Featured Startup Pitch: MiNeeds matches local professionals and local consumers through a bidding process with some innovative features
Founders: Raed Malhas and Deniz Erkan
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington
Year Founded: 2008
Brief Company Description: MiNeeds.com is the fast-growing online service that instantly matches local professionals who bid on needs posted by local consumers.
MiNeeds.com is the fast-growing online service that instantly matches local professionals who bid on needs posted by local consumers. MiNeeds.com, which has soared past 50,000 professionals registered nationwide, offers a highly efficient lead and revenue generator, instantly alerting professionals via phone and email of new, highly-qualified customers in their area.
For consumers, MiNeeds.com is an incredible time saver, a free and super-efficient way to post their exact “need” or “needs” once then receive competitive proposals they can compare and choose without having to initiate contact, negotiate costs or waste time on the phone.
Businesses showcase their services on MiNeeds.com with profiles defined by specialty and location, including pictures, videos, work samples, testimonials and work reviews, past bids/jobs won; and can publish advice, articles, or answer questions within the MiNeeds.com community.
Unlike competitors who take a commission based on a percentage of the sale, or incur charges per bid received, with MiNeeds.com businesses instead select from three zero-commission membership packages.
While proposals come in, consumers can view professional profiles and reviews, or join the MiNeeds.com community where they can ask and answer questions, read tips/advice articles from our vast library of professional submitted content (or publish their own article).
Investors include Paul Thelen, founder of Seattle’s BigFish Games, and former Yahoo chief data officer Usama Fayyad. At this time we decline to disclose funding. The Alpha version of the website launched in Summer of ’08.
MiNeeds.com initially gained traction with wedding and home services, and is rapidly growing in many other local service industries such as: accounting, legal, design, and more.
MiNeeds.com is syndicating its model into highly-target market niches, recently launching MiWeddingNeeds.com, the free site that simplifies wedding planning by enabling brides and wedding planners to more easily source local-area vendors such as wedding venues, caterers, bands, florists, etc.
Raed Malhas, MiNeeds.com co-founder
Prior to founding MiNeeds.com, I worked at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington for eight years as a program manager and a software development lead. My team delivered several products, such as: multiple versions of BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, Windows Workflow Foundation, also Microsoft’s Payment Abstraction Layer. As a result of my work, I’ve earned several patents for software inventions. I graduated from Purdue University earning a computer engineering degree in 2000 and while there created software inventions comprised of designing several educational projects for a local disabled children’s clinic.
Deniz Erkan, MiNeeds.com co-founder
Deniz leads the engineering, marketing and business development efforts at MiNeeds.com along with me.
Prior to co-founding MiNeeds.com, he worked at Microsoft for seven years, building multiple versions of large scale software systems such as SQL Server and BizTalk Server.
He’s an entrepreneur in spirit having built his first start-up right after college on health-care automation systems operating in Turkey and Germany. Soon after, Deniz worked at building software technologies for material management systems for the NATO alliance. Adventure and passion brought him to the United States, first as a consultant on the East Coast and later as an engineer and program manager at Microsoft.
Our marketing/promotion strategy comprises a mix of SEO, PR, social media and affiliate marketing.
How We Differentiate From the Competition
Overall, MiNeeds.com is a high-volume, commission-free lead generation platform with very strong enhanced communication tools that enable professionals to truly show their wares and expertise.
It’s a directory, yes, but because our main focus is bringing leads, our providers receive more leads.
MiNeeds.com doesn’t charge commission fees. Our providers enjoy the full payment on any client without the cut of the middle man.
MiNeeds.com, via its new text-to-audio system called Bridget, alerts via text and a phone call when there’s a new customer, enabling anywhere, anytime response for professionals.
Bridget also reads customer’s emails. When a consumer replies back with an email, MiNeeds.com calls the provider on the phone, and Bridget reads the email with a voice quality better than Siri.
Unlike competitors who take a commission based on a percentage of the sale, or incur charges per bid received, with MiNeeds.com businesses instead select from three zero-commission membership packages depending on the number of customers they want to contact per month.
More than just a lead generator, MiNeeds.com offers an ideal place for small businesses and entrepreneurs to show their wares: businesses showcase their services on MiNeeds.com with profiles defined by specialty and location, including pictures, videos, work samples, testimonials, reviews, past bids/contracts won at MiNeeds.com, and more.
Professionals can also design, promote, sell and collect payments on sales of coupons; and, to build stronger relationships with customers, can publish advice, articles, or answer questions within the MiNeeds.com community.
MiNeeds.com is currently adding employees to its marketing and product management teams.
MiNeeds – www.mineeds.com