Dating App, Go Dutch Today, Aims To Remove Anticipation Of Sex By Putting Women In Financial Charge
Admit it, dating though dating apps is just plain awkward. Besides meeting a potential mate in person for the first time, things are made more awkward when it comes time to pay for the date. Who should cough up cash? The man? The woman? Should you split the bill?
A new app called Go Dutch Today might just be the answer. Created by Olamide Bamidele, Alysia Sargent, and Alexandria Willis, the app matches people based on profile preferences, suggests date venues, and has participants “go Dutch,” i.e. split the cost of a date. The Chicago-based company also wants to make it easier for women, saying that Go Dutch “removes expectations that men pay for the dates and that women reciprocate with sex,” as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Go Dutch Today will also try to move people from just chatting with each other online to actually going out by recommending date venues and packages, and participants can also rate each other.
The entrepreneurial trio spoke with MadameNoire about the upcoming launch of Go Dutch Today in November 2016 and more.
MadameNoire (MN): Explain Go Dutch Today
Alysia Sargent (AS): With Go Dutch Today we bring together a community of people who actually want to go out on a date, not just talk, talk, and talk about going out on a date. Also by eliminating the financial aspect when they do go out together they don’t have to worry about whose going to pay since it is decided way before. They can just focus on enjoying themselves and having fun.
MN: How does it work?
AS: Once a couple agrees to meet, they will pay in advance and receive vouchers for their date. A premium version of the app has a monthly fee that would allow participants to view comments left by others who had connected with a potential date.
MN: Had you used dating sites before you come up with this idea?
AS: We actually used a number of sites before and on those sites it’s really hit or miss. But with ours we are really trying to empower women. We want them to actually go out on dates with no pressure and not have to deal with expectations. So we list a number of happenings and women can say to someone they have matched with, “Hey I am going to check this out why don’t you come?” Since you are already going out anyway and just invited your match along, it’s not really a high-pressure date.
Alexandria Willis (AW): I noticed when on these dates when we split the costs it felt a lot more comfortable. When you know you are going to split the bill it’s easier to interact. There is no press, especially as a women. Sometimes a woman feels pressure when I man pays for her meals, drinks.
MN: None of you had experience in tech, how did you get the venture up and running?
AS: We did our research. We went to tech events to meet people who we could work with in developing this. We infiltrated the tech space. We went to small business exchanges and got involved in small business programs. And this was really helpful. There are a lot of programs out there if you know where to look.
AW: We have been bootstrapping and working with many organizations. Some of the organizations that have helped us and continue to be a resource to us include: The University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies (Start Up Challenge Pitch Competition), The University of Chicago Center for Innovation Exchange and the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship (South side Pitch Competition), the Chicago Urban League Entrepreneurship Program (Next Step), and 1871.
MN: What has the response been to Go Dutch Today?
Olamide Bamidele (OB): It has been good. I think especially for women, this is a different type of app. You are able to meet up with people doing things you like to do And these are low-pressure social encounters, instead of a high press blind date. We have also received great support from the Black tech community.
MN: What are your goals for the app?
AW: First, is to launch the app this fall, in hope to expand our offerings.
AS: We want to offer women better dating opportunities and empower women to be more in charge of the dating process.
OB: It empowers everyone. Men don’t have to question the woman’s motives. And women don’t feel pressured to consider having sex just because someone treated you out.
MN: What advice would you give to other new entrepreneurs in tech?
OB: Don’t second guess yourself even if you don’t have a tech background, get out there and network. Meet people who in tech who believe in your idea and want to help you.