Vraj Shroff’s Magic Connects allows students to choose the connection they want

A cool and colorful illustration from the Magic Connects website.

The past year has brought us no shortage of resourceful students and faculty developing tools to help mend the social rifts caused by the pandemic. In January, Vraj Shroff (MSE in SE, BSE in CSCI) and two of his teammates joined those ranks.

The 3 students developed a new website and app called Magic Connects. Earlier in the year, Shroff told the Daily Penn that the platform is “distinct from other popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Tinder, because it matches students based on their interests.”

The article reported that, at the time of publication, Magic Connects had received over 100 pre-registered students, one month before its launch. CIS decided to check in with a few of the platform users several months after its release for some feedback.

Varun Jana, Junior in CIS
“I actually don’t know of any other platform that kind of asked me about what kind of relationships I want and what kind of people I want to connect with. Magic Connects asked me if I want to meet the people from the same school or clubs or majors specifically.”

Joy Cai, Senior in Business
“You can do friendship, dating and professional connection and each of these relationships are concrete and already established so everyone knows why they’re there and there’s no ambiguity. It’s all one single platform, so it makes it all the more powerful because it’s convenient and it has multiple uses and all of the users are specified.”

Anannya Shandilya. Senior in Finance
“A lot of other media platforms like Facebook encouraged connection, but virtually. In Magic Connects it has this feature where we can select that, I want to meet people in my own university it’s kind of taking over that barrier, because once i’m connected with people, then I can share your meetings. I think that’s a really good advantage that’s not there on other platforms.”

Radhik Patel, Wharton ’22
“The reason that I joined Magic next is because I’m really interested in entrepreneurship and it’s really helped me connect with other students who have similar interests at different universities. I’m part of the entrepreneurship club, but that only limits me to the students that are here at Penn. I think the scale at which I can meet other individuals who are like-minded as me is something that certainly helped me meet new people and build my network.”

Vraj Shroff, Founder, shares key updates based on user feedback:
“I put a lot of thought in the security side of it and making sure it’s a secure and safe community when they’re using this platform. A few of my female friends told me they don’t feel secure sharing their location, so now, you can enter your location, rather than allowing your phone to access a location. Now you have to sign up with your school email so it’s not up to you to make sure there’s a real person on the other side of your phone, and you’re talking to a student.”