Thursday May 3, 2018
Students may have solved city parking problem
Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp graduates Kaeaghan Kuhn, Kirsten Smith and Conor Grice have launched their new carpark rental business. PHOTO: Victoria University
Three Victoria University of Wellington students have created a start-up business they say could solve the capital’s parking problem. Conor Grice, Kirstin Smith and Keagan Kuhn developed their carpark-sharing collective, Parallel, while taking part in the Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp at BizDojo over summer. Parallel matches people who have spare carparks in the city — in residential and commercial buildings and private driveways — with commuters wanting to hire carparks on a weekly basis. Conor says it’s not the first carpark collective in the country. An Auckland company has already taken that honour. But they wanted to bring the idea to Wellington where the supply of carparks has decreased significantly since the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. “We found that prior to the earthquake, Wellington’s parking problem was bad, but it was manageable,” says Conor. “When the earthquake hit, it took a lot of carparks out of the city and gave one carpark company a monopoly on parks
in the CBD. It became harder to find a carpark and prices shot up overnight to around $70 to $80 a week.” Kirstin says the team’s goal is pretty simple. “We want to end the worst part of every car owner’s commute — the parking. “Motorists are struggling to find parks in the city and are frequently being overcharged. We want to offer a cheaper and easier alternative.” Parallel already has its first clients and is now looking at expanding the customer base. Its goal is to cultivate a portfolio of 400 carparks in Wellington, with the long-term aim of expanding to other centres in the region. Keagan says the vision is to open the shared economy further by allowing customers to share their carpark with others when they’re not in use. “We want Parallel to be the connecting entity for people to find and reserve carparks for short or long-term on a grand scale.” To see how it works go to parkparallel. com.
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Cook Strait News 03-05-18