By Linda Nguyen
A Baylor alumnus wants to redefine college dating.
Noah Mortel, who graduated from Baylor in 2008 with a degree in economics, marketing and international business, has created an online dating website called CollegeBoo geared specifically toward college students.
“There are thousands of students and each student is going in their own direction,” Mortel said. “It’s hard to meet people. A lot of times, their character doesn’t match something you prefer. It would be easier to have a central website you can match attributes based on what you prefer in a person.”
Mortel said the website includes features users will find familiar to other social networking sites. “There’s chat similar to Facebook chat,” Mortel said. “You can add friends. You can send a wink. You can upload songs, MP3’s. You can embed YouTube videos. You could also have blogs in your profile.”
Mortel said the website also has a feature that allows members to search their date’s preferences. “There’s a lot of different things I’ve tried to do to make it different from other dating websites,” Mortel said.
Mortel said the website requires members to have a .edu email account to sign up.
“That gives you the ability to search for matches on your school network,” Mortel said. “It’s absolutely exclusive to students.”
Mortel said the website currently lists more than 3,000 schools, including community colleges. “Any college, university with a .edu, I made sure to add,” Mortel said.
Baylor alumna Funmi Ogunro registered for the website when it first launched in January. “I registered for it at the first launch a while back,” Ogunro said. “I have a profile set up and everything. I think it’s a pretty cool website. I look at it like Facebook, but it’s more specific to the dating scene.”
Ogunro said the site is really good for current college students and recent alumni. “It’s a great website for narrowing down other educated people,” she said.
Ogunro said she thinks the website has potential and will take off.
“The thing about it is that the website has a database of all the schools, even medical schools in the Caribbean,” Ogunro said. “So some people internationally can register. It’s nationwide and it’s pretty fun. It’s easy to use. It has a nice interface and it’s simple to navigate through.”
Ogunro said she likes the features built into the site and has already met people through the site.
“Everyone has a wall, you can send gifts, and you can send videos,” Ogunro said. “It’s very fun and versatile. A few people from Baylor have messaged me. Even though I’m an alumna, I still message them back, even if it doesn’t turn into dating, but as a platonic type thing. “
Mortel is still trying to build a base of members on the website. The website features are all free, but Mortel eventually hopes to start charging a premium fee of $10 a month, $20 for three months and $30 for six months.
“I can’t charge right now. I’m just trying to build up the amount of users,” Mortel said. “Definitely in the future after I reach a certain amount of members, I will start charging. It’ll be free to join and I’ll have a premium service $10 for one month that will give you full access like private messaging and chat. Right now, I just started, so I’m trying to get more members.”
Ogunro said it’s a good website for college students to find potential dates. “I think CollegeBoo is a catchy name,” Ogunro said. “I think people might want to try it out because of the name. Like I said, I think it’s a cute website for other college students to find love.”