SoBo’s Parking Panda Works to Help the Parking Dilemma

| August 23, 2012 | 0 Comments

“When you take a trip, you plan every part from your travel, hotel and tickets to events, but where you park is often an unknown.  With Parking Panda, you can now plan that as well,” Parking Panda Co-Founder Nick Miller told SouthBMore.com.  Parking Panda is a new website and mobile application that allows people to reserve parking spots. It also allows homeowners, garages and parking lot owners to advertise available parking spots.

Almost two years ago Baltimore-area natives Nick Miller and Adam Zilerbaum pooled their own savings to develop the concept called Parking Panda.  Zilerbaum and Miller were a great fit with Towson grad Zilerbaum’s background as a developer and Georgetown grad Miller ‘s background in product and corporate development. Their idea won them a local contest called Startup Weekend and after submitting an application they were accepted into a 3-month technology accelerator program in New York City.  After completion, they came back to Baltimore and officially launched Parking Panda in time for the 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix.

Parking Panda is now a venture backed company by a number of investors which include Greg Cangialosi of Federal Hill’s new technology accelerator/incubator Betamore.  Currently Parking Panda has an office on Key Highway in the Riverside neighborhood, but will soon be moving to a new office at 1111 Light Street in the heart of Federal Hill. “We were looking for an office with a fun environment in a fun area, which made Federal Hill a great fit.  Federal Hill also fits our company’s model because it is a place where people need help parking,” said Miller.

Parking Panda currently employs six people (all Mid-Atlantic natives) with a variety of skill sets in business development, marketing and technology. Parking Panda is also currently in the process of hiring two more full-time employees and offers many internship opportunities.

They currently have more than 10,000 spots available on Parking Panda in the Baltimore and Washington, DC. areas and are in the process of expanding to San Francisco and Philadelphia.  “Our goal is to grow Parking Panda into a national company and eventually international.  We are looking to expand into many American cities, but college towns and towns with a stadium are also places where parking can be a big concern,” said Miller.

As for any venture backed startup, there is always a look towards the future for the owners and investors. “I think with any venture backed company the goal is an eventual exit in a sale or an IPO offering. But right now we are just focused on growing,” said Miller.

This year Parking Panda became the official parking partner for the Baltimore Grand Prix. They are also expecting big results from the Baltimore Ravens games and many other sporting events and events in the region.  “If you are a homeowner with a parking pad, driveway or garage and would like to rent it out, we will list the space and process the payment for you.  We are also working with garages and parking lots to pre-book them as well as figure when they should charge more and when they should charge less,” said Miller.  Parking spots can be listed for the amount desired by the owner or Parking Panda can suggest a price.

And, of course, the question I’m sure many of you are wondering…  Parking Panda does list parking spots that are available on a monthly basis near your South Baltimore home or near your work. “We don’t go out looking for parking spots, but we do encourage anyone with a parking opportunity to list it on Parking Panda.  We have already leased many monthly spaces in South Baltimore,” said Miller.

Baltimore has recently made a lot of waves in the world of technology with many new incubators, successful startups, and  the growing Bio-Technology centers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland.  Forbes currently lists Towson/Baltimore as the 5th best city for tech jobs with 38.8% growth since 2001.  When asked about Baltimore as a tech city, “Baltimore is definitely an up-and-coming technology city.  It is easy to get community support and the cost of living and office space is much cheaper in hotbeds such as New York and San Francisco,” said Miller.

To learn more about Parking Panda, visit https://www.parkingpanda.com/.

 

 

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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