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Meet Our Founders: Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson

Parking Pin – MICRO Spring 2024

Published June 12, 2024

As part of our ‘Meet Our Founders’ series today, we introduce Robert Wilson, CEO of Parking Pin based in Cary, NC. Parking Pin innovates parking management, offering seamless, hardware-free access via geo-location, ensuring safety, efficiency, and real-time communication for administrators and commuters.

Q: What problem are you trying to solve and what influenced you to start your company?

A: The biggest challenge for university parking is the lack of efficient communication regarding parking availability to their commuters.

Most university parking administrators lack the means to provide real-time parking availability, relying on static data from field patrols as their source of truth. Moreover, important parking availability updates, such as lot closures, events, and construction, are communicated through asynchronous messaging tools like email and social media, which lack engagement from commuters. By the time this information reaches commuters, it’s often outdated. The absence of real-time updates results in drivers circling aimlessly, causing wasted time, stress, and traffic congestion as they struggle to find available parking.

Not having access to dynamic data can be detrimental for the university. Ineffective communication and limited insights into parking availability contribute to inefficient lot utilization, inaccurate demand forecasting, and an increase in parking violations – all of which build a negative reputation of the campus parking experience.

Q: How will your NC IDEA grant funds advance your company?

A: A portion of the funds will be allocated towards hosting our application, providing mobility services through Google Maps Platform, and cloud storage services for storing and retrieving customer data related to parking availability, user preferences, and creating data reports.

Another important aspect of our deployment strategy involves effectively engaging and onboarding commuter mobile users. To achieve this, a portion of the grant funds will be earmarked for marketing expenses. This will facilitate targeted outreach campaigns aimed at educating and incentivizing users to download Parking Pin, thereby maximizing user adoption.

Grant funds will also be utilized to purchase the Starter package from Radar, which serves as our geolocation infrastructure. This investment enables us to accurately record parking events and provides customers and users access to real-time parking availability.

Overall, the distribution of grant funds across hosting, cloud storage, marketing expenses, and geolocation infrastructure outline the essential resources required for beta testing.

Q: Who do you look to for advice and mentorship?

A: I look to God for clarity, advice, mentorship, insight, and wisdom. I have learned that all I need to do is have faith and remain patient and He will surely put me in the room He wants me to be in. My favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

While visiting the Triangle area, Robert recommends:

  • If someone were visiting my city, I suggest trying Bahama Breeze for a taste of the Bahamas while in NC.

 

Support Parking Pin and Robert by:

  • Our team aims to engage parking specialists and an RFP expert to navigate the process, addressing airport and municipal parking pain points.