New coffee app brews relationships through speed meet-upsPosted on February 11, 2013 | by Sanjana Kucheria
A new smartphone app uses coffee to bring NYU students closer than ever.
CAS freshman Jaye Melino has partnered with Drew Durbin and Lincoln Quirk, who both graduated from Brown University in 2008, to launch a new app called Brew! The iPhone and Android app pairs NYU students for 15-minute study breaks at coffee shops on campus. The app, which officially launched last month, already has 1000 users.
“With a lot of the other dating sites, you have to communicate with the person directly and coordinate where and what time you want to meet,” Melino said. “But the cool thing about [Brew!] is that it gives you a time and a place.”
Users create a profile, which prompts them to upload a photograph and specify their graduation year, whether they would like to meet a female or a male and their reasons for signing up for the service. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the app recommends three potential students that best match the user’s interests. After agreeing to a Brew, each student must pre-pay three dollars online for a cup of coffee at the café of their choice. Upon arrival, a barista will swipe a time card and a fifteen-minute timer will begin.
The idea for the app origina-ted when Melino had difficulty meeting new people outside of her typical group of friends at such a large, diverse university. She talked to friends Durbin and Quirk, and the three entrepreneurs began building an app that could be used as a tool to help people meet in the real world in a quick and casual way.
“That [frustration] really resonated with Lincoln and I because [we] remembered that in college … we had that problem,” Durbin said.
GLS freshman Nicole Wolf participated in a Brew last Wednesday at Think Coffee and described her experience as being “like speed-friending.” She also said the time limit is perfect because a conversation can become awkward if the meetup lasts too long.
Unlike Wolf, CAS freshman Neeraj Suryanarayanan does not see a reason for using the app.
“My philosophy is because NYU is so big, it should not be difficult to find friends and meet people,” Suryanarayanan said.
Durbin, Quirk and Melino hope to expand to other universities and coffee shops in Manhattan.
“If things go really well at NYU, then it gives us the potential to grow,” Durbin said. “Part of the reason we chose NYU is because it’s a huge school, and so our philosophy is, if it works here, it’ll work anywhere.”
Sanjana Kucheria is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org