DevBright is a Peoria-based software development company that creates business applications for use on the web, mobile devices and in the cloud. The company was founded in February 2015 by Matt Scachette and has grown into a team of four employees. Its key software product, GovPermit, is an online permit and license wizard that helps local businesses fill out applications quickly and get to work faster by cutting the red tape out of applying for business permits. Since its launch in July 2016, GovPermit has been highlighted at the International Economic Development Conference in September and the National League of Cities Community of Practice in October.
What inspired the creation of GovPermit?
In the summer of 2015, the Small Business Administration (SBA) launched the “Startup in a Day” initiative to cities to develop a streamlined, online permitting system that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business by reducing the time it takes to register and apply for permits and licenses at the local level. When Matt learned there was a need for a software product to serve as a solution, the team began developing GovPermit. Within two months of the innovative software being developed, GovPermit was demoed through the National League of Cities to several cities who were evaluating how they would fulfill their Startup in a Day commitment, and the interest in GovPermit has continued to increase.
How does it work?
GovPermit automates the paper-based licensing and permitting process by bringing the various forms into a single, secure online system with multilingual capabilities that can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device. By requesting business information and asking simple questions, GovPermit identifies and completes the applicable forms with the information provided, including an eSignature. Business owners no longer have to navigate the complex multi-departmental process, provide redundant information or fill out forms by hand. City Hall can now be open for business 24/7, with city staffers’ productivity being improved by automating workflows, reducing unnecessary calls and eliminating the need to decipher handwriting and data entry.
Who is your target audience? Primary clients?
According to the SBA, more than half a million small businesses are started each year, making it imperative that cities offer enhanced services like GovPermit so those businesses can get to work faster and begin providing positive economic benefits sooner. Peoria and Rocky Mount, North Carolina are the first two clients to implement GovPermit. Many other progressive municipalities are evaluating GovPermit as a solution to reduce the red tape in government licenses and permits.
Behind the scenes, how does the software implement municipal requirements?
Simple, easy and intuitive technology has become an expectation, and GovPermit allows cities to deliver a better permitting experience to complement current processes. Behind the scenes, the software allows both the city and the county to operate in a single system. The actual permit and license forms are uploaded into GovPermit. Then the discovery process begins by asking the business owner basic questions; from that, GovPermit auto-detects which permit and license forms are needed.
From there, the software only requests the information that is required—identifying a single form or many—without the business owner having to provide redundant information, regardless of how many times the information may be requested across various forms. Upon submission, the completed forms will be distributed to the appropriate departments within the city or county so that issuance and fulfilment may occur. All digital forms are retained in GovPermit, allowing the business owner, city and county to have identical completed forms available electronically. The information will be consistent across the forms, and no government employee will have to decipher someone’s handwriting again.
What were some of the challenges associated with getting this off the ground?
The primary challenge the DevBright team will continually encounter is the ability to navigate the procurement process. The irony is that the software is intended to reduce red tape, yet the procurement process is lengthy and cumbersome.
Describe your time at The Nest and the decision to move to a new location.
When Matt had the idea to form DevBright, it was simply a company of one that started in the open coworking space at The Nest. The support and resources provided by the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and Startup Peoria to offer entrepreneurs a space to launch their company is invaluable. After David joined the company, the two transitioned from the coworking space to a conference room that was retrofitted into the first office for DevBright. The team eventually outgrew the first office with the addition of Nic and Nicole, and flew The Nest in October 2016.
Tell us about your other products and services.
DevBright’s core discipline is solving business problems using technology. Whether an organization wishes to recover labor hours by automating business processes or deliver a fantastic digital experience to their customers through web and mobile technologies, DevBright can bring technology, talent and innovation into the picture. The exposure to different industries, practices and technologies has helped the DevBright team gain insight and experience into developing effective solutions for the most complex and unique problems faced today. This has positioned the company to be one of the best and most experienced software development companies in Greater Peoria.
What is in the future for DevBright?
We believe that collaborative relationships help everyone succeed in business, and DevBright strives to build strategic partnerships with marketing firms and other innovative companies to offer a broader range of services and business solutions that would not otherwise exist if the companies continued to function independently. These strategic partnerships will support business growth and new opportunities for the companies involved and foster more productive environments.
Although GovPermit is tooled for managing the business registration process, the software was built for many more uses. Whether a law firm, medical practice, education institution, nonprofit organization or any other business that deals with forms, it can benefit from improving the process for those submitting the information and allowing those who are processing the information to work more efficiently in a digital world, as opposed to managing paper-based processes. iBi