Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 12:03pm

MADISON, Wisconsin – October 30, 2019 – StartingBlock announces a pilot project with a locally-connected startup, ParqEx, and the City of Madison at the City’s newest public parking garage at S. Livingston and Main Street, adjacent to the Spark Building at 821 E. Washington Avenue.

The pilot will allow StartingBlock’s members – currently a community of over 250 members -- to make parking reservations from the parking spots in the S. Livingston Garage that were allocated to StartingBlock. With ParqEx’s technology, StartingBlock members can make hourly or monthly parking reservations online or using the ParqEx app. The platform increases the number of users that can access StartingBlock’s limited parking allocation. Rather than a few persons having an assigned monthly permit in the traditional one car, one permit model, the ParqEx platform will allow any StartingBlock member to reserve parking online and through an app. “By sharing the monthly permits, the entire StartingBlock community can take advantage of cost-savings as well as greater flexibility,” explains StartingBlock Executive Director, Chandra Miller Fienen. With ParqEx, participating members can reserve parking for the times they need it, rather than locking it up for the full month.

Other advantages include a guest parking solution that allows members to make reservations for guests. Guests will receive a guess pass on their cell phone that will provide access to the garage, eliminating the inconvenience of dealing with reimbursements or sharing physical access cards. “The ParqEx solution allows a limited resource to be shared more fairly, efficiently, flexibly, and cost-effectively than the one-permit per car status quo,” says ParqEx CEO Vivek Mehra. ParqEx is a 2016 alum of the nationally-ranked accelerator, gener8tor, which is headquartered at StartingBlock. Founded in 2014, the company is the “Airbnb of parking” by allowing parking owners to rent their parking spots to drivers on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis. The StartingBlock-ParqEx pilot, which will allow StartingBlock members to access the spaces leased from the City at the South Livingston Street Garage as well as other parking locations on the platform, will be ParqEx’s largest community in Madison and the first at a public parking garage.

“The City of Madison is excited to continue its partnership with StartingBlock and participate in this pilot. We need more innovative solutions, especially around parking, to make our transportation system successful in the long term,” says Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.

The pilot will provide StartingBlock with the opportunity to understand members’ parking trends and usage in a more robust and detailed way, and for the City to trial the technology and explore options to enhance the convenience and ease of parking in public parking structures.

The public parking garage, which opened last December, is the City’s first public garage outside of the central downtown and campus area, and was part of the three-development project that included the Spark Building where StartingBlock and American Family Insurance are located and the Gebhardt Building with the Sylvee music venue. Madison Gas and Electric, to support the redevelopment project and growing Capitol East District, sold the property to the City of Madison to construct the public parking garage.

ABOUT
StartingBlock Madison is Madison’s startup hub. Our mission is to create the meaningful intersections that cultivate entrepreneurs, grow successful companies, drive innovation and build a startup community that gives back. Since opening in June 2018, StartingBlock has housed 50 local startups that raised over $15.5M in 2018 and support over 160 full-time employees. Through collaborations with existing business leaders and partner organizations, such as Capital Entrepreneurs, Doyenne Group, gener8tor, and others, StartingBlock is helping galvanize Madison into a global leader in entrepreneurship.
Chandra Miller Fienen, Chandra@startingblockmadison.org

ParqEx is a smart parking platform for real estate owners and managers to better manage & monetize their parking assets. By improving efficiency & utilization, the platform delivers value by reducing operating costs and generating new revenue. ParqEx is a gener8tor company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and operates in 9 cities including Madison and Milwaukee, WI.
Vivek Mehra, vivek@parqex.com

S. Livingston Garage opened in December 2018. The first public parking garage east of the Capitol Square, the Livingston ramp reflects Madison’s commitment to the growing Capitol East corridor.

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