Startup City Magazine

RoommateFit: Bad Roommates are History

"My roommate and I had nothing in common except we played hockey in high school," recalls Justin Mares, founder of RoommateFit "It was so bad I almost applied to another university. Fortunately, I had such a good time my sophomore year I ended up staying.” as reported by

It was this experience that led the successful startup entrepreneur to the idea of this startup.

"He was unhappy and antisocial, the classic horrible roommate," recalls Mares, 22. "It really showed me how a bad match impacted the experience I had at school.” as reported by

Campuses, libraries and academics are what we consider but another important fact is that your luck with your roommate is another element that determines how your life in college is going to be. This is where RoommateFit comes into the picture to help you make the perfect decision.

The questionnaires provided to students were not helpful enough, as observed by Justin Mares who began to wish for a technology similar to online dating sites. This is where he came across the idea of forming this startup.

"Schools are concerned about retention, and this is one tool that can help increase student satisfaction," he says.

The questionnaire here is a detailed one, made perfect after having worked in collaborated with a psychologist. Various personality traits like conscientiousness and verbal aggression are also measured here.

"Students put a lot of emphasis on who their roommate will be and want a level of compatibility and control over the process," says Jneanne Hacker, associate director of residential housing at Ohio University, which was the first to agree to be a part of the project. "With 8,000 students, there is no way we could profile … and match them appropriately."

Contracts were made with three schools namely Northern Kentucky University, Southern Polytechnic State University and the Ohio University.

After having conducted a survey, it was found by Mares that 40 percent of students having used the site were satisfied with their newfound roommates.

"Hearing comments like, 'I love my roommate and couldn't be happier that we were matched' is so rewarding," he says. "Especially knowing what I went through." 

 Its first funding was made by the startup incubator AlphaLab. The software is licensed at a fee of $2 o3 in schools.

The software is soon to be extended beyond the level of universities, with a consumer version that can help people in San Fransisco and New York.

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