The first startup in my 12 startup challenge is Beaco, a physical presence tracker for Canadian Permanent Residents.
When you become a Canadian Permanent Resident, you are required to keep track of any of your travels out-of-Canada. You can apply for your citizenship once you have been physically present in Canada for 1,095 days (or 3 years) out of the last 5 years. I was keeping track of this in Google Keep for a bit, but it means that I had to keep calculating the number of days each time I traveled out of Canada. So I built this to help keep track of that and to send me a reminder when I finally reached those number of days.
There are a few competitors out there:
So what is missing from these that I wanted to solve?
So this is what I’ve built:
For those interested, here is the tech stack, otherwise feel free to scroll below for more non-tech details:
SST (Serverless Stack) — I used the SST Framework built on top of the AWS SDK. The reason for choosing this, is the ease of use and amazing community behind it. Also I love the serverless architecture as costs are generally related to the amount of usage instead of leaving a server up and running regardless of traffic.
Expo — I used Expo to develop this using react-native-web. This was primarily because I wanted to test out react-native-web and thought that if I ever wanted to deploy an app in the app stores, I should be able to do that easily.
Gatsby — I’ve used Gatsby a few times in the past, so I just thought to use it again for a simple landing page.
At the moment, you will need to pay a subscription fee of $2/month or $20/year to use this service. I’m still unsure if this is the right model, but it was an easy one to setup with Stripe, so I just took that route.
I haven’t put too much effort into marketing this, but here are what I’ve done:
I am debating on whether or not to go into Google Ads or Social Ads at this point as I’d rather spend the money on something else.
After about a month, here are the results:
As part of the challenge, I will be pausing any work on this and moving onto my next project. But I will continue to think of more ways to market it and monetize. If you have some ideas or feedback on the idea, or just how I write, please reach out!
Bonus trivia — Where did the name come from? Beaco.ca is from ‘Be a citizen of Canada’. But really, I was googling some domain names and misspelt something that came up with beaco as a suggestion and thought it was a cool name and worked backwards from there.😛