ASU parking marketplace wins Phoenix's third Smart City Hack competition
Source: Pheonix Business Journal on October 23, 2017 | Hayley Ringle
A peer-to-peer parking marketplace that connects Arizona State Universitystudents with nearby affordable parking options has won Phoenix’s third Smart City Hack competition.
AirGarage Inc., started in 2016 by ASU juniors Jonathon Barkl and Scott Fitsimones, won $3,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Barcelona, Spain in November to represent Arizona in the international competition.
"The AirGarage team is honored to be able to represent the Phoenix entrepreneur community in Barcelona and humbled that our company was picked from so many innovative smart city solutions," Barkl said in an email. "We believe our platform has the potential to change the way that people think about parking and the discussion around the use of urban space and we appreciate the support of Arizona Institute for Digital Progress and the City of Phoenix as we continue to develop our marketplace."
The Tempe startup connects students wanting cheaper parking with nearby homeowners, churches and businesses who can rent out their available parking.
Dominic Papa, the executive director of the Institute for Digital Progress, the nonprofit group who organizes Phoenix’s Smart City Hack, said this year “by far” was the closest competition they’ve seen in the past three years.
“In the end, two ASU college students, and their crowdsharing parking (marketplace) AirGarage, were crowned as the Phoenix grand champions,” Papa said. “AirGarage narrowly beat out Computes with their supercomputer capable of rapidly mapping the human genome to assist in cancer research, and Life 365’s innovative home health care technology that could help lower wait times for veterans and the VA hospital.”
AirGarage was one of seven finalists named in September for the competition, which invited entrepreneurs with tech ideas to solve local urban issues.