Silicon Valley professionals revert to matchmaking


They have the latest smartphones and IPO cash galore, but Silicon Valley singles looking for love lack one thing.

"There is just not enough time to be out meeting people," said George Shaw, a Silicon Valley bachelor.

Shaw runs research and development for a hot startup. His job is 24/7, with lots of travel. That's why he's turned to Linx Dating.

"I'm really excited about this match for you," said Amy Andersen to Shaw.

Andersen is the founder of the Menlo Park-based Boutique Matchmaking service, specializing in finding soul mates for over-worked Silicon Valley professionals.

"And they wake up at a certain age and have this aha moment that this is their moment to find love," said Andersen.

A date George recently had with Silicon Valley lawyer Kristen is one of only eight guaranteed set-ups over two years. Not a lot, compared to the hundreds of pings George was getting on free dating sites.

"You meet lots and lots of people and most of them are exactly wrong or you," said Shaw.

To be a Linx member, the bar is set high with rare exceptions. You have to have a college degree, a job, and you have to want commitment.

New member Kirsten Gray is a successful realtor with an MBA. She says the selection process weeds out guys who would waste her time.

"Amy, and more old-fashioned matchmaking is more research and development. She's researching these people, there's development with some of her clients," said Gray.

But Linx is not for the cash-strapped. Memberships start at $2,500 and soar to $50,000. Andersen reviews pictures of each client's dream match, gets their complete dating history, and searches high and low for "the one".

For her elite members, Andersen will even hold casting calls, like the one held recently at the Four Seasons Palo Alto. Out of hundreds, she may select a few to introduce to her VIPs. But Andersen's first to say, the clients themselves need to shape up in this competitive dating market.

"Artfully prepare some sound bites to talk about. Get away from the work talk and really hopefully genuinely show interest in who you're out with," said Andersen.

Shaw took the advice to heart on his date with Kristen. He said there was chemistry, but not a love connection. So Andersen went back to the drawing board and matched him with Jette, who runs Denmark's Innovation Center in Silicon Valley. There was easy conversation, lots of laughter, and some flirting.

So is Jette Shaw's next big thing?

"It's possible. It's definitely possible. Too soon to tell of course," said Shaw.

But this relationship is as they say in the valley, worth another round of "investment."

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