Park More, Stress Less
SJSU’s student entrepreneur, Steve Suarez, has created an app named SpotMe designed to help students and professors find on-campus parking prior to entering the garage.
The app simply connects to sensors in the parking garage, notifying students and professors exactly which floors have available parking or if the garage is full.
“My dad told me there are two types of people who view problems. The people who see the problem and the people who see an opportunity. I saw an opportunity to help people save time and stress,” said Suarez, a 19-year-old entrepreneur at SJSU.
Suarez came up with the idea in his business class where he was required to create a solution to a problem. The concept and name SpotMe sparked when his professor was forced to cancel class due to the lack of parking.
Outshining his peers, Suarez went to SJSU’s IDEA Lab, where he was mentored by the head of projects, Alex Luong. At IDEAS, Suarez formed a team to participate in the annual IDEAthon, an event designed to collaborate and network with professionals.
At IDEAthon, Suarez met Rob Frizzell, CEO of Omnipress, who assisted him in finalizing his idea to partake in Silicon Valley’s Innovation Challenge, where Suarez placed fourth in the elevator pitch round.
Today, Suarez is collaborating with SJSU’s parking services, Peter Dezena and Charlie Fass to merge SpotMe and SJSU’s future plans with the school’s parking.
In addition to finding parking, Suarez plans on developing a carpooling system within the app where students will be matched with others according to their school schedules. Once finding a match, SpotMe will notify the students and ask them if they would like to keep link up.
Suarez’s ultimate goal is for his app to be successful so he can reach out to other schools and ease others’ parking struggles.
“Ideally, I’d love for my idea to branch out in the Bay Area and if it’s a success, go national,” Suarez said.