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Optimize the Use of Existing Parking Infrastructure

Traffic ruins journeys, and a lack of available parking causes traffic. Let's improve this by making better use of existing real estate.

Photo of Matt Schaefer
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ParqEx is the Smart Parking Platform, designed to help property owners and managers optimize the value of their real estate assets designed for parking vehicles.  Properties throughout Pittsburgh (whether multi-family, condos, retail, or organization-based like churches and schools) include parking lots and garages that sit empty up to 80% of the time because the right solutions and incentives aren't in place to make better use of them.  That's where ParqEx comes in.  Our technology platform gives these parties the tools they need to increase income, reduce costs, provide amenities, and lower management effort.

So... how does ParqEx help solve the Challenge Question?  It is crucial because in the short- to mid-term the majority of all journeys will still involve individually-sized vehicles.  This will likely include ride-shares and autonomous vehicles, but despite all efforts to encourage mass transit options the reality is that passenger cars won't disappear anytime soon.  They will impact everyone's journeys - especially if there aren't enough places to put them.  Insufficient parking results in added traffic, congestion, and pollution.  It is therefore important to give property owners the tools and incentives to make their parking more available for use by others so that we can get more vehicles off the roadways faster. 

Since every property is different, the ParqEx platform includes modular solutions that can be used individually or combined together to tailor it for each use.  For owners interested in additional income from parking rentals, the ParqEx Marketplace allows them to make it available to drivers in need of a spot.  Access+ is a proprietary IoT technology that offers control of doors and gates through the ParqEx app so that owners can manage secure locations without the cost and hassle of physical items like clickers and fobs.  GuestParq is a guest parking solution designed for apartments and condominiums that creates a valued building amenity while also potentially increasing income for the owner or HOA.  Finally, ParqEx Enforcer includes easy-to-use administrative tools to quickly ensure the right vehicles are parked in the right location.

Put together, these solutions offer a true win-win-win scenario because:

- Owners/Managers increase income, lower management cost/effort, add amenities

- Drivers have more options for parking closer to their destination with less search time

- Communities get vehicles off the road faster, freeing space for other forms of transport

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

At a high level, ParqEx is used by three major constituencies - each of which has their own User Journey. These are: Property Owners/Managers - Use ParqEx to gain more value from their parking real estate - Place their property on ParqEx by providing necessary information, and if implementing Access+ install the technology on-site. - Adjust configuration (price, availability, access) through platform Drivers - Use ParqEx to find unique parking options, enter a secure location, or to park as a guest - Download the free ParqEx app, reserve parking, enter vehicle details, and open doors/gates as applicable - Able to reserve ahead of time or book on -demand Enforcement Agencies / Property Managers - Use ParqEx to verify that the right vehicles are parking at the property - Log into ParqEx admin tools or apps, search for vehicle info, either ticket, tow, or contact driver depending on the situation

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Ready to Scale - you have completed and expanded your pilot and are seeing adoption of your solution by your intended user

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

ParqEx was originally founded in Chicago, IL in 2014 by CEO Vivek Mehra. It was first Beta-launched as a peer-to-peer marketplace in 2015, and since then it has evolved and grown into the company it is now. We have 10 full-time employees and a large group of outside contractors who contribute to our success. Nine of the employees are in Chicago, and we also have a City GM covering Milwaukee and Madison, WI. You can learn more about us at

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

It has taken us some time to grow our business in Chicago and Wisconsin, mainly due to our relative lack of available resources. In order to have a significant, positive impact on urban transportation across the country, we need to show that with the appropriate level of resources we can quickly build “critical mass” in a geographic market. At a high level, we would: - Begin with marketing campaigns targeting local property owners and managers - Recruit a local resource to be a City Manager to help close deals and grow the impact - Identify local partners to help install and maintain our technology ParqEx would be highly sustainable and deliver value for Pittsburgh after the pilot phase. We make money through commissions on Marketplace transactions, and also through SaaS fees for our platform offerings. By spending and hiring wisely we believe the pilot will show that we can reach local break-even much faster than with the levels of spending we’re able to do currently.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Our basic KPI's for the pilot will be: - Number of local properties on ParqEx (by solution type) - Number of local users on ParqEx - Transaction volume (parking searches eliminated) - Gross and Net Revenue These values, along with the length of time it takes, will inform future deployments by indicating what the appropriate resource allocation should be in order to launch a market.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Diana Avart

Hello Matt Schaefer ,

Thanks for posting your idea! I have used apps and sites to secure parking in advance both in Pittsburgh and other cities, like Chicago, so I am wondering how ParqEx sets itself apart from these competitors who also crowdsource parking spots to rent out.

- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Matt Schaefer

Hi Diana,

Thanks for your question! There definitely are other companies working on similar concepts, but here are a few reasons why ParqEx stands out and offers more value to the community:

- ParqEx is the only company that has technology (Access+) that allows users to open garage doors, gates, and even fobbed pedestrian doors with their smartphones. This is a key differentiator because the other competitors are limited to driveways and open lots... which severely limits their potential impact on a community. A lot of privately-owned parking is secure, and owners/managers don't want to have to distribute a clicker, fob, or code every time someone reserves a spot. Access+ is easy and inexpensive to install, works in parallel with any existing opening methods, and enhances security by providing transparency into usage.

- Many apartments and most condominiums have excess or underutilized parking, but they don't want to rent parking to unknown outsiders for security reasons. However, they DO want to allow guests of residents to park in the building. That's why we developed GuestParq. It provides an amenity for the building, makes guest parking easier to manage, and improves the experience for guests. GuestParq also increases the impact on a community because these guests no longer need to drive around looking for parking.

- We also have partnerships with enforcement agencies (towing and ticketing) to help lessen the management burden on property managers and owners. Few others incorporate this element into their offering.

I hope this helps. If not, or if you have any other follow-up questions, let me know!

Photo of Diana Avart

Thanks so much for taking the time to lay out the differences so clearly. It sounds like your technology has some really great advantages!
- Diana, Facilitator