Introducing VaYa

April 4, 2012

We are in the middle of a revolution in hand-held devices, as technology has allowed for phones to be converted into mini computers. When Apple launched the iPhone, they introduced the world to mobile apps. Shortly afterwards, androids smart phones started offering apps as well.

I am getting ready to introduce to you to the immigration world in which international students seek to study in the United States. This is my business plan for a product and service I would like to see in use.

Students who are seeking to study in the United States have two hoops they have to jump through before entering the country. The first step is gaining admission to a college. The second step is gaining documentation to enter the United States through an embassy or consulate.

VaYa Logo

My proposal is a product called VaYa. VaYa means “we go”. VaYa is a service that would assist in the communication and recruitment between Butler Community College and prospective international student. VaYa will allow each college to customize it to their needs.

 

 

 

 

Company Ownership

NdaFika Logo

NdaFika is a family owned business. NdaFika means to us that as a company we have arrived to meet the needs. Our company runs as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).  We are in the startup stage of development. We are interested in the global community and assisting the easement of communication.

Product/Service

Introducing VaYa

VaYa is software that brings the colleges who accept international students to the mobile generation. Acknowledging that prospective students have a variety of ways to seek out information to meet their needs, VaYa allows for prospective students who have filled out an application with a college or university to check on the status of their admission. NdaFika will own the intellectual property rights of VaYa.  VaYa has two looks. The first of VaYa is a traditional website that prospective students with good internet cab have access to. The second look for VaYa is a mobile app designed. Smart phones apps allow VaYa to act like a double age sword for students who don’t to the countries was the internet access is slower to receive news.

VaYa as Mobile Application
 

VaYa as going Mobile

The above is an example of VaYa tailored to the Butler Community College international admissions process. Prospective students can use their mobile devices to see where they are at in the process. Students desire feedback especially when time zones and deadlines are factored in.

VaYa as Website
 

VaYa.com

The website is an extension of the tools available to communicate globally. VaYa.com will be easily added as a link to any colleges admission page. Flyers, both paper and eletronic, will be given to students directing them how to use VaYa.

Game Plan

First step in launching VaYa would be using Butler Community College as our soft launch. This would allow us to develop plus test the app and website on a smaller scale. It will allow NdaFika to gather information about the viability of my plan, and get numbers on how well the students responded to the program.

The reason why we chose Butler Community College for my soft launch is because they have more than 600 international students attending the college.  The process by which a student attends the college begins with filling out an application for admission. This can be done online or by mailing in a paper copy. Additional documents required to complete the process before the deadline is:

  • financial sponsor letter
  • bank statement
  • high school transcripts
  • the $75 USD processing fee

Once all these have been received and meet Butler’s international requirement, an I-20 is issued by the college. I-20 is a paper record of your information in our database called SEVIS. Each school that accepts you will mail you a Form I-20. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the department under the United State Department of Homeland Security. They are the department that houses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The I-20 Form and supporting documents which includes admission documents and information on how to pay their SEVIS fee will be sent to the prospective student. The I-20 Form indicates the length of time a student may stay to finish your course of study.

Advantage and disadvantages for International students

The privileges of gaining an F-1 (student) visa are:

  • Experience of studying to the U.S. as a full time academic or language student enrolled in a program leading to a degree or certificate
  • Legally work part time on-campus.
  • Travel in and out of the U.S. or remain in the U.S. until the completion of your studies
  • Bring your dependents on F-2 visa

The limitations of holding an F-1 visa are:

  • Work off-campus only with prior United State Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) permission
  • Bring your dependents; however, they may not work in the U.S.

Once the student has received their I-20 and admission documents, they can now make an appointment with the Embassy to get their visa.  The embassy has the right to approve or deny students entry into the United States. When a student is approved they then book their airline ticket.

Arriving in Kansas, the student needs to check-in with the college. This simply means that the student needs to contact the international office showing that they have arrived and start the process of enrolling into classes.

Now that the admission process and legal terms of immigration have been explained, we are going to look at the current ways colleges such as Butler interact with their prospective students. There are two ways Butler currently communicates with a prospective student is by email and mail.

Advantage of VaYa

The benefits of VaYa and VaYa.com for colleges/ university:

  • In a digital era, this app allows for better communication between time zones.
  •  The college becomes proactive in providing an accurate insight into the American admission process and also the immigration process
Timeline for VaYa

The plan is to be actively working at Butler Community College within three months after this proposal has been accepted. This will allow for any cultural miscommunication to be cleared up. Butler Community College has two deadlines for students to get all the documents in. First deadline is  June 15 for the classes beginning in the fall. Second deadline is November 15 for the spring semester classes. The launch would coincide with the end of the fall deadline.

Uniqueness of VaYa

There is no other product like this in the market.

Opportunity/Need

The strength of VaYa is the use of mobile application to reach prospective students across the world. Mobile internet access is convenient in a world that is becoming more mobile.

Dong Shin and Won Kim (2007) wrote in their article title, Mobile Number Portability on Customer Switching Behavior that Korea is the third largest mobile market in Asia after China and Japan. According Shin and Kim (2007) at the end of 2005, Korea had a mobile subscriber base of more than 39 million. To further show the impact of mobile device, Kirstin Ridley (2007) wrote the following for eWeek:

Global mobile phone use will pass the 3 billion mark-equivalents to half the world’s population-for the first time in 2007 as cell phone demand booms in China, India and Africa.

Wen-Chen Hu (2008) wrote Internet-Enabled Handheld Device, Computer and Programming Mobile Commerce and Personal Data Applications that in 2007, 118 million smartphones were sold worldwide and they accounted for about 11% of the overall cellphone market.Hu also explained that in 2007, an estimated worldwide shipments of the following

    • Cellular phones: 1.12 billion
    • Smartphones: 118 million

Nico Kopke (2008) writes in the Growing Business Handbook: Inspiration and Advice from Successful Entrepreneurs and Fast Growing UK Companies that there are 15.5 million active mobile internet users.

Solving a problem

VaYa will assist in providing students a way to communicate with colleges in the United States by using the mobile phones. Most countries do not have good internet access through cable or satellite. But even internet access through mobile devices is increasing.

Competition

There are no competitors providing this product. VaYa will be designed to work with programs currently used by colleges like Banner. This is where the growth of the VaYa will be. Being able to work with the current system the college/university is using will make it marketable for international department to use.

Johnson County Community College (JCCC) is the largest community college in Kansas. They are Butler’s competition. Currently JCCC are proactive in using YouTube, have videos, Facebook, Twitter to communicate and get new recruits. Current the closest school to have an online Check-In when students arrive in the United States is Wichita State University. WSU’s Check-In process occurs after students arrive. While VaYa is designed to assist with the communication before student arrives.

Market Analysis

Target Market and demographics

The target market for VaYa is prospective college students between the ages of 16 to 40 years old. The product will be used by both sexes. Occupation of students includes traditional who have graduated from high school. The geography is the global community.

VaYa geographic market area is any college/ university that accepts international students.  Being the first to bring this product, I would like to start with 100% of the market and try to maintain the market share.

Marketing Promotion Strategy Strategy and Implementation

Promotion Strategy

Promoting VaYa will start through social media. Through Facebook, Twitter and search engine ads, VaYa will spread the word about how efficient it can be communicating international admission process. The second phase will be direct mail to agency that assist students who desire to study in the United States.

The promotional literature such as brochures, flyers and website to colleges/ university will include how VaYa will save time on employees working on international admission. The time previously spent on responding to students can now be allotted elsewhere.

The literature sent to prospective students and agencies that assist students to study in the United States, will inform about how VaYa will assist in the communication process between them and colleges/ universities in the United States

Financial Plan

We at NdaFika are still working on the financial aspect of this venture. Financing for VaYa will be done first though loans. As VaYa grows, the income will be generated through membership. The licensing to use VaYa is how NdaFika would make money.

VaYa will be charge yearly membership. This will also include analytics the college or university could use to see where their prospective students are coming from and how they are using VaYa. Being a startup company with very limited resources, we will not use an advertising agency.

Presentation

 

This is a presentation I would propose to Butler Community College to develop VaYa for their international admission process:

Introducing VaYa Presentation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: