The Scoop: OnSpeedDating began in 2008 because two NYC singles were tired of going to speed dating events and finding themselves surrounded by incompatible people. They decided to come up with a more targeted system that weeded out dating dealbreakers before the night even began. For instance, OnSpeedDating’s Founder Amber Soletti wanted to date tall men, so they organized an event called Size Matters where men had to be at least 6 feet tall to attend. Amber actually met her husband at one of these themed events in 2012. Today, OnSpeedDating hosts over 100 fun, controversial, and memorable events for all types of singles in New York City and Austin. Whether you’re turned on by curvy women or men in a uniform, you can sign up for one of these events to meet quality singles who measure up to your standards.
Amber Soletti didn’t get into the dating industry with any altruistic dreams or world-changing ambitions — she just wanted to find a quality date. In 2008, she and another single friend started hosting themed speed dating events in New York City in hopes of attracting the types of people they wanted to date.
They firmly believed having standards is a good and necessary part of dating, and so they created specific themes to narrow the dating pool to desirable types of people. From firefighters to blonde women, teachers to men with accents, these themes run the gamut and have become wildly popular. Turns out, many singles were tired of meeting a random assortment of people at general singles events and appreciated the opportunity to mingle in a targeted, quality-driven environment.
Amber came up with many inventive themes to suit people’s fantasies, including Hot For Teacher, Skinny Minny, More to Love, and Men With Accents Are Hot. Today, her company hosts over 100 types of events in New York City and Austin and has signed up over 60,000 members.
OnSpeedDating was the first US dating service to offer themed speed dating and categorize participants by something other than age and location. These events have taken off because daters enjoy having the freedom to be choosy and navigate a dating environment that suits their particular needs.
Over the last decade, OnSpeedDating has collected hundred of success stories, but the best success story comes from Amber herself. The company’s founder was at a Size Matters speed dating event in 2012 when she started chatting up a guy who was 6’6″. Amber is 5’9″ and has always been attracted to tall men, so it was the perfect fit right from the start. A midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve a few weeks later sealed the deal. Six months later, the couple moved to Austin (Amber’s hometown) and launched OnSpeedDating events in the capital city of Texas.
“We finally tied the knot on April Fools of this year, and on June 22nd we brought what will be our our first and only baby into the world,” she said. “We named her Nola. I am 42, so it just goes to show that it can happen for women at any age.”
Using Prerequisites to Narrow the NYC & Austin Dating Pools
OnSpeedDating has positioned itself as a quality-first dating solution for professional, city-dwelling singles who know exactly what they want. Its themed events weed out dealbreakers in appearance, political views, interests, professions, and other criteria to set participants up for success. Singles can go into these events confident that they’ll meet someone they find attractive — and that participants will find them attractive as well.
Amber said she is excited to roll out quality-controlled themes that raise the bar for singles events and create a more opportunity-rich lineup of men and women. Ranked Speed Dating is an invite-only event for the cream of the dating crop. All attendees must have attended an OnSpeedDating event in the past and had a minimum 25% match rate.
The OnSpeedDating team often screens participants to ensure they fit the theme and portray themselves accurately. Sometimes that means checking heights or dress sizes at the door. Other times it means reviewing submitted photos and approving the hottest singles in town for a Hot or Not event. Overall, OnSpeedDating attracts some of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in the area with promises of raising the bar in the dating scene.
In fact, the events even come with a guarantee. If participants don’t go on at least 10 mini-dates during the event, the next one is free. This guarantee incentivizes the team to hustle and ensure singles sign up for a dating adventure unlike any other.
Trendsetting & Edgy Events Capture Nationwide Attention
Recently, OnSpeedDating began hosting a Fleet Week Singles Mixer where single women can meet officers and gentlemen on leave in New York City. Amber said the company’s firefighter-themed Rescue Me events spurred the team to create more events for everyday heroes in uniform.
“There is something about a man in uniform,” she said. “I think some of the appeal with this particular event is there is no pressure for a relationship given the service men and women are in town for a week and then ship off.”
OnSpeedDating events aren’t always so wholesome though. The company’s reputation is based on its willingness to go outside the box and create a theme based on an attractive quality, and sometimes its ideas aren’t exactly politically correct. But that can be exactly what makes them so popular.
The speed dating company has created a buzz by launching Hung Speed Dating events for women who want a well-endowed man. What qualifies as well-endowed? Seven inches or bigger, according to the event description.
A man attending the Hung speed dating event would write his name and his size on his nametag. If a woman beds him and discovers he was lying about his equipment, she can report him to OnSpeedDating and he will be banned from all future events.
Over the summer, The New York Post did a feature story covering this event, and it promptly went viral as people debated the pros and cons of this extraordinarily daring theme.
Amber said that thanks to the news coverage, event signups have increased by 350% in the last few weeks. As controversial as it is, the Hung speed dating event has become one of the company’s most popular and stimulating themes.
A Staff of Outgoing Professionals Foster a Cool & Fun Vibe
What sets OnSpeedDating apart from its competition isn’t just its outrageous themes — it’s the generally fun and engaging atmosphere inspired by the themes.
Amber said she carefully selects the hosts for her events in New York City and Austin. She relies on these hosts to ensure the events are successful, so the ideal job candidate is a charismatic, organized, and assertive person with experience in the dating scene.
“We have a diverse team of hosts who are passionate about helping others find love,” she said. ” We’re currently fully staffed but always happy to take applications in the event a hosting spot opens up. We look for people who are outgoing, reliable and that enjoy meeting new people.”
The team includes stand-up comedians, podcasters, city tour guides, and indie film producers. Many OnSpeedDating staff members are single, and Amber allows them to date at their events. After all, that’s how she met her special guy. She refers to the opportunity to meet a wide range of eligible singles as “just one of the many perks of the job.”
OnSpeedDating hosts get a front seat to the antics of the speed daters, and its up to them to streamline the evening and maintain the high standards the company is known for.
This Dating Phenomenon Has Changed People’s Lives
Amber may have started OnSpeedDating with a self-interested mission statement, but her events spread like wildfire because of her intuitive understanding of what single people want. Her unique events captured the imagination of active daters, filling them with excitement and dreams of romance.
Attending a speed dating event isn’t just about a night’s entertainment. It’s about pursuing the kind of life you want. Amber understands that because that was her experience. In 2012, she met her soul mate at one of her own events, and now the happily married mother is passionate about helping other singles fall in love and start their families.
“Everything isn’t for everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with having preferences.” — Amber Soletti, Founder of OnSpeedDating
Her speed dating company offers New York City and Austin singles a more efficient and targeted way to date by organizing singles events themed around desirable characteristics. Rather than sift through a general dating pool, speed daters can mingle with a self-selected crowd who fit a certain type. Thanks to this streamlined system, singles can be honest about their preferences, establish mutual attraction, and get themselves out of a dating rut.
“Having myself lived as a single in NYC for over 10 years, I understand how hard dating can be and also how life-changing it is when you finally meet ‘the one,'” she said. “We don’t care so much for having an impact on the dating industry as we do about having an impact on people’s lives.”