UF and Santa Fe students create “Perch” to help make parking on game days less stressful
The app allows Gator fans to connect with home owners and businesses to find game day parking close to the stadium
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - JJ Paulsen has been coming to UF football games forever--and says he has always noticed the parking problem.
“It was always a running joke in my family like ‘hey,” said Paulsen, “how long is it going to take to find parking this time?’”
When he presented the idea to a friend--he got set up with Dustin Karp, who had already begun working on an app.
“It was something I was really passionate about and just hit him up,” said Paulsen, “kind of explained what I thought I could do what I thought I could bring, and we hit it off not only as business partners but as pretty good friends.”
“The biggest hurdle that I’ve seen people have to jump through--Gator fans,” said Karp, “when they come to visit for the games--is definitely parking. They have to park their car far away, it’s super expensive, they risk their car getting damaged or towed.
Together they created “Perch”, which allows fans to connect with home owners and businesses to find parking on game days.
“I live very close to the stadium,” said UF student, Josh Burr, “on game days it’s absolutely a nightmare...there’s definitely a market for people selling their own personal parking at their houses. Anything that could connect sellers and buyers would definitely make the process easier.”
“We have all this open space and people holding up signs in their driveways for parking--50 dollars,” said Karp, “30 dollars however much it is--and we thought we could digitize that process so people could reserve in advance and know exactly where they’re going to park the day of the game without waiting through that abysmal traffic.”
JJ and Dustin say for now they’re focused on their roots in Gainesville, but they’re also not holding expectations back about where they could take “Perch”.
“I think our real goal is to make this the premiere destination for fans to park in Gainesville,” said Karp, “and then hopefully expand to other SEC schools.”
“We can expand as far as we’re willing to work to make it expand,” said Paulsen. “I don’t want to put any limitations on this right now.”
The pair hopes to start taking reservations for the upcoming season in the next few weeks.
To find out how you can reserve parking for the upcoming season, visit parkwithperch.com.
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