Have you ever circled around a busy city block searching for parking? You know how frustrating it can be. If you run a business that depends on drivers finding a parking space, parking becomes mission critical. Is there an innovative parking solution that addresses this problem?
This weeks guest, Jeremy Leval, discusses the parking challenge and how Parknav addresses it. He shares his journey from entrepreneurial youth to becoming a part of an innovative solution to a very common problem.
As a child with the lemonade stand, Jeremy had the idea of offering free pretzels to keep the customers coming back for more. His desire to challenge himself and stand out compelled him to try new things, learn new skills and use these skills to establish start-ups. Jeremy continued to move into new avenues of entrepreneurship, seeking ways to solve everyday problems in creative ways.
Innovative Parking Solution: Parknav
While enrolled in an MBA program, Leval kept the entrepreneurial flame burning by teaming up with a colleague, now Parknav CEO, to establish a forum for engaging a community of entrepreneurial-minded people. Jeremy found that listening to and learning from others’ mistakes was especially useful in side-stepping potential pitfalls in his own venture. He emphasizes the value of having input from people who are disconnected from your particular venture and are willing to provide a critical, independent and qualified viewpoint.
After college, he met a University of Illinois professor who had a simple problem: finding street parking in the city. Such was the beginnings of Parknav, a navigation system that finds that elusive street parking space for you.
As Parknav began to come together as a business entity, Jeremy and his business partners had to determine where to focus their product offering – who was their best target audience. They came to a decision to pivot from their original consumer focus to focus more on a business-to-business solution.
During the interview, Jeremy shares his advice to innovators:
- Have a community and advisers,
- Knowing when to pivot
- Take advantage of business accelerators to help launch your business that will bring the right partnersto the table.