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Got needs? Imaneed connects businesses to locals in need.

Imaneed Got a need? A startup in Fort Lauderdale is hoping to fulfill requests with text messages.

In a mobile twist on classified ads, Imaneed.com (pronounced I'm-a-need), seeks to connect small businesses and freelancers with new customers that need a service, whether it's a videographer for a party or a handyman to fix a fan.

To get what they need (so to speak), consumers sign up for free to send a text message about the request to a specified phone number (954-876-4128) or on the Imaneed.com site or Facebook page.

Any business signed up with Imaneed that could help meet that need is notified by text message.

It's free for a business to join, but a company is charged $2 for every lead received regarding a service request.

Neither party knows the other's contact information. Imaneed makes a phone call that links the two parties, which have five minutes to make a deal. If that doesn't happen, the client can choose to talk to another business.

Since its June launch, Imaneed has received more than 2,400 service requests, said Willie Morris, who runs the site with founder Matt Lally.

The two have put up their own money to start the site but are now in seeking investors -- both locally and out of state -- to expand to other metro cities, Morris said.

The new startup has already received recognition in the tech sector, winning a contest for the best location-based app from Twilio, a San Francisco company that provides mobile services for small businesses like Imaneed.

The site is still in an early stage, with most requests coming from Miami -- some quirky, (a stripper) and others shopping-related, (a cheap Macbook.)

"It's gotten better and people have started to get the hang of it," Morris said.


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