Site helps entrepreneurs make a love connection

Site helps entrepreneurs make a love connection

By SHERYL JEAN / The Dallas Morning News
12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, May 10, 2009

There’s hope for the single entrepreneur.

Californian Connie Kelly just launched MatchmakingInc.com to help business owners too busy to meet people in typical social settings.

The Web site will connect Type-A personality entrepreneurs with other business owners who understand the challenges of running a company.

It’s not so unusual: Other niche dating sites cater to Mormons, pet lovers and skiers, among many others.

Kelly, who is married, got the idea after seeing friends and family members who are entrepreneurs struggle with dating. Her oldest son is a newly divorced 31-year-old entrepreneur.

"He’s balancing running his business with a 12-year-old daughter," Kelly said. "I see the pace he’s trying to keep, and that’s made it difficult to meet people and start dating again."

About 40 people have joined MatchmakingInc.com in the last two weeks, Kelly said. The site also plans to host in-person speed dating events in various cities, starting in the San Francisco area, she said.

The service costs $9.99 a month, but the site is offering a free 60-day trial membership.

Richardson entrepreneur Eric Grossman said he’d check out MatchmakingInc.com.

"If they’re entrepreneurs or a businessperson, they have goals and might have their act together," said Grossman, who’s divorced with kids. "It’s one thing you don’t have going for you when you’re an entrepreneur – a lot of time to meet ladies. I don’t go to bars."

MatchmakingInc.com debuts as the online dating scene faces competition from 1,500 sites.

Some are free.

Earlier this year, Dallas-based Match.com launched a free site called downtoearth.com to target 18- to 24-year-olds, spokesman John Walls said. Match.com has more than 15 million members.

U.S. online dating revenue rose 4 percent to $948 million in 2008 and is expected to grow 3 percent this year, according to Marketdata Enterprises Inc.

Timing could be on MatchmakingInc.com’s side.

"With the recession, it seems more people are looking for a mate to get through it," Marketdata research director John LaRosa said. "Anytime there’s a crisis, like 9/11, people look for a bond and we see an increase" in online dating.

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