Speed dating is so widespread in our society today; it may surprise you that it is a relatively new phenomenon. Speed dating did not come about until 1998 when Rabbi Yaacov Deyo brought a group of friends together to brainstorm how to bring together single members of the Jewish community with "maximum efficiency."
The first-speed dating event took place a few weeks later at a coffee shop in Los Angeles. Deyo and his colleagues then trademarked their event as "Speed Dating," and planned on filing a patent for the concept. However, they quickly realized speed dating had already expanded beyond their initial vision. Deyo decided it would be good karma to let the rest of the world copy his speed dating idea, and that hopefully many happy marriages and families would happen as a result. The rest is history.
Of course, not all speed dating events are targeted towards Jewish people. Today, there are speed dating events for almost any specialized group you can think of. Some people even attend speed dating events geared for non-romantic connections as a way to meet new friends when moving to a new city or simply looking to add some new people to their life. Almost anyone can find a speed dating event that fits their specific preferences and needs.