Zach Dell has created not just another dating app, but one that even a mother (and a father) could love. The 17 year old entrepreneur is the son of Michael Saul Dell, founder of Dell computers. What makes Zach’s dating app different from other dating apps is that it is designed to connect college students, many from the same institution of higher learning, and reduces harassment from strangers, sleeze and multiple hooking up characteristic of less well-regulated dating apps. Thread, the name of the app, is quite strict about how many potential matches a user can add in a day and clamps down on inappropriate “hitting on” other users. Keeping networks within the category of college students and within certain areas eliminates the wasted time of connecting with someone far away or out of one’s age range.
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Although his father was on Forbes’ list of billionaires, and in 2012, was rated as the 41th richest man in the world, Zach said his father hasn’t invested in Thread, because both father and son want Zach to make his own way with his business. Zach recalled fondly early ventures as a 10 year old into selling missing golf balls and another project of starting a sports summer camp, but Thread may be the “real deal” business. Zach and the Thread management team raised a half a million dollars in seed money to develop the technology. The CEO is Lander Coronado Garcia, formerly of Meritful, and Eric Simone, CEO of Clearblade, is a mentor for the project.
While Michael Dell, who took his own company of the same name private in 2013 (Dell is his family name, Anglicized from the Yiddish “Thal” for valley), has let his son Zach secure his own funding for Thread, he is always prepared to give his son advice. Zach Dell told SiliconHills:
My dad has been a huge help on the advice side. What he understands is that for me to learn I’m going to have to make a lot of mistakes. If I make a decision, he’ll tell me what he thinks but he will never tell me I have to change it.