When Ideator Michelle Stansbury decided to try online dating, she began browsing through Tinder and other popular dating apps. She found the apps easy to use, but soon realized they tended to keep people online rather than getting together for an actual date. That’s when she decided to create her own dating app – the Date Spot.
“I didn’t want to start a relationship with my phone,” said Stansbury. “I wanted to get out and meet new people and do fun things. I created the Date Spot to help people get offline and go on actual dates faster.”
The Date Spot makes it easy to meet in person by suggesting “Date Deals” based on two people’s shared interests and locations. It also uses a Groupon-style, rather than a subscription-based or ad-based, revenue model that Stansbury hopes will attract investors to her new business.
What’s the Problem?
Tinder makes it easy to connect with people online by eliminating lengthy profiles and just swiping left or right on a photo, but it also tends to “gamify” the experience. As a result, most people end up exchanging messages rather than setting up an actual date.
“Asking someone you don’t know on a date is hard,” explained Stansbury. “Where should you go? What should you do? With so many decisions to make, people tend to stay online and just ‘play’ Tinder.”
What’s the Big Idea?
The Date Spot facilitates the process of setting up dates by suggesting Date Deals tailored to users’ shared interests and locations. After two people match up, Date Spot suggests a date that matches their interests with curated restaurants, bars, and other nearby activities. By eliminating the planning and decision making, the Date Spot makes it easier to get offline and meet face to face.
The Date Spot also overcomes the revenue challenge by using a business model that splits revenue with merchants who want to draw new people into their restaurants, bars, or activities.
Where is it Headed?
Stansbury believes the Date Spot will revolutionize online dating by going beyond the Tinder model. Tinder made it easier to get online and connect with people without the fear of rejection. The Date Spot takes the next step by making it easier for people to get together offline after they’ve connected with someone new.
So far, finding the right funding has been the biggest challenge. However, Stansbury projects that the revenue model will enable the Date Spot to break even in the first year of business and turn a profit in its second, which should help to attract investors.
In the meantime, she is using Ideator to get feedback on the concept, organize her startup efforts, and create resources for potential investors and advisors. She would love to hear how others made the big leap from idea to working prototype, and is especially interested in connecting with people who have experience on the technical side.