First Look: Entrepreneurs around the world know Startup Digest as one of the best resources to help startups get connected to events and interesting things happening in their area. The team behind that successful venture is launching a new product today to help people everywhere finally get a date. It's called CupidCurated. It's a dating site that is focused around letting women control the experience and act as the VIPs.
First off you can't join the site or browse members unless one of their female curators approves you and lets you join. This will maintain the quality of guys, and improve the experience for women. They call this the "Sadie Hawkins dance" methodology. The team believes that putting women in charge of the dating experience will make it better for everyone. If you've ever been on a date planned by a woman then you understand this algorithm is spot on.
The application process for joining the site takes you through a simple set of questions to get to know you better and help the curator make the best judgement call possible of whether or not you will increase the quality of the community. She stands between you and your potential soulmate so it's worth the effort. At the end of the registration process they ask for two references to make sure and verify who you really are.
If you're accepted and manage to get through the gates of Cupid, you're able to browse profiles on the site. Another interesting twist is that you can't actually message people directly, but you can tell the men/women that they "look cool." After that the person highlighted gets an email saying that someone is interesting and asking if they will reciprocate. If they say no then they never get any annoying messages from the awe struck guy again. If everyone agrees that everyone "looks cool," then the two parties are able to message back and forth.
At the moment the product is confined to just people living in the Bay Area. The first few hundred people that get accepted will get free access to the community and the rest will be on a monthly subscription fee. The product is very simple as the team literally built it in a few weeks in order to launch at Life 3.0 tonight in San Francisco.
Why the sudden shift from StartupDigest to a dating site? Brendan summed it up well saying, "Life is too short to be lonely." Plus the idea came from what they learned building and using their successful VIP product on StartupDigest. I was literally in the StartupDigest house yesterday when Chris got his first "looks cool" request after the team sent out invites to event attendees. Like the first tweet or the first instagram, it's definitely only the beginning.
Brendan, Chris, and married Chris.