Element is a brand new experience-first dating app that is set to launch in Charleston on Thursday, September 6th. To celebrate the launch of the new app, Element is throwing a launch party at Uptown Social at 587 King Street from 7 to 9pm on Thursday night. The Element team will be hosting several giveaways at the launch party, including a pair of tickets to Extra Chill Fest, which will take place on Saturday, September 8th at The Purple Buffalo.
According to Element founder Landon Sanford, the idea to create a dating app centered around events has roots in two specific experiences in his life. The first came while surfing out on Isle of Palms. Landon thought to himself, “Man, I would love to have a surfing date out here.” From there, he tried to figure out how to make something like that happen using traditional dating apps such as Tinder or Bumble, but the process of swiping through hundreds of profiles to find the right person to have a surfing date with was much too complicated.
“It’s much different to actually lead with, ‘Who wants to go surfing next weekend?'”, Landon says. “The people who are expressing interest in that are people who just want to go surfing.”
The next moment in Landon’s life that led to the founding of Element was a time when he was invited to an event in Washington, D.C., and was told to bring a date. The problem was, Landon didn’t know anyone in D.C., and so he had no way to find a date for the event. This was a disappointing moment for him, but it got the wheels turning in the direction of creating a solution for people who find themselves in these situations in the future.
“I just like doing certain things,” Landon continues. “I want to meet people who enjoy those things as well. I like experiences, I like getting out there, checking out new events or trying new food spots. I feel like that’s the way it should start. It should focus more on the commonality and the shared interests rather than the process we currently have.”
From there, Landon got to work on putting together a team to build and promote the app. He pitched Element at Techstars Startup Weekend last November, and it came in second place. He was able to meet more people through that who helped to bring life to the idea and further the app’s development. Over the past several months the Element team has been tuning and testing the app, and now it is finally ready for launch in Charleston.
So, how does it work?
There are two ways to use Element. For one, users can post an event that they’re interested in finding a date for, and potential dates can express interest. When a potential date expresses interest, users can connect and get to know each other before deciding to attend an event together. Element will also be featuring curated events for which users can express interest and see who else has expressed interest, and connect from there.
Element will be making its initial launch exclusively on iOS devices. For now, it will only be available for users in Charleston, but the team has plans to expand to other cities in the future. Landon also mentioned that in the future they would like to expand the capabilities of Element to allow users not only to find dates, but also to make platonic friends who have mutual interests.