When you think of cities that have a parking problem, Milwaukee most-likely doesn't come to mind. For those who live and work in the city, the biggest issue with parking is usually finding a free spot.
But then of course, there’s Summerfest. Or the State Fair. Or the myriad of other events that take place in and around the city. And waiting in line for parking, when all you really want is a corn dog, can be incredibly frustrating.
A new parking app, called ParqEx, is setting up shop in Milwaukee and it hopes to solve some of the city’s biggest parking issues.
"Think of us as the AirBNB for parking, where we connect individuals who have parking spaces to people who are looking for parking," says founder and CEO Vivek Mehra.
The Chicago-based app is expanding into both Milwaukee and Madison with help from the Wisconsin-based startup accelerator, Gener8tor.
Of course, for much of the year, parking around Milwaukee is relatively easy. Mehra admits that the business model his company has used in Chicago doesn't quite make sense for Milwauwkee.
"When you think of ParqEx, initially, the first thing that comes to mind is, 'Okay, there needs to be a demand for parking in order for this to work,'" he says.
But the company doesn't just connect those with parking spots to those who need them. It has another service, which Mehra thinks will ultimately be more useful to Milwaukeeans.
"Parking solutions haven't evolved for a long period of time in the real estate world. Even today, in the last 50 years, access to parking is still being provided through the same old garage door opener, which is clunky, you can lose it, not secure, and it has tremendous operational efficiencies," says Mehra.
This led to the company creating its Access+ program. ParqEx will be working with buildings in Milwaukee to install their program to change the way buildings operate their residential garages.
"Access+ is a technology that allows users to open and close garage doors and gates from our app, and provide a much more secure and easy access to their parking spaces," he explains.