The start of the new year brings new ideas, new initiatives, new products, and, yes, new apps. In Miami, the City has turned its attention to making it easier to launch your start-up through a mobile-friendly web app. The eStart initiative is aimed at simplifying the business licensing process by offering step-by-step web content that walks users through each phase of starting a business in Miami.
This City-sponsored app couldn’t have come at a better time. For years, Miami has been growing as a hub of new technology and entrepreneurship; investors have relocated from more traditional technology hotspots, and small startups have found high growth opportunities in the Magic City. Meanwhile, Miami has appeared more and more attractive to investors, entrepreneurs, and large corporations in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic. In fact, last year, a Bay Area venture capitalist tweeted, “what if we move Silicon Valley to Miami?” Miami mayor, Francis Suarez, replied, “How can I help?”
The eStart app is the latest step Miami has taken to help businesses, both large and small, find a convenient and welcoming home in the city. Specifically, the app allows current and future business owners to apply for business licenses and permits from their mobile devices. The new tool replaces months-long, in-person processes with onlne forms and step-by-step instructions, reimagining how city agencies can work together with businesses in an increasingly digital world.
The eStart app has already begun to prove particularly useful for business owners looking to open a brick-and-mortar location in Miami. Primarily built by a team of the City’s code compliance officers, it provides detailed guidelines for complying with zoning regulations, fire codes, and business tax laws. Moreover, the app has conveniently merged multiple forms into one, removing the necessity of having to fill out the same information more than once.
As the world recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and industries will begin reimagining how they deliver products and services to their customers. The post-pandemic world is expected to be even more digitized, even once stay-at-home and social distancing orders are lifted. Miami’s innovative approach to business licensing shows that the City’s government is willing to embrace this new digital world and work with businessowners to simplify the licensing processes.
Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.
Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and high-growth enterprises.
At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of US and Canadian immigration and SBA loans.