA

A SoFi Stadium tour offers a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of one of the world's most advanced sports venues, allowing team members to explore exclusive areas like premium suites, team locker rooms, and the player tunnel together. The tour provides a shared, memorable experience that can foster camaraderie and spark conversations among team members, regardless of their interest in sports. Additionally, the stadium's state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture can inspire creativity and innovation, while the group setting encourages interaction and collaboration, making it an engaging and enjoyable activity for teams of various sizes and backgrounds

Resources: SoFi Stadium Group Tours


Corporate Volunteering

Image Source: L.A. Works

Volunteer work serves as an excellent team building activity by uniting employees around a shared, meaningful cause, fostering a sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. It provides opportunities for team members to collaborate in new ways, often revealing hidden strengths and leadership qualities that may not be apparent in the regular work environment. Additionally, engaging in community service can boost morale, enhance the company's reputation, and instill a sense of pride among employees, leading to improved workplace relationships and increased job satisfaction.

Resources: Habitat for Humanity, L.A. Works, VolunteerMatch


Corporate Improv Sessions

Image Source: Improv for the People

A corporate improv class encourages spontaneity, creativity, and quick thinking, skills that are valuable in the workplace. It promotes active listening and collaboration, as participants must work together to create scenes and respond to unexpected situations, fostering better communication and trust among team members. Additionally, the playful and often humorous nature of improv helps break down barriers, reduces stress, and creates a shared positive experience that can improve team morale and cohesion long after the event.

Resources: Improv-LA, Groundlings, Improv for the People

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
Image Source: Paramount

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

🔦 Spotlight

Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.


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  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

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