On Thursday, Maximilian von Brand and Stephen Levin, co-creators of the ParkUpFront won the annual CodeLaunch Pitch Day 2016 in Frisco.
“Our first CodeLaunch in 2013 garnered strong regional interest and has since grown to this year’s 247 applicants representing six continents,“ said Jason W. Taylor, president of Code Authority and founder of CodeLaunch, in a release.
ParkUpFront was one of five startups selected to pitch its concept to five judges at Dr Pepper Arena for a chance to win software design and development resources to create their app. In exchange, Code Authority will take a minority stake in the startup. The ParkUpFront app will be designed to give owners of exotic cars the ability to reserve up front parking for their cars at high-end restaurants, clubs, and other venues.
The event’s judges were Travis Holt, co-founder and partner at Brush Creek Partners; Gabriella Draney Zielke, co-founder and CEO of Tech Wildcatters; Wes Gentry, a member of the College Football Playoff staff; Kathryn Moore, founder of Key2Close and winner of CodeLaunch Pitch Day 2015, and Max Whitmeyer, partner at Genesis Investments.
Both von Brand and Levin are passionate about cars and both own Lamborghinis. They also helped found the Lamborghini Club of Dallas.
Von Brand said his love for exotic cars began at a young age.
“Maxmillian, they said, would you rather want to have a sibling or would you rather want to have a toy car,” von Brand said during the opening pitch. “I love cars and here we are 30 years later. My wife still tells me every day what an only child I am.”
But as much as they love taking their cars out, they realized they were going to the same places most of the time because of parking issues.
“Is there going to be valet? Is there not going to be valet?” von Brand told the judges. “Parking was always a problem.”
And they noticed they weren’t alone.
“It wasn’t just us. It was any and every high-end car owner out there,” he added. “There were a lot of establishments that never got our business because we never took our cars out.”
HOW IT WORKS
“Very simple. It’s going to be a mobile app and extremely simple and sleek to use for the user. Download the app, upload a picture of their car, register and they’re ready to go to make a reservation at a participating venue to park their car up front,” Levin explained.
Users will be able to scroll through a list of participating venues in their area. There will be photos of the inside of the restaurant, parking lot, as well as a list of incentives offered to ParkUpFront users, such as free appetizers or a free drink.
ParkUpFront is anticipating linking to OpenTable so that users can make reservations for dinner at the same time they’re making parking reservations.
LESS WORRY, MORE PERKS
“When we go out, I know that my car’s going to be taken care of. I don’t have to worry about parking. When I get there, I know the valet is waiting for me. There’s no line. They’re [valets] not going to park the car out back,” von Brand said. “They’re going to watch the car.”
High-end cars attract attention.
“They want your car in front of their establishment. It increases the establishment’s curb appeal,” von Brand said. They’re going to know when you’re coming. They’re going to give you more personalized service.
IT’S A NICHE MARKET
Research showed there were at least 3.5 million eligible users, Levin said.
“When I say users, I’m talking about park up front eligible cars just in the U.S.,” he told the judges. “We found over 19,000 venues that have valet parking in the U.S.”
ParkUpFront will charge each venue $160 per month. At 100 percent penetration, that’s a Max of $36.5 revenue, Levin said.
“At 100 percent penetration, that’s a max of $36.5 million in revenue,” he added.
They’re also planning to expand the app and create more ways to generate revenue.
“We don’t want it to be just a parking app we want to be a lifestyle app for high-end car users that basically bridges the gap between high-end car users and a luxurious lifestyle,” von Brand said.
Most Creative went to Eric Fooks of VirtualVue. VirtualVue would be an Uber-like app that allows people to hire someone to take them on a live virtual tour of a property, venue or car. It would be used by people who can’t physically view the property because of geography, time constraints or other reasons.
Best Pitch of the Night and Most Financial Potential went to John Clark of ProsRent. ProsRent would make it easier for contractors to rent professional construction equipment. Through the app, the contractor would be able to find equipment rentals and pricing by job location.
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