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Black Student Entrepreneur Turns Down Microsoft & Google, Partners With Friends to Build New Dating App!

Jordan Kunzika and co-founders Brian Gerrard and Justin Gerrard have launched a mobile dating app for black people looking for love

app-baeStudies by dating sites such as OkCupid have been tracking their sites’ data in regards to race and several other factors. What they found was that black people have far less success on dating sites than people of other races. Due to peoples’ discriminatory preferences, they receive fewer messages and are responded to less when they’re the first to reach out to potential matches.

So when Jordan Kunzika, a senior at Dartmouth College, was asked to handle the programming of a dating app that would connect African-American people together, he jumped at the opportunity. Brothers Justin and Brian Gerrard came up with the idea of the Bae (acronym for Before Anyone Else, meaning to find your match before anyone else) after noticing that they and their fellow black friends got significantly less matches than their white friends on dating apps like Tinder.

Kunzika, CTO of Bae is a 21-year old computer genius who says he often was the only Black person in his computer science classes. He is a Google Generation Scholar and has done internships with both Microsoft and Intel.

“I quickly realized that it was up to me to either let this negatively affect me, or let it motivate me to be successful, so that people who come after me will have role models who look like them,” says Kunzika.

But recently, when Microsoft and Google offered him a full-time job, he turned them down, and decided instead to partner with his friends, the Gerrard brothers, to create a new app. That app is called Bae, and it’s a very popular mobile dating app for Black people around the world.

Kunzika told TechCrunch, “I was honored to get full-time offers from Microsoft and Google before even turning 21, but I knew that I could serve a higher calling to represent a paradigm shift in what a tech entrepreneur could look like.”

470621655More than 200,000 downloads already

The three friends were very determined to build and promote their app, and so in April 2015, they launched a grassroots campaign and hosted a nationwide tour. The tour, which took them to several Historically Black colleges across the country, consisted of several parties and mixers where people who matched on Bae could meet each other in person. Anyone who wanted to attend had to first download the app. Within just a few weeks, they had already reached 17,000 downloads, and since then they have reached more than 200,000 downloads.

What makes their app different?

There are many other dating apps, but Kunzika says he designed a proprietary algorithm that his makes their app very unique. He explains, “What users like the most about Bae is the quality of the matches and that it helps you find those you’re most interested in”. For example, if you prefer to find someone who went to a similar school as you, the app will adapt to your preferences and learn your user behavior.

The ultimate goal

Their goal is for Bae to become the best Black dating app in the US and across the African diaspora. And so far, they are off to a great start! They have already been listed as a Top 50 Lifestyle app in twenty different African and Caribbean countries, and the app was recently accepted into Facebook’s FbStart Accelerate program and chosen as one of a select group of companies to present at Facebook’s upcoming Developer conference. The app also won first place at TechCrunch’s recent Brooklyn meetup and pitch-off event.

bae-app-for-usBae has now reached users all over the globe. Similar to other dating apps, Bae users swipe right for those they’re interested in and left for those they’re not.

“What users like the most about Bae,” Kunzika explained, “is the quality of the matches and that it helps you find those you’re most interested in.”

For example, if you prefer to match with someone who went to a similar school as you Bae will learn that over time as you swipe right for those potential matches.

For more details about the Bae app, visit www.baeapp.co

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About AJ Woodson (2269 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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