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Penn State Finance Students Create Winning Parking App

by on January 02, 2016 6:00 AM
University Park, PA

Two Penn State Smeal College of Business senior finance majors teamed up to win the eighth Penn State Idea Pitch Competition recently.

Michael Black and Marlow Bryant won the $2,000 grand prize and a one-month co-working membership at New Leaf Initiative, a local entrepreneurship cooperative, for their winning concept, Parking Bee.

Parking Bee is an app that allows people who lease or own dedicated parking spaces to earn money renting them out when they are not using them.

The reason we created Parking Bee is because parking is so expensive in big cities and areas with high parking demand and low parking supply,” Black said. “We thought this would be a great way for people to find cheaper parking alternatives.”

Black said he and Marlow plan to launch the app and website at the end of January.

A team of engineering students won the second-place prize of $1,000. Two Smeal students — Eric Campbell (supply chain and information systems) and Gregory Cho (finance) — were part of a team that finished third and won $500.

Black and another Smeal student took third place in the seventh Penn State Idea Pitch Competition in March.

We are really excited to have won. We've been working really hard on launching the app and now that we have some money to work with it is really going to help us get this launched a lot faster,” Black said.

Hosted and managed by Smeal’s Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the competition was created for the purposes of giving Penn State students, faculty and alumni and Pennsylvania entrepreneurs the opportunity to work together to learn how to effectively formulate and communicate the value of innovative ideas and turn them into real opportunities.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.
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