When Sam Stoddard married his wife Ally a year and a half ago, he thought the process of becoming a US citizen was easy, if not automatic. Sam quickly discovered however, that just because he and Ally – a native of South Korea – tied the knot, it did not mean she immediately gained citizenship and all the rights and privileges it includes. They began the long, tedious, and expensive process of naturalization. Sam’s background in tax accounting and international relations from Brigham Young University prepared him for some of the paperwork, but after filling it all out he still felt overwhelmed and inadequately informed. Before turning in the forms, he took them to an attorney to have his work double-checked. After a quick, two-minute look over the attorney approved Sam’s paper work and billed him $500 for the time.
Those $500 dollar minutes got Sam thinking that maybe an expensive attorney was not a necessary part of the process. He researched and discovered there were websites and softwares that helped with the more difficult parts of the paperwork. However he couldn’t find anything that provided the all-inclusive help needed to work through the naturalization process quickly and inexpensively.
Sam was determined to figure out a solution to this problem. He enlisted the help of his nephew Brady, an expert in graphic design and entrepreneurship, and the two began brainstorming ways to simplify and cheapen the process of naturalization. After months of significant research into the fine art of citizenship-making, Sam and Brady finally nailed down what they wanted to create. Thus, the idea for Simple Citizen was born. All they needed now was a grade-A development team to make their dreams a coded reality…
Enter Lift Media. Simple Citizen turned to their old friends at Lift to take their dynamite idea and provide the incredible coding necessary to turn their problem into a solution.
Inspired by real life struggles, Sam and Brady have created a simple yet functional program that Brady calls “the Turbo Tax of immigration.” The program quickly guides each applicant through the immigration process from start to finish at a fraction of the cost charged by traditional law-firms. It is more than just a “spot solution for specific needs,” Sam says, “ours is an all-encompassing solution.”
Not only will their software provide significant help to those in need, but the concept they’ve created has gained them much praise and led to what Sam calls their “finest week.” Sam and Brady won first place, out of 200 applicants, in the University of Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge. They also received the Miller New Venture Award, the Best Product Award from the Ballard Center, and the Marriott School Entrepreneurship Award for a grand total of $66,000 in prize money in a single week.
Lift Media is honored to be working with such passionate and successful entrepreneurs to build software that will make a difference. The code is entering a beta testing stage right now and readers are encouraged to sign up on SimpleCitizen.com and check it out!