Tuesday, May 3, 2011

IvyDate: Less Obnoxious Than a Winklevoss Twin

I have this pet peeve when people start dating someone new and mention where they went to college before they even mention if the person is hot, cool or fun. So when I heard about IvyDate, a new dating site for Ivy Leaguers and the singles that chase them, my initial reaction was to hate. But, after chatting with the two founders, and Harvard Alum, Phillip Triebel and Beri Meric, I was pleasantly surprised. What I thought would be one of the most superficial sites in the online dating spectrum, actually turned out to be one of the least. Here is a hint why: you can’t browse photos. For more details check out my Q&A with the founders below.

Where did you get the idea for IvyDate?
We thought there was a gap in the market and wanted to create a dating site for the "scholastically oriented" focusing on the values of education and intellectual curiosity. We think these are great qualifiers for a potential mate.

What about The Right Stuff, isn’t that a dating site for people that went to top schools?
Ivydate is a little different for a few reasons. 1) In addition to Ivy Leaguers we accept interested singles who appreciate and value learning. 2) Our site is not set up as a searchable database. Once you're accepted onto the site, we match you with the people in your city that you are most compatible with.

The average acceptance rate for Ivy League schools is around 9%? How do you get accepted to IvyDate?
We have a membership committee that reviews applicants and then we send members matches like a matchmaker. People get in as long as they have an interesting and lively profile that speaks to who they are. On your application we ask questions about your personality, life goals, occupation, values, hobbies and passions.

So how do looks come into play? Your Getty images girl here is pretty much a smoke train. 
We do not judge looks during the application or matching process. We match based on our proprietary compatibility software. Then once you get matches to your inbox you can decide if you want to reach out to them (three photos are included). This process gives our users a more curated and selective experience. Our database cannot be searched so users can also enjoy more privacy.

What do you say to people that think we are all too focused on resume dating? Like where people went to school and what they do for a living?
The qualities we promote are not exclusive to Ivy League alum. The reality is people want to find compatibility, get married and have a happy family life. On the path to that you have to start narrowing it down somewhere. If you are going online there are huge pools of people to choose from and it's overwhelming. We are trying to help users by connecting them with other people that have passion, determination and intellectual curiosity. These are positive things and important qualities for a mate.

You both sound adorable, are you guys single?
(Laughter). Yes. We are both single.

So you must be on the site then, right?
No we are not going to be included in the dating pool. We are focused on growing the user base in advance of our soft launch this spring. This is serious business after all.

IvyDate is accepting applications now and will be launching faster than a Winklevoss rowing for the Smith Cup. Apply here, just don't call it a soft launch.


  1. I don't buy it - they say it's for ivy leaguers and interested singles who appreciate the value of learning... they can admit that their site is for ppl who went to ivy league schools who want to get laid off of it... we're all reading between those lines anyways...

  2. I don't blame them if they do, but the one part that irks me is that I feel like Ivy League girls don't get the same advantage. I went to Columbia and frankly I don't think any guys give a d*mn! :)

  3. You went to Columbia and you're hot .... double plus!

  4. you are too kind! did I mention compliments get you everywhere!?

  5. Oh my, compliment -- I'll take it.

  6. @ Jewels…hahaha…I felt the same way sometimes. You should for sure check this out then. If a guy’s on this site, it’s because he’s probably looking for someone smart.

  7. I'm actually on the site now and have gotten some awesome dates- way better guys than other sites!

  8. Please, these guys ARE obnoxious. I got rejected from their elitist site. I got a generic email saying they had "carefully reviewed" my profile. If they reviewed it so carefully why not send out a personalized email saying how the profile could be improved? Instead they relied on where you went to school and probably how much money you make. Figures they are single. No one should judge people based on those factors. They obviously are ignorant about what makes a relationship work. Their questions are very limited in scope and their assessment of your personality is based on a sliding scale. For example, you have to pick how far towards "family oriented" vs. "work oriented" you are. Obviously these are fluid categories and may change once I start a family of my own but they don't seem to understand this and are basing their matches on that.

  9. The premise of the site seems flawed if you operate under some basic assumptions that match reality. The men on the site are likely to be more intelligent, accomplished and overall successful than the average man on or off internet dating sites. The women are likely to be less physically attractive than women off of the internet because physically attractive women don't need to study hard to be successful in life. Since women primarily seek high status, well accomplished men, and men primarily seek physically attractive women, this site creates a mismatch. IvyDate is substantially better for women than men, in other words. The only sustainable business model is to provide good value to your customer base, so based on the above I think this site is going to fail.

  10. "Physically attractive women don't need to study hard to be successful in life"

    Excuse me? Your logic is asinine. I constantly garner attention for being an attractive young woman, but that does not make me "successful in life." The fulfillment of my professional ambitions--engaging in work that is meaningful to me, and making a living while carrying it out--is what makes me successful.

  11. Well whatever happened to that 'good genes' sight? Does anybody remember that? I think it tanked didn't it? I think this is a nice idea because I haven't met many intellectual women on the other sites, but yes it's a concern that this will be a place for women looking for rich zuckerman types - how can they assure that it's a sight for intellectual people looking for same?