This has been a monumental year for the makers of DormChat, an app launched in March that enables college students at more than 200 universities across the country to communicate and connect with students around them, in real time. Students at New Jersey schools Rutgers University, NJIT, Princeton University, Kean University, TCNJ and Caldwell College have signed up to use the location-based app.
Anyone can download DormChat for free using an iPhone or an Android. However, users need a valid, school-issued email address to log into the app. Once registered, college students can use the app to connect with other DormChat users in the area. Want to share your opinion about an event you just attended or a class you took? Perhaps you want to meet fellow students with similar interests. Maybe you know breaking news you want to share with the world. In what can be described as a hybrid between Twitter and message boards, DormChat allows students to post quick updates to a forum for other users within a three-mile radius.
DormChat got a major boost last month when ff Venture Capital announced that it was investing in the company. DormChat is headquartered at ff Venture Capital’s office in Hoboken. Last year, the EDA approved an investment of $2.5 million in one of three venture capital funds that ff Venture Capital currently manages. These funds are focused on seed and early stage investments in enterprise and consumer based technology companies. The EDA routinely helps increase available capital for emerging technology companies by investing as a limited partner in venture capital firms. Funds in which the EDA invest demonstrate an ability to leverage the Authority’s investment with other investment dollars. Gains resulting from these investments are utilized to offer new funding opportunities to support New Jersey businesses. In total, EDA has approved investments in 12 venture funds in excess of $40 million; to date, these funds have leveraged the EDA’s investment in New Jersey businesses by more than 62 times.
Q & A with DormChat Founder Adam Michalski
How will the investment from ff Venture Capital help DormChat grow?
We’ll be using the funds to improve our iOS & Android products, as well as to scale our team.
In a field rich with competition, what makes DormChat unique among its competitors?
Yik Yak is by far our closest competitor but we’re actually creating more of a communication platform that’s entirely conversation focused. Yik Yak’s product design makes it possible for people post all types of noise and, from what we’re seeing, there’s massive demand to just be able to simply chat and connect with the people around you.
Some key differences are that with DormChat you can post using a profile or an anonymous handle, share photos, and start direct messages. It’s really more of a localized Twitter.
What is DormChat’s biggest success to date?
We’ve been really proud of our launch. So far students from over 425+ colleges around the world have signed up and 15 campuses have already been unlocked (DormChat requires 125 student from a college to signup prior to ‘Unlocking’ the application). We’re very excited for what’s to come.
What’s on the horizon for DormChat?
We’re off to a nice start and are working around the clock to make sure we’re creating the easiest way for people to communicate and connect locally. We have a lot of cool stuff we’re building that we can’t wait to share. Stay tuned for updates!