It’s awesome to have something that meets all the technical requirements, but actually does something very amazing and solves a real problem that people face when they’re going through the immigration process.

It’s been a whirlwind 2015 for Ayde Soto, Sam Stoddard, and Brady Stoddard, co-founders of SimpleCitizen. They started the year receiving $20,000 in investment money from Campus Founders Fund, Utah’s all-student pre-seed venture fund. Then they dominated the competition at the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, winning the $40,000 grand prize. More accolades quickly followed — SimpleCitizen was selected to be part of BoomStartup’s 2015 Spring Cohort, joining seven other companies, and also became the first member of StartStudio, Beehive Startups’ own early-stage startup studio. The only thing missing has been an official launch….until now.

SimpleCitizen’s platform, an online solution designed to simplify the process of immigration, is officially launching today. For those of you who have sweated over immigration documents, scraped together funds for immigration attorneys, or just felt an overwhelming sense of panic brought on by the whole immigration process, the time has come to simplify.

“It’s so exciting,” said Sam. “It’s awesome to have something that meets all the technical requirements, but actually does something very amazing and solves a real problem that people face when they’re going through the immigration process.”

As anybody who has faced the daunting task of applying for immigration can attest, it is time-consuming and costs boatloads of money. SimpleCitizen is seeking to change that, providing an alternate solution that is quicker, easier, and less expensive than the standard immigration process. The hard part was just creating the software — something StartStudio knows a little something about.

“The plan of mapping out all of the crazy complexities behind the immigration process and how we would code that out, that was months and months of work,” said Sam.

What started as just a few simple questions quickly morphed into a time-consuming process that spanned limitless index cards, gigantic Lucidcharts, countless PDFs, and then led to hundreds of hours with the StartStudio software development and design team. Trying to quantify the immigration application experience in a platform (and all the minutiae that entails) wasn’t easy, but Sam is convinced they have something that is built to last. Despite not launching until today, SimpleCitizen already has over 4,000 user signups that they will begin onboarding immediately.

“We talked to one person, they used the website independently without any real guidance from us and were able to complete the application in a week and a half,” said Sam. “Something that took me, with my technical background, four months of research and putting documents together and a lot of stress and money — to see somebody complete that in a week and a half by themselves is pretty amazing.”

SimpleCitizen came into StartStudio with a strong founding team, an insatiable work ethic, and the lofty goal of simplifying the currently arduous process millions of immigrants have to endure.

“I just hope every company that comes through StartStudio has the type of team and entrepreneurial drive of SimpleCitizen,” said StartStudio CEO and Managing Director Clint Betts. “They’re the hottest early-stage startup in Utah, and I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve accomplished. They’ve earned all the good things that are about to come their way.”

Published 7/30/2015