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Toodu: Managing tasks while networking online

Picture having your to do list completed for you, while networking at the same time with professionals who can help you sort it. It’s the dream behind Toodu, a site claiming no rival in its way of organizing task lists.

Setting tasks is not new to the industry. Remember the Milk allows users to manage tasks, set dates, time, categories and geolocation, while popular app Google Tasks integrates with other Google services like Gmail, iGoogle and Google Calender.

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Toodu’s claims their difference lies in matching items on your to do list with people and businesses who can help you get things done. From a business model point of view, Toodu’s goal is to turn to-do items into business leads.

“The difference is that it’s a completely new platform” according to the founder, Lee Hartman. “Nowhere else can consumers put up their hands and let the local business community know what they are looking for.”

“Equally, for businesses – it’s an important media platform allows them engage in conversations with potential new clients.” Hartman is a chartered accountant originally from a banking background. He founded Supa Strikas, a soccer-themed comic and animated television series, which was sold to Naspers in 2007.

His team members are Richard Hartley, the development who co-founded co-founded Openbox Software and Nic Goossens who is heading development and also with previous Openbox Software.

The company raised R2-million from angel investors to get Toodu up and running.

Their target market is every busy person with an internet connection and a “to do” list. The company which has raised proof of concept funding from private investors refuses to disclose their shareholders. However in five years the company says it intends operating in 20 cities around the world.

The founders say the the idea came they saw finding and engaging with service providers was more difficult than it should be. “Search is time consuming and often frustrating. We wondered what would happen if you could broadcast, anonymously, what you want/need through the medium of a to-do list and let businesses who want to help – come to you. Our answer is the Toodu platform.”

Toodo was launched to family and friends on the 18th Jan 2011. They are currently in Beta and only operating in Cape Town.

It’s a mashup between an online to-do list, a business directory and a local search engine. “It’s also, as far as we can tell, a world first,” claims Lee who says he searched for days on end to find competitors. “No one else is empowering your to-do list like this.”

“Users can make progress on what they need to do simply by putting it on their to-do list and businesses can be pro-active in engaging with potential new customers who have declared an intention to use a product or a service,” he added.

In the long term Toodu says they want to change the way that consumers organise their lives along with how they find and interact with brands and service providers.

It seems the company is off to a good start. I listed finding Argentina-based startups on my Toduu account and within a few hours, I had four contacts to choose from. Add to that I was given a comprehensive list of blogs dealing with the startup scene in my South American country of choice.

Evidently the program shows good potential for getting what you want done, while building a network at the same time.

With an abundance of sites already set up to help people manage their lives, it’s a matter of time as to whether Toodu can organise itself for global success.

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