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Hans Boehm was sitting in the library thinking one day. He thought about Florida — how every year, residents are inundated with a wealth of information about how to prepare for a hurricane: have this many cans of food, this much bottled water, these important documents handy.
He thought about the 16 years he worked as a senior vice president in the financial services industry — how few people had any of their paperwork organized.
And that’s when it hit him.
“I realized that there are needs out there that aren’t being met,” Boehm said. “If I’m looking for a service and I can’t find it out there, then why don’t I go out and try to create it?”
That’s how Express Vault was born. It’s a service that takes people from a paper office to a paperless one by scanning all of their documents and organizing them on in a “vault” — an external flash drive, the company’s cloud service or both.
Boehm co-owns the business, which opened its doors Saturday, with his stepson, Zachary Smith. Smith graduated from the Culinary Institute of America before he moved to Las Vegas, Nev. to run restaurants and night clubs.
While there, Smith met a lot business-minded people who were looking to develop or invest in businesses. Smith wanted to start a company, and Boehm had an idea. They decided to work together.
“Express Vault started when I thought, ‘What can we really do to get people ready for a natural disaster?” Boehm said. “It started with that idea, but evolved to so much more than that.”
With Express Vault, clients who subscribe to the cloud service can access their files anywhere. Even those who just pay for the scanning and organization of their documents on an external drive can back up their files anywhere. Once Boehm and Wilson developed their model, they realized that the possibilities for their service were vast.
Boehm met a veteran who said he could have benefited from the service to keep all the letters and Army paperwork that he lost while traveling throughout the years. A client uses the service to keep medical records together. Travelers can access their passports or paperwork anywhere if needed. And Boehm’s favorite: the “Mommy vault,” which turns boxes of keepsakes and report cards into an electronic database.
The business also offers copying, faxing and notarizing with its memberships.
“A lot of times, senior citizens don’t know how to use the technology to organize their files, or don’t want to go buy all the equipment needed,” Boehm said. “As for the younger generations, they may know how to do it, but they don’t have time for it.”
And Express Vault won’t stop with Palm Coast. Boehm and Smith plan to use their first 90 days of business to refine their system and business model. Then, they’re going to start expanding. Their goal: International
The business partners are already in talks with investors. They plan to open two to three offices in the next six months, and after that, be even more aggressive with their expansion.
“We don’t just want to have the best Express Vault in Palm Coast,” Boehm said. “We want everyone across the country to walk into one and get these services.”