Having trouble meeting just the right people? Stymied by all the online dating sites out there? That’s what some entrepreneurs are hoping. Two sites have cropped up recently promising to give students and alumni from elite schools access to others of the same ilk.
One, IvyDate, is billed as a “premier online introduction network for exceptional men and women who place a premium on intelligence, drive and determination.” It was created by Harvard B-school grads and targets alumni from 13 schools: the eight Ivies plus Stanford, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics—though technically anyone can apply to join the site. All profiles are reviewed, verified as legit (though it’s not clear how this is done), and approved by a membership committee. Non-Ivy-plus alumni are designated “interested singles” as opposed to “ivy singles.”
There’s no browsing on IvyDate. Instead, the site offers users a list of possible matches based on an algorithm. The only profiles you see are those you are matched to. The site has been accepting applications since mid-February and claims to have amassed 10,000 users, though this includes the creators’ DateHarvard site, which launched last August and will be integrated with IvyDate. Signing up and receiving a list of matches is free. Users pay (estimates, according to one article, are $20-$40 a month) to contact their matches.
For students, there’s DateMySchool.com, which is billed as a way for students with a .edu email address to make social connections with one another. Its focus is slightly different the IvyDate. DateMySchool.com prides itself on being safe, exclusive, and anonymous. While only certain schools can register on the site, the idea is to make users invisible to people they already know (though this can be changed in the settings), so they don’t have to suffer embarrassment from friends seeing them on the site. The two Columbia business students who created it call it “anti-Facebook.”
The site launched in November at NYU and followed with Columbia and schools in California. At the end of March, Boston students were given access. Schools on the site now include NYU, Columbia, Stanford, UC-Berkeley, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, BU, BC, and Tufts. The site is free; the creators are still working on a sustainable business model.
Of course, you don’t need all these special sites. Just look at Sara Tenenbein ’04. She found love the old fashioned way. On JDate. It’s actually a sweet story. Check it out.