This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on July 1, 2019.
Brooke Waupsh has discovered a new way for singles to meet without swiping right or left. The result? People stay together. Sound good? Read on!
Austin-based Waupsh’s dating app, Swoovy, encourages singles to get to know each other in a real environment so there’s less pressure on what to say and how to act. Daters have an opportunity to have meaningful experiences at nonprofits, where they can feel good about their time spent while also getting to know a potential life-long partner.
Volunteer opportunities include playing with dogs at adoption events by the Hound Rescue, gardening at Mobile Loaves and Fishesor Central Texas Food Bank, beautifying Austin with Tree Folks and Austin Parks Foundation, hosting art studio hours for people experiencing homelessness and more.
Waupsh was recently nominated for “ChangeMaker” by the Austin Young Chamber and the “Austin Under 40” award from the Young Women’s Alliance and Young Men’s Business League.
How’d the idea of combining charities with dating happen?
I was surrounded by single friends, family and new acquaintances all looking for a better way to meet more genuine people. Turns out, experts recommend volunteering as one of the best ways to establish a relationship! It’s a technology-driven world and people just need that recommendation to be at their fingertips. And it’s a win-win because nonprofits are dying to get more volunteers in the door and this is just the carrot to motivate people to prioritize showing up.
How was the name ‘Swoovy’ chosen?
After a lot of brainstorming and thinking through the words that reflect the feeling you have when you meet someone you like for the first time (butterflies!) and the elated feeling after leaving a volunteer event and serving others, Swoovy came from a combination of SWELL and GROOVY. Taking us back a little bit to the way things were when people connected in person with good intentions to make genuine connections and foster those feelings.
What’s different about Swoovy?
Dating apps are the means to meeting people in this technology-driven world, but there’s been a tipping point where people have access to SO many people but are lacking the real connections. Online daters are often frustrated with fake profiles, chatting behind a screen for so long without having an in-person connection and the same-ole’ coffee shop interview-style date. Swoovy fills those gaps for daters, while also increasing volunteerism which nonprofits heavily rely on to do what they do.
What’s been the toughest challenge of launching a dating app?
To be honest, the app has had an amazing response from both nonprofits and single people but the toughest challenge is getting early investors to get in now and fuel the growth and expansion! I’ve been part of a successful early stage company, but this fundraising side of the coin is new to me and there’s a learning curve of how/where to network and get the word out about Swoovy.
Do you have any dating advice?
With Swoovy, flag events you’re interested in and connect through those shared interests; and don’t be afraid to ask someone on a “date” to go volunteer. It’s just volunteering, and at the end of the day, if they’re not “the one” you still spent your time doing something good, and maybe you met a friend because of it.