Plenty of college students know how stressful it is to find a parking spot on a busy campus -- but a Clovis Community College computer science student is working on an app for that.
Tanveer Gill, founder and CEO of ParkMe, is designing a mobile app that uses a schedule-based matching algorithm to match students arriving on campus with those leaving campus.
“It’ll match you with someone leaving their parking spot and I’ll geolocate their parking spot for you so you can be there when they pull out, take their spot and calmly walk to class,” Gill said. “I’ve begun work on it and started writing the code. I’m hoping to have a fully-functional prototype by fall of 2017.”
Gill pitched his idea to local business owners and school staff at Clovis Community College on Dec. 5 during the third biannual Demo Day, an event created by instructor of business and entrepreneurship Matthew Alanis.
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About a dozen students displayed their products and services on vendor tables in the lobby of Academic Center One and presented their start-up business ideas to judges, who graded them on booth design and presentation, student dress and professionalism and business feasibility.
“Demo Day is a capstone project for our Intro to Entrepreneurship students that gives them real life experience in promoting, marketing and really selling a product or service,” Alanis said.
The students work on their businesses all semester, beginning with a feasibility study to decide whether to pursue an idea. Then they create a business model to see how they’ll generate revenue and, finally, work on a 90-second “elevator pitch” to relay the important elements of their business.
“We give them a table and they figure out how to promote it,” Alanis said. “They choose the design elements from the logo, business name, business cards and brochures. Some of them have products for sale, but a lot of them are still in the conceptual phase, trying to figure out if there’s a market for their product.”
Judges included Lanna Coffee CEO Bryan Feil, First Fresno Bank CEO Steve Miller, Moore Than SEO owners Chris and Shel Moore, CEO and president of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce Mark Blackney, Brent Nabors an IT instructor on campus and Nancy Chavero, a Clovis Community College counselor.
“This gives them an opportunity to interact with the public and local business owners,” Alanis said.
Many of the students marketed their product or services to their peers. Ashley Prathaftakis wants to launch My Hookah Lab, a hookah lounge that promotes studying, near Fresno State or a community college campus.
“My Hookah Lounge is for students to have a facility that is open late where they can come enjoy a leisure activity while getting studying done,” she said. “Other local places have music and food; it’s more restaurant based. This will be targeted toward students who want a place to study.”
Evan Winigier hopes to launch College Savings Card, a membership card that would allow college students to save a percentage on their purchases at retailers and restaurants nationwide.
CatWalk developer Lisa Stringham created “a jungle gym for your cats,” she said. Shelves are mounted to the wall at different angles to provide walking paths and “the cat to be able to see your room from a different perspective,” Stringham said. “They get to jump around and roam free.”
Kenny Wang has owned his business, Fresh Designs, since he was a junior in high school.
“I’m a graphic designer for Twich.tv users - where people can stream themselves playing video games, being creative, sewing, creating cosplays, eating, bizarre stuff,” he said. Wang offers bundles of logos, panels and headers for Twitch social media accounts.
The Intro to Entrepreneurship class has helped immensely, he said.
“You learn about businesses and how the start-ups work,” he said. “I learned that I was losing money because I was pricing so low. Now I understand what to price.”