Company Uses Peer Economy Approach to Transform Unused Parking Spaces into Valuable Assets
Belmar, NJ, July 3, 2018 – Have you ever been discouraged from going to your favorite beach because you didn’t want to deal with parking? So was New Jersey native Andrew Smith., He created a solution and launched BeachIt, an app that leverages the shared economy concept to parking. BeachIt unites the owners of unused parking spaces – from driveways to lots – with beachgoers in search of a space to park, and creates a win-win situation for both parties.
BeachIt is currently available this summer at select beaches along the New Jersey and New York shores, and is looking to expand to states with more year-round beach seasonality like California and Florida. The concept of BeachIt is simple: hosts can enroll their available parking space through the site and set an hourly rate. Beachgoers search for an available space by location and book it. Pictures of the spaces are provided by the host, reviews are submitted by the user, and payment is all online. The issue of circling streets for a space dissolves, and residents, business owners and organizations can cash in on their unused parking space.
“One summer I found myself driving around for 45 minutes looking for parking to get to the beach, and when I finally found a spot, I had to walk twenty minutes,” says BeachIt co-founder Andrew Smith. “Along my walk I passed multiple driveways and parking lots that were empty, and I thought, ‘these could be rented out, like an Airbnb-concept’. So I started building the idea for BeachIt.”
BeachIt is a family affair. The company’s team includes Andrew, his brother Chris, his mother Elizabeth, and co-founder Andrew Dombrowiecki. Andrew, a rising senior at Middlebury College, brought his idea to the College’s program “Midd Entrepreneurs”, run by the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET). He intentionally took the course to focus on evolving the parking concept into a real business. BeachIt’s investors primarily consist of friends and family,but the team recently took 2nd place and was awarded $2k in funding in a collegiate pitch competition sponsored by Launch VT.
“When we first met Andrew in the Midd Entrepreneur course, we loved his idea and knew that he had the foundation to build something meaningful that would solve an existing frustration,” says Sam Roach-Gerber, director of Innovation at VCET and Midd Entrepreneur course co-instructor. “Andrew not only had a good idea, but he also has the professionalism and wisdom to realize that great ideas can take time to work out, and he is constantly iterating on the business and is open to ideas. That’s the mark of a solid business owner and leader.”
The concept of BeachIt goes beyond solving frustrated beachgoers on the verge of parking rage. BeachIt notes that 30 percent of beach traffic is caused by spot-searchers, creating unnecessary idling and emissions. BeachIt hopes that its solution will help alleviate those issues by increasing parking capacity. To find your spot, or to become a host, visit www.beachitparking.com. The iphone and android app will launch in the coming weeks.