Why did you start your start-up, what problem do you address and how do you solve it?
Cities are growing, and the resulting traffic problems are increasing. In Germany more than 8 million people commute to work by car every day. In fact, companies are the largest owners of parking spaces in the country. They own 12 times as many parking spaces as the three largest commercial parking providers combined! These companies need professional and innovative solutions to implement parking management and to master the challenges of the mobility turnaround. This is the solution we offer.
What is special about your business model, what do you do differently?
ParkHere develops and integrates innovative hardware and software solutions. Our goal is to improve, digitize and optimize mobility in companies and commercial properties. Through intelligent technologies for sustainable mobility we offer the best solutions for our customers. Our team does this in the most efficient, effective and innovative way while maintaining the highest quality standards. This is why we are faster than others when it comes to turning ideas into reality. In this way, we meet the requirements of our industry and create the highest value.
What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome in the beginning?
In the beginning, every start-up faces similar challenges. They all have to prove that their product is marketable and that they can win the first customers. Then it is necessary to show that there is demand for the product and that exponential growth is possible.
What was the most valuable advice someone gave you during your start-up phase?
There is an anecdote about a pilot who, when he starts his flight from L.A. to N.Y.C., changes the calibration of his aircraft by only one percent. During the trip, no one noticed any difference, neither the passengers nor the crew. But instead of arriving in NYC, the plane reaches Washington DC. This is a perfect example of how the little things you do, and the 1% improvement you achieve every day, have a long-term impact on the results and success of your takeoff.
What are your milestones?
- 2015 ParkHere company foundedDevelopment of
prototypes, financing by CLIMATE KIC,
Techfounders, EXIST and first customers, registration of patents on hardware.
- 2017 Seed financing & start of serial productionStart
of serial production with software, seed financing with Family Office Quandt (UnternehmerTUM) & Gettylabs, Lion E-Mobility AG, TheHighground GmbH.
- 2017 Market entry into IoT Parking Hardware (from key term parking solutions for companies) Introduction of the new cloud-based access management, reservation notifications and registration of new patents
- 2018 Series A growth financing
for the EU market, strong expansion of sales, further development of the IoT platform, start of series production of access management.
- 2019 PwC Scale | Mobility ProgrammeIn order to
further improve business and sales processes, ParkHere has engaged the experts from the management consultancy PwC as mentors and participated in the Scale Mobility Programme from September to November 2019. As a result, ParkHere will receive even more support for its business and sales processes in the future, thus gaining a strong partner.
- Prop-Tech Innovation Award 2020
ParkHere receives the award as one of the 3 most innovative companies in the Prop-Tech Innovation Awards, an initiative of GERMANTECH and Union Investment The high-tech company from Munich won the race among 150 applicants in the category "Smart & Sustainable Buildings" worldwide.
- Finalist 2020 - The Spark - The German Digital Award
ParkHere is one of the top 10 finalists of The Spark - The German Digital Prize. Handelsblatt and McKinsey honour new thinkers in the field of intelligent mobility.
What have you learned so far?
Ultimately, investors and society measure the success of companies primarily by economic factors. Furthermore, a decisive factor for a successful company is the team and the team composition. On the one hand, the founders and the team must be able to bring a product to market, and on the other hand, the company needs the ability to grow exponentially. This always requires a good mix of structures and an agile approach.
What recommendations do you have for other founders?
My advice to every founder is to choose his or her co-founder(s) carefully. The process of starting your own business is not always easy. Therefore the core team of founders and partners must be reliable and committed to your vision. In order to be successful in the long run, it is important to build a good network within the industry. Interest in the industry and its products is crucial for success.
Where did you get to know each other as a team?
The idea for ParkHere was born when Manage & More was consulting with the UnternehmerTUM incubator in 2015. We quickly became aware of unsolved parking problems and realised that there are more efficient ways to improve the parking experience. We founded our start-up and developed an innovative solution. The idea of a combination of hardware, software and mobile app solution was born.
Where do you see your start-up in three years?
Our vision is to connect all company parking lots with mobility services to enable and accelerate seamless and sustainable mobility in cities. As experts in parking solutions, we already link our innovative parking system with other mobility solutions such as carpooling, micro-mobility and public transport. Together with our partners, we create innovative mobility solutions to accelerate the transformation of mobility.
Do you still have a real social life since the foundation?
For me, and for us as a company, it is important to have experts on the team who are motivated to pursue our common vision. As a team, we have high expectations of our work and strive to solve challenges quickly. This sometimes leads to stressful and challenging situations. But we also take the time to celebrate and enjoy our successes. To put it in the words of Confucius: "Choose a profession you love and you will never have to work even a single day".
Let us assume that you are the mayor of Munich for one day. What would you change?
As mayor of the city, I would close all street parking lots for vehicles and give them back to the people to make people aware of how much space cars take up on the street. We believe that space, especially parking spaces in cities, can be better used. However, reducing parking space alone will not solve the traffic problem in cities. To achieve sustainable results and a healthy traffic mix, parking space must be combined with new forms of mobility.
Who would you like to have dinner with and why?
I would like to have lunch with Bill Gates and discuss the future of energy supply. In particular, I would like to learn more about his project to generate environmentally friendly energy through safe nuclear power.
Who is the "mastermind" on your team and what is his "superpower"?
We owe the success of the company to the team as a whole. Our employees are highly motivated, talented problem solvers. The drive, team spirit and trust that exists in our team has made ParkHere what it is today. It is thanks to the high intrinsic motivation of each team member that we have been able to achieve such great success and have been able to grow from a start-up to a successful company with over 50 employees in such a short period of time.
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