Roomistry considers the chemistry of cohabitation


By Leslie Virostek

It’s a common predicament for new college graduates and many others: How to find an apartment in a new city that meets your budget?

Cost sharing with a roommate can be essential, but how do you find one? Must newcomers settle for a random stranger from an online ad?

Not anymore, thanks to a mobile app developed by Teddy Rainville ’21. Called Roomistry, the app is designed to make better roommate matches. Users respond to a series of questions related to their living habits, personalities, and budgetary constraints. An algorithm then creates a list of potentially compatible roommates with whom users can communicate through the app. 

Roomistry has the familiarity of a dating app, but it’s designed to engender thoughtful engagement, says Rainville. Every multiple-choice question has an option to provide further explanation or information.

“You need chemistry in any relationship,” he says.  “The idea for the name came from the thought of roommate chemistry.”

The fledgling app launched on May 1, and Rainville is focusing the initial marketing in Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford, as well as Philadelphia, with hopes of expanding nationwide. Additional cities are listed at

Rainville majored in Psychological Science at Central, and he says his college experiences played a key role in informing his entrepreneurial venture. The Psychological Science Department’s foundational course on research methods, in which students learn to write questionnaires, was directly applicable. So were Rainville’s off-campus housing woes his senior year during the peak of the covid-19 pandemic. 

Unable to find a roommate through his social networks, he turned to Craig’s List and found a seemingly suitable person. But that roommate and he were so incompatible that Rainville ended up paying rent but living at home for the last weeks of the lease. At 2 a.m. one night he found himself pondering why it was so very difficult to do something so commonplace — and so necessary — as finding a roommate. He began taking down his thoughts on his phone’s Notes app, musing that perhaps he’d make something of it someday. 

Six months later, those notes would kick off the process of creating Roomistry. Rainville’s first step in making his idea a reality was enlisting user interface designers. Next, he engaged software engineers, who would be instrumental in developing the algorithm that crunched the questionnaire data. As the company founder, one of Rainville’s assets is being a member of the demographic the app targets. Drawing upon knowledge gained from his Central coursework, he wrote the questions based on his own housing experiences and those of his friends. 

Rainville says he was always the type of student who preferred doing individual projects in short timeframes. Creating Roomistry, however, required a lengthy stint working with a team. 

“Staying strong with it was very challenging,” he says. 

But his persistence and determination paid off. 

“I’m very proud of how it has come out,” he says. “I’m excited to see how it’s going to grow.” 

Today Rainville spends most of his time on marketing efforts and building up the brand. His long-term plans include developing other tools within the app that might be applicable to young people living on their own for the first time. He also hopes to partner with colleges and universities to develop a version of the app that is specific to students living in dorms.

For now, he needs more people to try Roomistry and give the feedback — positive and negative — that will help him improve it. 

“Criticism is an opportunity to learn,” he says. 

Creating Roomistry has been a rewarding learning experience for Rainville in ways he never anticipated. His preliminary research taught him a great deal about housing insecurity and the struggles people face, and it turned him into an advocate. 

“Housing has become a passion of mine,” he says, “because everybody deserves a safe place to live, and nobody should have to settle for a random roommate.”

Download and learn more about Roomistry at