I wish SpotHero had been around when I lived in Boston. This Chicago-based startup lets you reserve a parking spot by neighborhood or event, which would have come in quite handy when I lived off Commonwealth Avenue near Boston College. I am sure parking there is still a nightmare.
There is certainly a market for this service – this past weekend, SpotHero won the Apps for Metro Chicago hackathon, which came with a very nice $5,000 prize. According to this article on MyFox Chicago, founders Mark Lawrence and Jeremy Smith will use the money to expand, natch, and create a mobile version of the app.
So here’s how it works: You reserve a spot by neighborhood or event, checkout in one easy click, and, when you park, put your reservation on your dashboard. For those with a spot to rent out, you can list it for free; just upload a picture of the spot and add the dates it’s available and how much it costs. When your spot sells, you get an email notice.
SpotHero is similar to Parking Panda. The big differences: Parking Panda is already a mobile app, and is currently available only in Baltimore. They are expanding to DC, Philly, and Boston soon. SpotHero, on the other hand, is available only in Chicago. Because both companies are new, either could end up dominating the market, so it will be interesting to see who expands across the country first and starts grabbing market share.