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A match made in Colorado

Budding digital love affairs mean business


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Smartphones breathed new life into online dating, gamifying the experience of finding a special someone. According to a Pew Research Center study from 2016, nearly 15 percent of American adults have used online dating sites or mobile dating applications, up from 11 percent in 2013. According to CNN Money, as of 2015, the online dating market was valued at around $2.2 billion, and growing. As the market continues to expand and stigmas evaporate for singles seeking love online, Colorado's gotten in on a piece of the action, with several startups launching apps for like-minded local love affairs.

Each application has its own unique features that separate it from the glut of available offerings. For Coloradans, activities of choice, values and lifestyles are taken into consideration. Check out these niche dating apps, based throughout the state that intend to help you ditch the duds and settle on the one. 


SAY ALLO

SOURCE: SAY ALLO FACEBOOK

Say Allo, released in March 2017, combines the widespread "swipe right" functionality with a focus on genuine compatibility. Marketed as a "social discover app," this free Denver-based service allows you to swipe right or left on profiles based on attraction, as well as a compatibility report. Created with artificial intelligence and machine learning, the latter smart capability makes sure your connection isn't purely based on physical attraction. Additionally, the app, created by Zackary Lewis, allows for video calls, so you can safely and virtually connect with your date before the first face-to-face meeting. Say Allo uses in-app purchases to give premium features to people who are interested. 

LUVBYRD

PHOTO CREDIT: LUVBYRD FACEBOOK raphpaq

The dating app for outdoor enthusiasts, LuvByrd focuses primarily on connecting singles through their shared love of activities in Mother Nature. Launched exclusively in Denver to begin in 2014, the app has since expanded to various cities nationwide. And – as a ringing endorsement – Mike Keshian, the founder, actually met his girlfriend through the app.  The way it works is this: First, you sign up, then you pick activities you want to do with others. One especially unique feature is the "chairlift speed dating" hosted at Loveland Ski Resort. LuvByrd advertises in addition to offering full membership packages.

MEET MINDFUL

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/meetmindful/meetmindful facebook

MeetMindful is the market leader for spurring conscious connections geared toward the 90 million U.S. adults interested in yoga, spirituality and healthy living. The Techstars-based startup launched in 2014, allowing users to list their interests and values directly within the app. MeetMindful match-makes accordingly. After a free-trial, this app offers different membership plans to keep using the service. Users can choose "mindful living practices," such as meditation, to share with potential partners.

HIGH THERE

PHOTO CREDIT: HIGH THERE FACEBOOK

When Colorado became the first state in teh union to legalize recreational marijuana in 2014, those who loved cannabis rejoiced. Budding friendships – or something more hot and heavy – over this common interest all of the sudden became more public and feasible, so in came High There! Launched in 2015 on Apple and Google's app stores, the service focuses on connecting cannabis enthusiasts in a friendly, judgement-free space. This allows users to meet people based on their preference for cannabis, while selling merchandise with their logo on it. 

QUALIFY 

PHOTO CREDIT: QUALIFY

For students, this is the college-campus specific app, inviting eight Colorado schools to connect. Users can ask questions that potential matches must answer correctly in order to connect. Developed by three University of Colorado students, more than 200,000 questions had been answered as of last summer. The founders were also accepted into the Catalyze CU program, an eight-week startup summer accelerator. 

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Brady Wiesner

Brady Wiesner is a business student at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and Colorado native. He serves as editorial assistant at WiesnerMedia, providing support for the editorial teams at ColoradoBiz, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles and Mountain Living magazines.

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