IDEAS at SJSU | Sofia Wright
ParkStash — San Jose State University, for years, has had problems in terms of parking.
With over 26,000 students and only three dedicated parking garages on campus, a new innovation was needed.
Coming out of IDEAS, and apart of ZinnStarter’s Batch 1, ParkStash was born.
“IDEAS club gave us a platform to present our venture to renowned entrepreneur Ray Zinn via ZinnStarter accelerator program,” said Sameer Saran, former CEO of ParkStash.
“IDEAS club members were a constant support and provided insightful feedback for our product. They also helped us in getting potential candidates for marketing and design.”
Saran, now an SJSU alumni, got the idea for the company — which currently offers spots downtown and around San Jose State University — after he enrolled in an engineering masters program, and bought a parking permit but still found himself circling for a spot, often for 30 minutes at a time.
“I have missed classes because of this parking problem, and I've also missed my exams,” Saran told ABC7.
“So, I wanted a solution to my own problem.”
Even SJSU has come out to say that approximately 20,000 students need parking or are driving to school, which is a number that attempts to fit into 5,500 on-campus parking spots and 850 parking spots off-campus near Spartan Stadium.
“There is a need for additional parking solutions near SJSU,” Charlie Faas said, SJSU’s vice president of administration and finance.
Most have recognized the issue, but Saran and his team wanted to do something about it.
“When I was walking down the street, I saw empty driveways and carports, I started realizing, these people can share this valuable resource with students and staff,” Saran said.
“We could actually solve the problem of parking.”
For as little as $1 an hour or differing weekly and monthly rates, drivers can park in driveways near campus listed on the app.
Since the launch, there has been a grassroots effort to get home and lot owners to rent out there spaces.
At face value, it allows these owners to make a little extra cash, but on a deeper level the app allows for students a parking solution unlike any other.
ParkStash has been featured on NBC, ABC 7 News, KTVU, and others, which have called the company the “Airbnb of parking.”