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10 April 2013

Entrepreneur creates collaboration website

Senior Steven Reubenstone created the professional counterpart to the popular dating website eHarmony.com with Collaborizm.

“Collaborizm is a lot like eHarmony in the sense that, except we’re matching collaborators instead of romantic partners,” he said.

With the help of the LaunchPad, Reubenstone created Collaborizm, which matches prospective entrepreneurs together.

The word “Collaborizm” is a combination of the words “mechanism” and “collaborate.”

Reubenstone found that social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn are inefficient and impractical because they introduce people, but do not offer a platform for collaboration.

“Introduction isn’t collaboration,” he said. “It’s just the precursor.”

Similar to eHarmony and other online dating services, Collaborizm connects people based on their skill sets, age, lifestyle, proximity and education-level.

Collaborizm is meant to be playful and creative, but simultaneously have proper functionalities such as uploading, downloading, messaging and even setting up intellectual property contracts and agreements among collaborators.

Reubenstone said that his major in mechanical engineering inspired him to develop Collaborizm.

“It was difficult for me to find and collaborate with different types of engineers on campus, let alone find a business or art student in my proximity,” he said. “This solves that problem.”

Reubenstone unveiled Collaborizm for the first time at the South by SouthWest (SXSW) conference in March.

“We had a great response,” he said. “About 500 people could see the platform and play with it.”

But Reubenstone is working with the LaunchPad to determine Collaborizm’s target audience.

“You need to market to a specific group of people and show how it’s going to provide value for them,” said Will Silverman, director of the LaunchPad.

Reubenstone said that this target market could include a young entrepreneur like himself, or a 38-year-old engineer looking to collaborate with a young artist, for example.

“We want to learn who our ideal customer base will be when we first launch,” Reubenstone said.

Collaborizm may even be useful to other users of the LaunchPad.

“We promote the idea that entrepreneurship is a legitimate career choice, regardless of your major,” Silverman said. “You don’t need to work for employers if you have idea you can make a job for yourself.”

Collaborizm has not officially launched but is taking registrants’ email addresses on the website Collaborizm.com for those who are interested in participating in the beta phase launch in two months.