ParqU is a new platform that allows people to conveniently reserve parking for college gamedays and major sporting events.
Created by a team of Iron Yard alums, ParqU aims to revolutionize paid-parking. Hosts can earn money by sharing commercial and residential parking, while those in search of a parking spot can efficiently find and reserve a space ahead of the game; Think Airbnb + Twitter + Bleacher Report for game day parking.
With the mission to allow users the freedom to enjoy a stress free football game or other major event, ParqU is a parking solution that allows “hosts” to feature their parking spots in the same way rental homes are displayed and sold on Airbnb. Parking seekers can use the app to find, reserve and pay for parking. And, once you’ve claimed your spot, users can simply enable GPS guidance to the designated parking spot address.
Founded by Kevin Cruz, Dr. Jerome Aya-ay, Matt Wright, Kyle Wynne and Thanh Nguyen, the initial idea was born when co-founder Jerome had trouble finding parking for a Fighting Irish football game. Game tickets, flights, car rental and accommodation were all planned and reserved ahead of the game. But then, the day of game, they didn’t have parking. Inevitably, he would have to cruise neighborhoods hoping for a spot. If they were lucky, they would find a home with a guy waving a sign: Parking $30. Then, he would have to scrounge up enough cash (who carries cash?) to pay for the spot. It seemed like a huge waste of time when all they wanted to do was get to the game!
Kevin and Jerome first met through The Iron Yard Venture’s accelerator program, and soon began to develop ParqU into something beyond just an idea. Kevin, Matt, and Kyle, who had met in 2014 in their Ruby on Rails cohort on The Iron Yard’s Houston campus, reconvened two years after graduating to help create and rollout ParqU.
When asked about how The Iron Yard helped influence the app’s development, Kevin said, “It gave us the skillset to make it a possibility. It enabled us to assemble our team as well as the ability to communicate the design and technical needs of ParqU. We joined the course because we were interested in how technology can solve problems, and wanted the skills to be able to do it ourselves.”
The ParqU team has now traveled the nation testing the market at different universities, with pilots at Texas A&M, Clemson and University of Houston. ParqU is already the largest parking software company for the Super Bowl & Houston Rodeo -- with over 5,000+ parking spots listed around NRG stadium. Plus, ParqU gives back as a proud sponsor of Samaritan's Feet International.
When asked what their vision was for the next few years, Kevin said,
“We plan on making event parking as easy or easier than reserving a hotel room or a flight. Initially, we will focus on the top college football venues and a few professional football stadiums. Eventually, we would like to form partnerships with ticket selling solutions, local restaurants and retailers as well as sports media outlets.”
So, getting ready for game-day? Search events, sign up, and pick your spot at ParqU.com
Kevin Cruz is co-founder and developer of ParqU, and is a backend focused Ruby on Rails developer and an innovative entrepreneur with passion for software development. In addition to ParqU, Kevin is also the founder of InTuneTo, a health, wellness and fitness platform designed to help gyms and companies reach clients, members, and employees by providing them information and encouragement to help them live and eat healthier. Follow Kevin on linkedIn.
The Iron Yard is a technology education company that offers full-time and part-time web development courses in person, online and through corporate training programs across the U.S. Get more information about The Iron Yard. To find a free community crash course at an Iron Yard campus near you and try your hand at coding, check out upcoming meetups!
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