Business, Central New York, Consumer, Feature, Technology

CNY Women Create Dating App

By Amika Osumi, SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Who says millennials are the only ones that can master social media Apps?

Michele Shannon and Pat Deferio are both moms, both work in insurance, and are both in their fifties.

Now, these two local women are also co-founders of a dating smartphone App called “Cut to The Chase.”

“We’re not the demographic that you would normally expect to be developing an app, you know, especially a dating App,” said Deferio.

These two friends met when they were 16-years-old.

They worked at the Friendly’s Ice Cream that used to be off Route 57.

“We started on the same day,” said Deferio.

After high school, their friendship survived through college, family, and jobs, but they didn’t always communicate when life got busy.

However, a couple years ago the two old friends ran into each other in a parking lot in Syracuse and reconnected immediately.

That’s about the time the idea for “Cut to the Chase” was born.

The two reunited friends both went through divorces and were unsatisfied with dating website options.

Deferio said she had some frustrating experiences.

“So I went on E-harmony and I filled out this thing that literally took me 45 minutes for me to get through, I hit send or submit, and it comes back with a thing that says, ‘Sorry, we can’t match you,’ Deferio recounted.

However, Pat realized she made a mistake; She thought a question had asked how many years she had been married so she put 30, but it had actually asked how many times she was married.

“So I went back in, changed it to one, and got through the rest of it, another 45 minutes, hit submit,” she said. “It came back, ‘Sorry, we can’t match you’ and I’m like, are you kidding me?”

It turns out E-Harmony didn’t allow users with “separated” statuses to create profiles.

Deferio was frustrated that the site didn’t notify her of that rule before she answered their lengthy profile questionnaire.

Shannon and Deferio decided that they were going to do something about their online dating options.

They went through several dating sites and picked what they liked and disliked.

They said they really wanted to create an easy-to-use App.

“So we wanted to build something very simple, just get to the point!,” said Shannon. “Tinder is very too the point, but it’s more of a hook-up App, where ours is a little deeper than that.”

They pitched their idea to The Tech Garden, a Syracuse start-up Hub that helps entrepreneurs build their businesses.

They were then invited to be affiliates of the Tech Garden. This helped them connect with people who could help them turn their idea into an actual App.

Their App is now labeled as “Coming Soon” in the Apple App store.

It includes features like allowing users to take pictures in App, post six-second profile videos, video chat, and use simple icons to represent their interests.

They wanted users to take pictures within the App is so the pictures are current and to have video options to capture personality.

The friends hope “Cut to the Chase” will debut this summer, but they said they need more investors to make that possible.

“Ultimately the goal is nationwide,” said Shannon.

They plan for the App to start off free of charge to anyone in the U.S.

Deferio said she’ll use the App herself when it debuts.

“I’m busy, I have a day job, you know, and I don’t want to spend my time looking for someone the way I’ve had to so far,” she said.

Eventually, Deferio and Shannon hope to donate some of the proceeds from the App to a local charity in Syracuse.