After failing to find a partner on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, USC alumnus Sergio Pedroza decided to create his own platform to connect Trojans.
Last month, Pedroza founded Dating Trojans, an app for USC students and alumni to connect and form professional, personal and romantic relationships.
“People will hopefully find love on our app, and that’s amazing, but it’s also dating professionals or just going out to get coffee with people that you would never have access to outside of your existing network,” Pedroza said.
Pedroza said the app is also a way for students and graduates to stay connected.
Although users can currently download the app and get screened, the network won’t officially open until December 2018 or January 2019.
For the screening process, the app verifies that all users previously attended or are currently attending USC. Pedroza said Dating Trojans will email potential users and ask them various questions such as their major, graduation year and which student organizations they were or are involved.
Once the app determines that users are USC students or alumni, Pedroza said they will be given full access to see other users’ profiles and learn about various events on and around campus.
Alumna Lindsay Mercadante said she gave Pedroza feedback on the app’s features and layout while he was developing it.
Compared to other dating apps, Mercadante said Dating Trojans’ screening process allows users to know certain information before connecting with others on the app.
“Everyone is going to be a part of the Trojan network, which means that they’re an actual person and [that] is already something tangible that you have in common,” Mercadante said. “Each of the profiles are vetted and verified … so you’ll have [a guarantee] that you’re actually dealing with a person who has been proven to be exactly who they identify themselves as.”
USC alumnus Siddhant Gupta also said he gave Pedroza feedback on the app’s functions and design. He thinks having an app catered to the USC community will strengthen connections between users.
“That is part of what makes it so unique and part of what will help make those better connections,” Gupta said. “USC is a very tight-knit community, the alumni association is so strong and the graduates have so much of a network. I think having that mutual connection will make it a little more special than other apps.”
While Pedroza has not finalized all of the app’s features, he said users will be able to see multiple profiles at once, including images and personal information. Pedroza said he also plans to promote on-campus events and local restaurants where users can meet.
He hopes that once the app officially opens, users will use it to make a variety of connections within the USC community.
“We put you in a position to land you that job. We put you in a position to network with someone that will absolutely benefit your career. We put you in a position to meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with and maybe marry one day,” Pedroza said. “That’s our ultimate goal, to be the bridge between people within that network and allow them to accomplish amazing things like we’ve always been told we can do.”