Surja NYC | Skillshare Projects

Franklin Mora

Director of Business Services



Surja NYC

Objective:  To help immigrant entrepreneurs leverage technology in order to connect them with government and non-profit services that will help them start or grow their business. This program serves a two-fold goal: (1) to dismantle misconceptions about using technology for immigrant entrepreneurs; and (2) creates revenue via a fee-based premium service.

Problem Hypothesis: Surja NYC will encircle around a simple mobile app targeting Hispanic immigrant business owners previously unaware of supportive business services. The current method for delivering technical assistance to clients has made it difficult to provide adequate assistance in a timely, focused, and impactful manner.  Problems in getting supportive business services to immigrant populations is due to: unawareness of existing services, proximity to client’s place of business, timeliness of providing the service, and efficiency in follow up.

Solution Hypothesis:

The App will have the capability to target the needs of users in areas of compliance, finance, and marketing.The basis for developing the app can be best explained through the acronym “BEST”:

Better – clients quickly locate the nearest technical assistance provider to setup an appointment on site or at a nearby office.
Efficient –  clients can be directed to the best resources that can help them based on query thread of frequently asked questions. A resource that aggregates multiple sources has already been compiled.
Scalable – in  posting the app on an online marketplace/store, we can provide greater reach for individuals to obtain the service. This way we can more proactively market services such as training courses, events, and additional tools/tips to engage entrepreneurs in business development.
Timeliness – there is a  “keep” benefit of the mobile app with its easy-to-use interface and rapid response to answers.

Assumptions about users:

Through the use of a marketing campaign, users will be exposed to staff that will answer their questions, meet with them in person, and help them use the app to have an on-call advisor.

We hope users talk about the app and through the use of continuous training make our services more available to users.

Riskiest Assumption: Developing the app will be on either android or iphone. Still unsure which would be most convenient. Furthermore, should we even do an app and maybe settle for html5 website.  Finally, the adoption of technology will be difficult with the immigrant population, however by using "Cultural IQ" to market the product specifically towards the hispanic population and families, we hope to make the app an entry way to help education immigrant entrepreneurs of existing business support services available through non-profits and government.

MVP: Having difficulty defining this. Via customer interaction, and research papers we know clients want the service we offer. Our program is (1)getting to them and (2) having them adopt technology. The building of this app will help with word of mouth to get people answers quicker, get them access to advisors, and use the app as an entry point to early adopters as well as those with fear of technology.

It's hard to definite what would be the MVP for this.

Finally, I should state that this should be a social enterprise app, which really is meant to help immigrant entrepreneurs receive the maximum amount of support already available to them but they are unaware of via a mobile app that will make it easier to get them services and answers to their business questions.


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