FuzeMee comes to Wake Forest University

Designed by a Wake Forest student, this app seeks to help students connect through an accessible platform


Courtesy of Fuzemee

From right to left, Jon Krouse, Chris Tsetsekos and David Graham have dedicated the past several years to designing and testing Fuzemee before launching it to the public.

Chase Bagnall-Koger, Features Editor

 As classrooms fill up with new students and clubs begin their beginning-of-year recruitment with their posters and brightly-colored club fair tents, new students are bombarded with a variety of interesting yet disconnected ways to become ingrained in the elusive ‘college community.’

Different extracurricular groups around campus use various social media platforms, ranging from Instagram to Discord to GroupMe — to reach students who are overwhelmed by the amount of content coming at them from all digital directions. The same can be true for prospective students who are interested in seeing what a school may have to offer. 

“I would definitely say there is a lot of room for improvement in gaining a feel for the schools you are interested in,” high school senior Maia Bertheir said. “Non school-affiliated platforms like Instagram have been helpful, but it still feels like there are things that we are missing.”

To address this issue, Wake Forest sophomore Jon Krouse and his co-founders created FuzeMee, an app that seeks to centralize this information in one place by combining aspects of advertising with the ability for current and prospective students to connect with each other. 

“The idea is to create a centralized college micro-community for students so that they can have the best possible experience during their years in school,” Krouse said. 

The all-in-one platform allows students to find (both school-wide and club-specific) events, chat with people who may have shared interests, and search for a potential roommate by filling out the roommate questionnaire included in the app. 

Users can “filter” through other users with a variety of categories, such as majors, interests and extracurriculars in order to find people that with whom may be compatible even before physically being on campus. 

“Looking back on my college experience, I wonder if there have been groups that I would have been involved with as an underclassman if I had known about them,” senior Ted Middleton said. “I feel like this app can really help a lot of people find their footing.”

The idea for the program was originally developed by three high school friends — Chris Tsetsekos, Krouse and David Graham. After committing to three different universities, they were all encouraged to join Facebook pages for rising freshmen that Krouse described as “large and impersonal;” it was difficult for them to get more immersed in their respective schools and form connections with other incoming students.

“We started discussing a problem that we were encountering because that’s how all the best ideas start — by noticing an issue and finding a solution,” Krouse said.

After the initial rounds of fundraising resulted in $825,000 of investments, the three creators decided to invest the amount of time and labor they were contributing to FuzeMee.

“We realized that since these people were putting in their key financial capital and to us, we needed to match that and put our full human capital into them,” Krouse said. “ So we all decided to take gap years.” 

Krouse explained that the first kind of steps involved putting all the initial ideas into a pitch deck and design book to present to a software developer to help bring the designs to life. This included hiring a Jakarta-based coder, who the founders contacted through a coding talent search, to create screens with the functionality behind every step, every color and every font size. 

This project, overseen by Professor Gregory Pool of the Entrepreneurship department, underwent beta tests in entrepreneurship and pre-Wall Street track classes before the app was launched to the public. 

Since its initial conception, FuzeMee has evolved to include several other features, one of which is “Marketplace” which allows students within a school to buy and sell items within the safety of campus. 

“I think it’s going to really help students with decluttering the room, making extra money on being able to purchase things that at a cheap price that they couldn’t have gotten somewhere else,” Krouse said. 

Since FuzeMee is launched on a school-by-school basis, it was originally limited to a few schools including Tufts, Hofstra and Bucknell. This semester, that list expanded to include Syracuse, North Carolina State and, as of March 21, Wake Forest. According to Krouse, there are more on the way. 

“We have about 500 schools in our database with each school posessing a ‘waiting room’ where we can see how many students have signed up to the page,” Krouse said. “Once the percentage students in the waiting room is high enough relative to the student body population, we will launch to that university, too.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously underreported the amount of money the team has raised in investments.