NYU alumni are no strangers to founding successful companies. The founders of Twitter, Etsy and Southwest Airlines all wore violet at one point. One of the latest names to be added to that list is Steinhardt senior Noah Hyams, who has developed two apps in addition to being a musician and film producer. Swipe Me, Hyams’ latest venture, is a web application that connects students who have extra meal swipes with other students who want them.
“I realized that I had more meal swipes than I was able to use,” Hyams said. “I was living in Brittany Hall, which is a traditional dorm, so I was forced to have a meal plan. It was kind of frustrating because it’s expensive and limiting in terms of where you can use your meals. I noticed that friends of mine were having issues using their meals and making the best out of them.”
All freshmen living in traditional housing are automatically assigned a 300 Flex meal plan priced at $2,466, leaving students with 300 meals to consume in under six months. Swipe Me aims not only to help students get their money’s worth out of their meal plans, but to ease the adjustment to college by connecting students who may not otherwise have met.
“Swipe Me has been my own project, with no real aim other than connecting college students over meal swipes,” Hyams said.
When a student joins Swipe Me, he or she states whether they need a meal swipe or have one to donate. Then the student gets matched with two other NYU students with verified “nyu.edu” email addresses and similar interests. Users can then look at each other’s profiles and direct message one another to decide if they want to meet at a dining hall.
“It gives people the ability to eat on a limited budget, given NYU’s incredible expense,” Hyams said.
He added that while paired students aren’t required to eat together, many do as a way to meet new people.
“We don’t call the person you get paired with a match, we called them connections,” Hyams said. “Connections are what’s most important in college.”
After he graduates from NYU with a bachelor’s degree in Music Business in May, Hyams plans to fundraise and increase the tutor pool for his company Studor, that provides students with tutors on demand.
Hyams does not plan to leave Swipe Me behind, however.
“Swipe Me didn’t have an official launch day because there is no hidden incentive for me here,” Hyams said. “I’m just trying to put it out there for other people to use. It just came out this month, but the plan for Swipe Me is to expand to other colleges, because other people are having this issue.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 29 print edition. Email Taylor Nicole Rogers at [email protected]