Like many people, Avery Arasin picked up a new hobby during the pandemic. A year and a half later that hobby turned into BAE, a tinder-like dating app aimed to connect college students for fraternity and sorority events.
Arasin, junior in finance, wanted to diversify his skills and picked up coding in March 2020. By October he spent well over 300 hours practicing his new hobby and by February he began development on his first app.
“The app for finding formal dates, function dates. Basically, an easy way where everybody else on the app is looking to be a formal date or for their own formal date. ” is how Arasin describes the app.
BAE took about 6 months to develop, with Arasin as the only person working on the app. On September 11th, 2021, the app went public on the app store. Arasin says that despite the challenges with learning to code as well as making an app from the ground up he was still surprised with the work required.
“It ended up being way more complicated than I thought just because of the kind of app I built. There was so much with databases I had to deal with, “Arasin said.
Arasin uses the lessons learned from his self-described side project to help with his company, Orange Eagle Consulting, which assists companies with database optimization.
Despite not being in greek life himself, Arasin says the idea came from his sisters complaining about having to find dates for their sorority events, and when a close friend of his was coding a dating app of his own, the idea for BAE came to life .
With the app now attracting a user base of over 1600 users across 103 campuses just 3 months into the app’s infancy, Arasin says the main challenge is connecting to more Greek organizations.
Luckily Arasin has utilized two tools to help his app’s growth. Social media and word of mouth within the greek life community. The app’s Tik-Tok, @baedate, has accrued over 2000 followers, 135 thousand likes, and multiple videos getting thousands of views.
“Most campuses have come from Tik-Tok.” Arasin stated.
Many comments ask if they can get their campus added to the app, which Arasin is more than happy to do to grow his userbase. Arasin then hopes that he can get in touch with Greek organizations on campuses and pitch his app in sorority or fraternity meetings either traveling himself or hiring campus ambassadors where he can.
And as with anything online, negative comments exist;
“Not everything needs an app.” says one commenter
“Disagree” responds Arasin, optimistically.
At the end of the day, however, BAEis a side project for Arasin, a showcase of skills meant to further his career after college. Despite spending so much time on the project Arasin hopes to one day hand it over to a larger company that can help market his idea to a wider audience.
“I would love to get a proof of concept and go to a company that has a big marketing presence already or in the right demographics, like Barstool Sports,” says Arasin
Despite not being completely married to the dating app it has served as an important lesson for Arasin.
“It’s taught me that if you have a good idea and you create something people will actually join it.”