ParkChamp is a participating startup in Batch#4 of The Accelerator; Tackling the daily challenge of finding a parking spot just got easier.
INTERVIEW with Maggie Young, Alex Chalamova, and Darnell Shinbine.
ParkChamp is a technology startup based in Calgary focused on automated parking management, operations, and payments in order to improve the overall parking experience for drivers and increase revenues and efficiency of parking lots.
1. Tell us about yourselves.
Our team consists of three founders that have worked together over the past year and a half to develop and commercially deploy our product. Maggie (aka the hustler), Alex (aka the hipster) and Darnell (aka the hacker) work with an experienced team of advisers in the software, AI and automation space that have either invested or built companies in these industries.
2. What problem have you solved? / How do you solve such a problem?
ParkChamp is eliminating parking pains for drivers by allowing them to find parking in seconds, reserve in advance and pay instantly from their phone at the best price. Our five-star-rated App has drivers talking about the ease of use, great pricing and extraordinary customer support.
ParkChamp is reducing parking equipment costs through GPS enabled, secure and infrastructure-less access technology that can be retrofitted to any building in hours. We simplify operations and management through remote monitoring and enforcement, and cashless payments – while also increasing revenues and optimizing under-utilized space through real-time availability and dynamic pricing. Our app uses data-driven insights to improve efficiency and provide metrics and trends to every property tracked in real-time.
3. When did you notice this gap in the market?
We noticed the gap in the market by personally experiencing parking pains as drivers and researching the experience of transient parkers. We realized an opportunity to enhance the revenues of commercial parking lots by transforming static parking rates into dynamic rates and displaying real-time availability - something that is not currently offered to commercial parking lots.
4. What is your company culture?
Our company motto is - “ If you don’t do it, then you won’t do it.” We are focused on getting things done - we don’t hesitate, we calculate and deliver. We disrupt the status quo by solving problems with technology always with a customer-centric focus today. We work as a team - always. We value open communication, incentivizing, and challenging each other to continuously improve performance.
5. What has your experience been like with The Accelerator program?
Our experience at The Accelerator has been great so far. We have had the opportunity to work alongside like-minded entrepreneurs and get connected with mentors and investors. We’ve been able to address our business challenges in an open, safe environment and learn from others facing similar challenges. One of the best parts of The Accelerator was attending Base Camp where we learned how fundraising works from an investor’s perspective alongside what startups can do to successfully raise money and get the most out of it.
6. What was the biggest lesson you learned throughout your experience with The Accelerator?
The biggest lesson we learned is the know-how when it comes to raising money. We chose this Accelerator because we were unsure of how to start, how much to raise and where to go to find funding. We’ve had multiple opportunities to practice our pitch through bi-weekly founders’ dinners that each has a special guest offering feedback. We are more confident now than we were ever before with the direction we will take with our business, how to get there and how to navigate that journey.
7. What has been a major accomplishment for you in 2018?
A major milestone for us in 2018 was launching the first underground parkade on ParkChamp in downtown Calgary. We developed proprietary access technology so drivers can securely and instantly access any underground parkade through the App. The parkade is currently sold out every day and both our drivers and property managers love the simple and flexible solution.
8. What is next for you?
We are expanding our partnerships in the automation and smart technologies space that will add to our current value and product offering. ParkChamp is opening a seed-round for investors wanting to join us on our journey in order to continue new developments and expand our business to additional markets.
Please contact us! We’d love to chat.
Support ParkChamp and other local tech startups at The Accelerator Demo Day: Batch #4
Demo Day will showcase local tech companies in front of accredited investors and celebrate all they have accomplished during the 5-month program at The Accelerator.