Chicago, IL —
Have you ever lost your phone in a bar or cab? Or maybe you've left your coat somewhere on the CTA. In either case, you probably wished there was a way to easily retrieve those lost items. Well now there is.
Found In Town (FiT) is a new company based in Chicago that recently launched its free online service that facilitates reuniting owners with their lost or misplaced items. "120,000 cell phones are lost annually in Chicago taxi cabs alone. Imagine how many keys, wallets and jackets are lost," said Zach Haller, CEO and founder of Found in Town. "Everyone loses things. People want to return lost items, but they often don't know how. We make it easy and hassle-free to be a good Samaritan."
It works like this: After registering on FiT's website, FiT will ship you a keychain and five labels, all for free, each bearing a unique "FiT code." Attach your keys to the keychain and stick the labels on anything prone to being lost, such as cell phones, iPads, laptops, or jackets, for example. If your item is found by a good Samaritan, the label/keychain will direct the person to FiT's website, where they can enter the FiT code and send an anonymous message to the owner to arrange for a reunion.
Haller, a Boystown resident, had been mulling over the FiT idea since 2009, but the cards didn't all fall into place until 2011. "I moved to Chicago in the middle of 2006 and have been working as a paralegal and a fitness instructor since that time," Haller told nbcchicago.com
in an interview. "And about the summer of 2009 I conceived the idea of the company I ended up launching. I was working on it periodically, not really committing full attention to it for about a year and a half. And then at the beginning of last year, things were ready to step up a bit in terms of getting the company off the ground."
FiT operates on advertising revenue through partnerships with local businesses. The keychains and labels each feature a specific business selected by the user during registration, and users will receive up to five emails per month from that business featuring exclusive deals and promotions. The businesses currently partnered with FiT are all located in Boystown and include The Closet
, Halsted's Bar and Grill
, and DS Tequila Company
Anyone residing in the US or Canada can register to use FiT's free service. While FiT's advertising partners arguably would receive no benefit from users residing outside of Chicago, FiT is still young and has plans to expand into other locations and with businesses outside of the bar and nightclub category, such as coffee shops, retail stores, grocers, restaurants, or any other type of business for that matter. Local businesses everywhere are encouraged to contact FiT for possible partnership opportunities.