Ever since Alyssa Canfield moved from Salt Lake City to Kansas City last summer, she enjoys tasting barbecue and working at a company she loves.
But the dating scene has been “grim,” the 25-year-old said, especially for a newcomer trying to break into Kansas City cliques of people who went to college together or have grown locally.
The pharmaceutical representative was also tired of navigating the traps that can accompany the use of dating apps: fending off “scary guys” who just want to log in, browsing hundreds of accounts and wondering if the people with whom she interacted were of high quality. people, or even real people.
So when she got an email two weeks ago informing her that she would be one of the founding members of The League, an exclusive invitation-only dating app for educated and ambitious millennials, she was beyond excited.
She screamed at the barbershop.
“I think it’s really cool that they’re young professionals and they’re actively looking for a love life,” said Canfield, who sells a drug that helps diagnose bladder cancer. “It’s not just a connection. These are people looking for a relationship and a date.
It also gave Canfield some reassurance that matches made on the app would have what she was looking for in a partner: intelligence, confidence, someone with “her life together and a great job.”
Founded by a Stanford University MBA graduate, The League was launched in San Francisco in 2015 and has grown in popularity by organizing users based on their education, profession, online presentation, and location. desirability.
The app has since expanded to over 30 cities, including Kansas City and St. Louis.
Exclusivity is part of the appeal. While Kansas City’s founding class was capped at 507, more than 3,000 people are now on the league’s waiting list.
Company statistics suggest that Cerner, the Children’s Mercy Hospital, and the University of Kansas Medical Center are the top “founding class” employers. The three best neighborhoods? The Plaza, Westport and the Carrefour.
“There is so much growth out there that it made sense for us to launch now even though the city is quite small,” said Meredith Davis, League director of communications, of the app’s launch at Kansas City. “Five hundred users in The League is small, but we think it’s going to be pretty viral.”
Billed as “a members-only club with a killer singles scene,” more than 300,000 people across the country who have been invited to join the app use The League on a monthly basis.
Kansas City founding member Geoff Greene said he read about the League on Bloomberg News three years ago and applied immediately, although the app has yet to launch in the Midwest.
Greene, 28, forgot he had applied for membership until this month, when he learned he had been accepted into the Kansas City class.
Traditional dating apps create a “paradox of choice,” he said, and the sheer number of possibilities “degrade the overall dating experience”. He said he appreciates the league’s selectivity.
“I really like intellectual conversations,” said Greene, who is associate director of risk and operations for an investment firm. “Weeding out people who maybe don’t have the best job or the best college degree, who are more superficial in their manners, that was the main draw for me.
“I’d rather talk about what someone thinks about the future of artificial intelligence than the weather outside.”
Applying to The League involves syncing Linked In and Facebook information, submitting multiple high-resolution photos, and being approved by an algorithm that prioritizes referrals and education. Finally, applicants must meet the standards of the League Assessment Team.
“Photos are important,” Davis said. “No barrel stands up. No breast pictures. No ex-boyfriends or girlfriends in your picture. It’s not about being hot. It’s about having a good photo.
Once accepted into The League, users can specify certain preferences such as age, religion or ethnicity and are matched through the app’s algorithm as well as by a team.
Users must meet all of each other’s preferences and “heart” each other’s profiles to be able to match. They cannot match those they are already connected to on Linked In and Facebook. New members are inducted into the League every week so the match pool slowly grows.
On top of that, The League members are connected to a “concierge,” a must-have user (and a real human) who can answer questions, resolve technical issues, and offer advice to optimize profiles. League members also have access to parties and events organized through the app.
Although Canfield joined the League to escape the fast-paced and overwhelming dating culture she found on Tinder and Bumble, she said the pace of the app took some getting used to.
League members are only sent a few matches a day.
“There’s no sweep, sweep, sweep,” Canfield said. “You take your time. It’s more like, ‘Are you compatible?’ Not just: “Is this person attractive?” “
Canfield said she has been paired with two men since she started using the app next week. Greene said he had a game.
“It becomes less of an entertainment feature where you just get bored and just slip more of an intentional process,” Greene said. “You’re more likely to read profiles. I think that’s pretty important. You’re not always looking for the best alternative.”