StartUp Showcase: Team Kindler Pilots App to Help College Students Connect

StartUp Showcase: Team Kindler Pilots App to Help College Students Connect

Image of Team Kindler

Members of Team Kindler (l-r): Angelica McAfee ’22, Carlos Ponce ’22, Kristen Oliger ’22, Caroline Neilson ’22, Nicholas Costanzo ’21, and Rachel Jacobson ’22.

Six computer science majors from the School of Engineering will pitch their Kindler app at the 2021 StartUp Showcase on April 28.

With social distancing measures in place, college students have adapted their day-to-day interactions with one another on many levels. Experiencing first-hand the impact that the pandemic has had on students, a group of six computer science engineers from Fairfield's School of Engineering has developed an app that helps college students form friendships based on common interests.

Team Kindler is one of five teams that will pitch its business idea to investors for seed money at this year’s Fairfield StartUp Showcase on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Kindler is a stress-free solution for college students to meet new people and make friends, using an algorithm that matches them with other students who have the same passions and hobbies.

The team of six first met last semester in their software engineering class and is comprised of: Nicholas Costanzo ’21, Rachel Jacobson ’22, Angelica McAfee ’22, Caroline Neilson ’22, Kristen Oliger ’22, and Carlos Ponce ’22.

As computer science majors, these engineering students have a different curricular focus each year. First-year students focus on coding; as sophomores they engage in service learning projects, and then as juniors the focus shifts to entrepreneurship. During last semester's software engineering class, the group was tasked with developing a business idea.

“We wanted to develop something that could help first-years make friends,” said Neilson. “We know how different it has been for them and we wanted to help."

The Kindler app will use an algorithm the team is developing to match students who have similar interests and hobbies, based on a series of questions users will answer when they first download the app. To take it a step beyond similar apps, Kindler will allow students to schedule meet ups, for example to grab a cup of coffee. The team believes the app could also be used among students for things such as finding a roommate, or for new-student orientation.

Save the date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 to watch the Kindler team make its pitch to investors at this year’s Fairfield StartUp Showcase and vote for the audience favorite at

Fairfield StartUp Showcase

Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Time: Tune in all day.
Location: Online

Additional Details:

Tune in to watch the video series that will document each team’s journey, showcase the excitement as teams make their pitches, and reveal feedback from the investors.

Tags:  Dolan School,  Top Stories


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