Last November, two Columbia students launched DateMySchool, an online dating service exclusively for college students. Columbia University Business School students Balazs Alexa, 28, and Jean Meyer, 29, came up with the idea for the site when they were discussing the “lack of dateable women” in their male-heavy business school. Alexa’s girlfriend piped up, telling them that girls in her social work program had a similar frustration at the lack of males in their classes. The young upstarts realized there was a demand for a new place to cross paths on campus, and DateMySchool was born. Originally the site only served Columbia and NYU students, but it quickly expanded. In the last week, the site has grown to serve 204 new schools. DateMySchool now serves a total of 350 schools and has upwards of 25,000 registered users.
22 year-old marketing director Shreshth Dugar explained how DateMySchool is able to thrive in the overcrowded world of online dating; “DateMySchool has a niche. While Facebook has all the people you trust and know and other dating websites have all the people you don’t know, DateMySchool has all the people you don’t know but automatically trust,because they went to the same school, paid the same tuition, and have the same academic goals as you. It has a sense of security that most dating websites, which filter people by their zip codes, can never have. This allows our users to feel comfortable and confident about meeting people on the internet.”
Users of the site who we spoke to echoed Dugar: “I would never have considered using an online dating website, but DateMySchool feels different. It doesn’t have that stigma of being a place for creepy middle aged guys — it’s for young people,” said NYU senior Tess Manning.
Only time will tell if DateMySchool will ultimately go the way of Facebook or the way of MySpace, but the young entrepreneurs are optimistic: “The role of technology is to make our lives more efficient, and DateMySchool does that for dating while always maintaining a sense of anonymity, safety, and privacy. I think we have huge potential,” said Dugar.