Sparkology | Press Kit | New York's Most Exclusive Dating Site

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Sparkology is an elite and innovative dating experience that caters to young and successful professionals in the Greater New York metropolitan area.

We’ve witnessed online dating sites devolve courtship over the last decade. Their business models encouraged singles from all walks of life to play a numbers game where messages became increasingly impersonal and inboxes became cluttered with the equivalent of “dating junkmail”.

In contrast, Sparkology was founded on the belief that young professional singles deserve a better way to meet new people. Accordingly, we’ve created a platform where modern singles can create meaningful relationships within an exclusive community targeting the city’s most ambitious, creative, and successful young professionals.

We have completely re-engineered the business model of online dating by tackling (i) quality (ii) interaction dynamics and (iii) social discovery to deliver a powerful value proposition to our refined user base.

Sparkology also works hard to help members transition naturally from online to in-person interactions. City concierges offer ideas for fresh and innovative dates. We offer exciting experience-based events where members and their guests can mingle in a casual, no pressure atmosphere. Lastly, advice columns written by dating professionals answer any member inquiries.

By entirely changing the matchmaking model and focusing on the unique needs of young professionals in major cities, we are disrupting the dating market. It’s time to evolve.

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Sparkology | Press Kit | New York's Most Exclusive Dating Site

  1. 1. Pes i r Kt s21 01
  2. 2. Backgrounder Backgrounder What is Sparkology? Sparkology is an elite and innovative dating experience that caters to young and successful professionals in the metropolitan scene. We’ve witnessed online dating sites devolve courtship over the last decade. Their business models encouraged singles from all walks of life to play a numbers game where messages became increasingly impersonal and inboxes became cluttered with the equivalent of “dating junkmail”. We believe that young professional singles deserve a better way to meet new people. We provide a platform where modern singles can create meaningful relationships within an exclusive community targeting the city’s most ambitious, creative, and successful young professionals. We have completely re-engineered the business model of online dating by tackling (i) quality (ii) interaction dynamics and (iii) social discovery to deliver a powerful value proposition to our refined user base. i. All of Sparkology’s men are verified grads of top universities. This means that women don’t have to put up with a barrage of messages from unqualified men. Similarly, men only interact with women who value their drive for success. To further regulate the quality of our user base , our service is invite-only – only the city’s most socially connected singles can get access ii. A truly innovative model whereby men use the “Spark Pack,” which is virtual currency to initiate conversations that eliminates unwanted impersonal e-mails. Women receive meaningful interactions from men that are genuinely interested, while men no longer need to spam dozens of profiles to get a response iii. Behavioral algorithms know you better than you know yourself – even with just a simple one- page profile. Rather than force you to fill out tedious personal questionnaires, we monitor every action that every member makes. Just like Pandora or Netflix help you discover music and movies, Sparkology helps you find your perfect match We also work hard to help members transition naturally from online to in-person interactions. City concierges offer ideas for fresh and innovative dates. We also offer exciting experience-based events where members and their guests can mingle in a casual, no pressure atmosphere. Lastly, advice columns written by dating professionals answer any member inquiries. By entirely changing the matchmaking model and focusing on the unique needs of young professionals in major cities, we are disrupting the dating market. It’s time to evolve. What Sparked Us? Sparkology founder, Alex Furmansky, has dealt with the laborious task of using other online dating sites, but nothing met his standards. Since graduating with two degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Alex has enjoyed a successful career in finance and entrepreneurship, and maintains a tremendously busy social calendar. However, after Alex moved to New York City after college, he was shocked by the overwhelming lack of options for meeting high-quality singles.
  3. 3. He quickly realized that bars and clubs, the quintessential hubs of social interaction, created an oddBackgrounder phenomenon – without any background knowledge of the prospective date, every interaction was a game. Over and over, women had to fend of single-minded suitors while men circled their prey like vultures. Standards would diminish throughout the evening and plummet at last call, perpetuating a cycle of instant gratification and long-term emptiness. Alex had an idea to change the game. The rise of online dating sites offered an alternative venue for matchmaking, but he was not impressed. After joining both free and paid dating services, Alex discovered that the broken system was only amplified in the online setting. Alex held focus groups, where it became increasingly apparent that the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes were disgusted with the lack of quality in the online venues. Riding the wave of support from serious investors, he quit his job and resolved to redefine an industry. Alex and a team of developers, creative directors, graphic designers, marketing advisors, VC advisors, social media and algorithm experts developed the world’s most innovative online dating experience. Sparkology was born. Dating was evolved. Sparkology Natural Selection. Evolved.
  4. 4. Sparkology’s Team Sparkology’s Team Sparkology was formed by a group of young professionals who were disenchanted by the existing matchmaking options. We have lived (and conquered) the bar and club scene. We have also made the rounds through both the big box online dating venues and the supposed elite exclusive sites. The same sleaze that made us roll our eyes at the clubs permeated throughout the online venues. Sparkology puts all the trendiest, hottest, and most ambitious singles in a given city in one fun place. And we create a dynamic that naturally eliminates impersonal messages and subpar candidates. We also believe that existing platforms have dehumanized courtship into one-night hookups that leave people emotionally empty. We believe in the modern lady and gentleman. Life is a collection of experiences... experiences that become more meaningful and fulfilling when shared with someone incredible. We are not conservative, we are not bible-thumpers, and we are not preaching marriage – we are just ready for something more beautiful than a 2AM drunken hookup that youll question the next morning . Alex Furmansky – Head Spark As the companys visionary, Alex lives, breathes, and (much to the demise of this personal life) sleeps Sparkology. When not meeting with the press, upgrading the website, or personally reaching out to our members, he spends his time on the ground in Sparkology cities to educate and induct new members into our community. With two degrees from UPenn, investment banking at UBS and Evercore Partners, and business development for OpenPeak under his belt, its hard to keep him out of the weeds of operations. He loves entertaining guests both out on the town and on his sailing yacht, where speed is measured in champagne bottles per hour. A romantic at heart, Alex appreciates a bottle of wine, a tango, and two- person hammock. Julia Meyer – Director of Marketing and Communications Julia hustles the streets and phone lines to ensure members are getting the most out of their Sparkology experience. After graduating from California State University with a Bachelors degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Business, she decided she was ready to leave the relaxed California lifestyle behind and move to The Big Apple. She continued her education and graduated Cum Laude from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications. For the past several years, Julia has had experience working with many luxury brands including Stella McCartney, BCBG Max Azria, David Yurman, and Bacara Resorts. When she’s not working on Sparkology, she can probably be found wandering the streets of Soho looking for her next big purchase- whether it’s artwork, shoes, or accessories. (Yet, she swears she doesnt have a shopping addiction!)
  5. 5. Sparkology’s Team Nichole Salva – VP of Communications Nichole is in charge of increasing the visibility and reputation of Sparkology. She spearheads our media outreach and business development. Securing partnerships with influential organizations to ensure our members have access to exclusive events and deals throughout the city. She has a masters degree from New York University in Public Relations and Communications but her heart remains with her alma mater the University of Florida - Go Gators! Nichole is a "reformed" partygirl who parlayed her nightlife experience into job as a brand ambassador for some of the biggest liquor brands such as Ketel One, Don Julio, and Tanqueray. She is a proud Brooklynite and believes that sometimes love is found in unexpected places...including the internet. Jonathan Gale – Director of Social Media Relations & Content Development [Jonathan was too busy tweeting to write his bio] Andrey Gorbunov - Web Dev Guru Andrey spends all his time building out Sparkology and expanding our features in response to customer feedback... he hasn’t seen the sun in a while. But, don’t worry; we have him on a regular diet of pizza and Red Bull. Mike Sacco – Spark in Training (Intern) Mike Sacco is a senior in the graduating class of 2012 at Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He was elected President of the National Honor Society, Vice President the French National Honor Society, Head Director of the school’s podcast, and participates with his schools Academic Teams. As an intern at Sparkology, Mike engages in marketing, product strategy, corporate communications, and research and development projects. When he finds himself in a free moment, he enjoys following style blogs, tinkering with his Android phone, practicing parkour, traveling, taking road trips, and adventuring; his escapes into the world are often excuses to plan out business ideas.
  6. 6. Fact SheetFact Sheet What is Sparkology? Sparkology is an elite online dating experience serving young professionals in New York City. The company is revolutionizing an industry fraught with low standards and dirty business practices by respecting members busy lives and upholding their high dating standards. How is Sparkology different? • Sparkology focuses on quality over quantity. • All of Sparkology’s men are verified grads of top universities. This means that women don’t have to put up with a barrage of messages from unqualified men. Similarly, men only interact with women who value their drive for success • To further regulate the quality of our user base , our service is invite-only – only the city’s most socially connected singles can get access • An innovative pricing model whereby, men do not pay a monthly membership fee, but pay to initiate conversations. Women receive meaningful interactions from men that are genuinely interested, while men no longer need to spam dozens of profiles to get a response • Behavioral algorithms that know you better than you know yourself. • Enhances the dating experience by providing exclusive access to content and hands-on coaches within a member’s city Who are Sparkology’s members? Single, modern, and successful professionals under 45. Where does Sparkolgy operate? Sparkolgy was created for young professionals in metropolitan areas. Sparkology is headquartered and operating in New York City with plans to expand to Boston, Chicago and San Francisco within the next year. As Sparkology continues to grow so will its footprint. Why was Sparkology created? Sparkology was founded in 2011 by Ivy-league graduate, Alex Furmansky with a belief that young professional singles deserve a better way to meet each other. Bars and clubs, the quintessential hubs of social interaction, created an odd phenomenon – without any background knowledge of the prospective date, every interaction was a game. The rise of online dating sites offered an alternative venue for matchmaking, but he realized that the constructs of current online dating companies merely amplified the gripes faced in bars and nightclubs. Alex held focus groups, where it became increasingly apparent that the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in our demographic had consistent concerns that could not be met by a mass-market dating site. Riding the wave of support from serious investors, he quit his job and resolved to redefine an industry. Sparkology was born. Dating was evolved.
  7. 7. Corporate FAQsCorporate FAQs What’s with the name “Sparkology”? Sparkology is derived from (i) “sparks” that magically erupt when two people have the right chemistry and (ii) “ology” relating to the many months of analysis, development, and customer input that went into our platform unlike our run-of-the-mill competition. We are incredibly proud of our services and aim to deliver the best dating experience in the world. How did you come up with the idea for Sparkology? Alex had been toying with the idea of an elite dating venue since his days at Penn. Alex’s girl and guy friends continually grumbled about the meatmarket atmosphere at bars/clubs and the discouraging experiences on existing dating sites. After years of listening to these complaints, he decided to put his education, experience, and ambition towards creating an elite community where the best, brightest, and most desirable young professionals can meet each other in a clean, classy environment. Sparkology is also an avenue for him to promote his belief in the modern lady and gentleman. While most guys were doing keg stands, Alex was showing up with flowers and a bottle of wine. Sparkology is not a website, it is a classy community that promotes self-improvement, chivalry, and turning sparks of attraction into something meaningful. Why doesn’t Sparkology allow filtering by more fields? Like interests, pets, body type, etc.? Focus groups, feedback from customers, and industry research reveal some interesting themes: 1. Chemistry is paramount. Beyond a few very intrinsic needs, there is little correlation between what people say they desire and the kind of person they actually date. 2. For our smart user base, checkboxes make it too easy to game the system. Guys know that marking off “cooking”, “dancing”, and “romantic dinners” as interests are sure crowd favorites. 3. Marking a checkbox prompt is too easy. For example, even if a person is only partially interested in tennis, they would check off that box. With Sparkology, this person would have to proactively write about their tennis game in their About Me section, thus indicating a much more authentic interest in that sport. Why is there no personality test? Ever wondered why no dating website will allow a neutral 3 rd party to study the success rate of their algorithm versus a control group? Or why no dating site files a public patent to protect their “proven” formula? We legally can’t discredit them, but we’re highly suspicious of their success claims. If a true, uniform matchmaking algorithm existed, the whole world would be using it by now. We’d have “matchmaking clinics” where supercomputers would automatically match you with your ideal partner. However, we believe that you, our human client, are far too complex to be predicted by a personality test. In fact, our belief is that these sites use the unverified personality test only to support their high prices. Instead of taking away hours of your day to answer silly questions, we utilize a free market system that dynamically shows the best candidates for you in your city.
  8. 8. Corporate FAQs How does Sparkology’s matching algorithm work? While we cannot reveal all of our secret sauce to protect our system from unsavory individuals attempting to game the system, we can say that we use a free market algorithm that dynamically displays the most highly-qualified candidates for you in your city. We studied how clients measure the success of a dating website and defined our algorithm around those metrics to ensure optimal member satisfaction. Don’t believe us? Log in and try for yourself! Hint: The more time you spend on the site, the better your results. What is your refund policy? What if I am not satisfied with the service? Nearly all dating websites have a strict no refund policy. We are NOT like other dating sites. Rather than luring in members and hoping to swipe their cards before they can get away, we actually believe in our product. Simply call or email customer service within 24 hours of placing an order for a full, no-hassle refund. Our only request is that you tell us why you are leaving the site, so that we can continually improve customer experiences because we are passionate about creating the best dating experience in the world and would love to know how we can improve our service. How do you make money? What is your business model? Sparkology’s primary revenue stream comes from female membership dues and male Spark Pack purchases. Additional future revenue will come from premium services, such as SafeSMS or Professional Photo Services. Who is Maddie Sparks? Maddie is Sparkology’s official Maltese mascot. Normally quite hyper, Maddie struts like a proper lady when donning her Sparkology dress. What future enhancements do you expect to your service? We are incredibly proud of the many things we’re working on to improve your dating experience! Some features currently in our Lab are: (i) mobile applications for iPhone and Android (ii) additional ways of showcasing one’s accomplishments beyond just collegiate affiliation (iii) discounts on local goods and activities in your area to help reduce the cost of your next date. More features and enhancements are added daily in response to your feedback – however, Sparkology will always maintain a clean and intuitive website so we typically err on the side of simplicity. How do you expect to survive in such a crowded market? How does Mercedes survive in such a crowded auto market? By delivering a quality product and focusing on customer service. Sure, there are thousands of swindlers claiming to run a dating service., but none have the same level of customer focus, ingenuity, and exclusivity to properly cater to young professionals in today’s metropolitan centers. We believe our elite positioning and want our customers to have the absolute best experiences that they can have. I used up all of my referrals – how can I get more? Why do you limit them? You were invited to join Sparkology because someone thought you would help elevate the quality of our membership pool. Please respect our high standards and select your most eligible friends for your limited invites.
  9. 9. Sparkology is a high-quality experience. If we open the floodgates, Sparkology would quicklyCorporate FAQs deteriorate into the riff raff found on general dating websites. We don’t want millions of members – we want tens of thousands of quality candidates. I have a great guy friend who did not graduate from a top school. How can he join? Please drop us a quick note to admissions@Sparkology.com with his name and email address and we’ll follow up with him. Our female members applaud our university-based screen, but we know that it’s not perfect. We are currently exploring additional options to let non-accredited men join the site, including allowing girls to vote on a man’s entry or enabling girls to vote on the admittance of additional schools. Why did you limit the men to be graduates of the Top 30 schools? The top concern listed by women who had tried online dating services before was the lack of quality among male candidates found on those sites. The women on Sparkology are not looking for a one-night stand with a bus boy – they are looking for a real gentleman. While there are exceptions to every rule, men who attended prestigious universities typically possess some or all of the following traits: Intelligence Motivation/ambition Financial independence Good long-term values Good family/pedigree Again, we cannot guarantee that every man you meet on Sparkology will be “the one”, but the difference between our candidate pool and the pools on other sites is literally night and day. Why is pricing different for men and women? We know it’s shocking to some, but men and women are (gasp) different! They have different motivations, social norms, and qualms when it comes to dating. Our unique pricing structure exists to increase the quality of interactions between men and women. And while we encourage women to proactively message men, the majority of initial messages still originates with the guys. Since every man ascribes a tangible value to each outgoing message, men are dissuaded from sending out a barrage of boilerplate messages. Instead, each message is crafted uniquely to the recipient. Because of our pricing structure, men have a higher response rate and women get more meaningful interactions. Why are entry requirements different for men and women? Our greatest concern is the user experience - it is not about being politically correct. The number one complaint we got from women who had used other dating sites was the dearth of tasteless male candidates. Let’s face it: on average, the motivations faced by men and women when looking for a relationship are slightly different. Yes, there are of course exceptions to every rule – there are plenty of successful women who are happy to have relationships with men regardless of their socioeconomic, intellectual, ambitious, or similar societal merits. But by and large, the sophisticated, trendy, successful, young, professional women on Sparkology have a higher standard for their dates.
  10. 10. How were you able to get so many amazing people on your website?Corporate FAQs Well... nothing wrong with a shameless plug every once in a while... we couldn’t help ourselves :) Do you perform background checks on your members? While we continue to explore the legal and customer service issues surrounding background checks, we currently do not perform such automated inspections on our users. Based on our thorough research, we have concluded that the local databases containing criminal records are often stale and inaccurate. In addition, to do a complete background check we would need to gather highly sensitive information (including social security numbers, addresses over the last 5 years, etc.),which our members would not want to divulge. Also, note that these databases will produce many false positives. In some municipalities, public urination is a sex offence – so that one time in college that you really had to go would forbid you from our site. There are also cases where common names (i.e., John Smith) get mistaken for sex offenders. Can you imagine the embarrassment of getting an email notifying you that you were rejected because you were a sex offender?? Finally, note that malicious people will always find a way around any background check by simply providing a false name/address/etc. In this case, the potential victim would have let his/her guard down because of the false sense of safety offered by background checks. At the end of the day, only our members can guarantee their safety. Please be smart in your dating habits by meeting in public places and by not exchanging personal information early in the conversation. While we cater to a high-end, exclusive community, there may always be a rotten apple. If something doesn’t feel right, please contact the authorities immediately. And, of course, make sure to report any suspicious users via the Report Abuse button on the person’s profile or the Date Feedback button in the messaging area. How can I speak to Alex? The real question is: how can Alex speak to you? He loves speaking directly to customers! Just call our toll free customer service number and ask for him. If he is not immediately available, we promise he’ll get back to you quickly. How can I book Alex for a speaking opportunity, panel discussion, or interview? Alex’s public appearances and interviews are scheduled by our PR staff. Please email Matt at mklingbeil@schwartz.com with your request and we’ll get back to you quickly. If urgent, you may also try our customer service line and ask to speak with him directly. What do you offer besides introduction services? We believe our members should be treated like royalty. Besides just pairing you up with a fantastic catch, we publish cool sample dating itineraries in your city. We also have fun blogs where members can get tips on topics ranging from personal grooming to opening a fine wine. In the near future, we’ll begin to offer professional profile photography, profile editing, and even a personal dating concierge. As we grow, we’ll work with local restaurants, nightclubs, casual sports venues, museums, and other date places to get members discounts. More than anything, we’ll evolve our set of services around the feedback we receive from our customers. Does Sparkology serve the Gay/Lesbian community? Sparkology fully supports the LGBT community (woooot NYC!!!). However, at this point we do not specifically offer services for this community. In the future, this is an opportunity that we would like to serve as we expand.
  11. 11. Screen Shots Screen Shots Login Page: Registration: Profile 1:
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  13. 13. Press Release SPARKOLOGY HOSTS OFFICIAL LAUNCH PARTY Sparkology to offer members once in a lifetime opportunity to put their best face forward NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 20, 2011) – Sparkology is not only improving the online dating industry but also improving members’ online dating profiles. Profile photos are the most important part of your online dating profile, but most people have difficulty finding the right picture to represent themselves. Common faux pas include group photo crops, photos taken in the mirror, or a photo that’s out of date. So, as the cornerstone of its launch event on Saturday, October 22, Sparkology will offer new members and their guests an opportunity take high quality profile pictures with a professional NYC photographer. Founder and president of Sparkology, Alex Furmansky, elaborated, “We recognize that finding the perfect online dating profile picture can be tough, so we want to provide our members with everything they need to put their best foot forward.” The event, taking place at a posh lounge and terrace, will include: • Photographs by Hannah Palmer Egan and Olivia Hall of Caras TriBeCa • Make-up by Melissa DiScala and Daniela Baldor • Liquor sponsored by Voli Vodka and Blue State Beer Alex said, “This event is truly unique because it allows us to give back to our inaugural members while also encouraging them to meet and mingle offline. We are not just another online-only dating site – we are an exclusive community determined to raise the bar for young professional singles in our city.” It’s not too late to get an invite for this event. Register at www.Sparkology.com and you will be given all the details of the party. About Sparkology: Founded in 2011, Sparkology is an elite and innovative dating experience that caters to young and successful professionals in the New York City area. Sparkology was created to revolutionize an industry by placing an emphasis on quality over quantity. For additional information, please visit www.Sparkology.com. facebook.com/sparkology twitter.com/sparktips blog.sparkology.com

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