Monthly Archives: June, 2016

ParqEx: Top 10 Chicago Events

Top 10 Upcoming Chicago Events

June 30th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

Chicago is a beautiful city that offers many exciting events to its residents. Naturally, the hot months of summer are the best ones to catch some of the best events in the city. However, there are so many events taking place, it is easy to miss some of the best ones. To help you with this problem, we have developed a list of the top 10 upcoming Chicago events you should definitely check out.

ParqEx: Top 10 Chicago Events

1. South Loop Concerts

In the month of July, South Loop has a couple of fantastic concerts. On July 1st and 3rd, Guns N’ Roses is coming to town. They will take the stage on Soldier Field. Coldplay will also be playing on Soldier Field, later in the month on July 23rd and 24th.

2. Ravinia

Ravinia is a series of concerts that will be taking place throughout the entire summer. Every day a fantastic artist will perform. For example, Paul Simon will perform on June 18th and Patty LaBelle will take the stage on June 23rd.

3. Windy City LakeShake

For the country music fan, the Windy City LakeShake is an event you won’t want to miss. It takes place over the course of three days, June 17-19. Some of the top country artists will perform, including Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum and Jason Aldean.

4. Taste of Chicago

This outdoor food festival is one of the best in the nation. Along with foods that are unique to Chicago, you can enjoy live entertainment and fun activities every member of the family can enjoy.

5. Ruido Fest

Ruido Fest takes place July 8-10 at Addams/Medill Park. It is an Alternative-Latin festival that focuses on Spanish style reggae, hip-hop, electronic and a number of other music genres. Several popular artists will be taking the stage during this festival.

6. Pitchfork

Pitchfork is currently celebrating its 11th year. It is an internationally recognized festival that features over 40 fantastic bands. The festival takes place over the course of three days and is intended to highlight Chicago’s emerging music scene. This year’s festival will take place from July 15th through July 17th.

7. Chicago Open Air

One of the best things to enjoy at Chicago Open Air is the fantastic food options. Along with this, attendees have the opportunity to see some of the biggest names in the alternative music industry. For example, Korn, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson and Slipknot will all be performing during this festival. It takes place July 15-17 at Toyota Park, Bridgeview.

8. Millennium Park Summer Film Series

This is a great event to attend for those who are looking to enjoy a movie and a picnic dinner. Along with this event, Millennium Park offers a number of other summer events, like concerts, exhibits and even nature programs.

9. 20th Annual Chicago SummerDance

SummerDance is the largest outdoor dance series in the nation. Whether you love cha-cha, waltz, swing or another type of dance, you will be able to enjoy it here. The program takes place from June 24th through September 11th and offers live music and hour-long dance lessons.

10. Windy City Ribfest

Along with some great ribs, the Windy City Ribfest event offers live music, crafts and other vendors. The entrance fee is free, but there is a suggested donation price of $5 for those attending. This year, the festival will take place over the 4th of July weekend.

When you do make the choice to attend these events, make sure you plan your parking in advance. ParqEx has partnered with Bucktown/Wicker Park for some of these fabulous events and also services neighborhoods, such as South Loop, Ravenswood, Lake View, and many others that hold these fabulous events. With our assistance, you will always be able to find adequate parking so that you can enjoy everything your event has to offer.

To learn more about easy parking for attending events in the Chicago area, contact us today.

parqex techweek

Meet the 5 Startups Crowned Finalists of Chicago’s Techweek Launch Competition

June 27th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Events, News & Events, Parking, startup No Comment yet

Techweek Chicago, the annual tech mega-event that takes place every summer, wrapped-up Friday afternoon with its regional Launch competition. Out of 60 Chicago and national startups who were selected to present their companies at Thursday’s Launch expo, 5 companies were selected as finalists to participate in a tech showdown for the ages. A representative from each company had 5 minutes to pitch their startup to an esteemed panel of judges who would ultimately choose the winner. After impressive presentations from all companies, Atlanta-based Aces Health took home first place, winning a trip to Miami to compete for $50,000 at the national Launch competition in December.


ParqEx Techweek

Beating out hundreds of applicants, meet the 5 fast-growing startups crowned finalists of Chicago’s Techweek Launch competition:


  • Aces Health – Smarter Tools for Healthcare (Winner)

Atlanta-based Aces Health is a healthcare tech startup that develops products for the industry’s leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies. The company’s platform aims to save time and money in the clinical research phase of drug development, reducing overall costs of new drug delivery and making medicines more accessible to patients.

  • Schlep – On Demand Delivery Teams (Runner-up)

Schlep is a friendly and secure marketplace for people to link up and get stuff moved. Specializing in the hauling and delivery of large, heavy, and awkward items. Schlep helps individuals and businesses get stuff moved by connecting them to their vetted neighbor with a truck.

  • ParqEx  – The Private Parking Marketplace

ParqEx connects owners of under-utilized parking spots to people in need of a place to park. By using ParqEx, parking owners are able to make some supplemental income while drivers find more convenient and often less expensive parking options in hard-to-park locations.

  • ShurpaLast Mile Delivery

Shurpa allows brands’ end customers to schedule parcel delivery in a one-hour window, during evening hours, when they’re actually home from work.

MailControl automatically detects the presence of tracking code in all incoming emails, assess and report the risk level, and disables external tracking code before they arrive in the user’s inbox. This is all done at server side so end users become protected without needing to install anything and can send and receive emails on any device or app without changing behavior.

ParqEx: Self-Driving Cars: What You Need to Know

Self-Driving Cars: What You Need to Know

June 23rd, 2016 Posted by Community, Parking, Safety No Comment yet

Believe it or not, self-driving cars may not only be the wave of the future, they may become very prominent in our society very soon. You may or may not have heard about this movement. For some reason, it hasn’t received very much publicity, but there are a number of companies working on the concept. You may even find yourself in a self-driving car in the next decade. Here are a few things you might want to know about the world of self-driving cars.

ParqEx: Self-Driving Cars: What You Need to KnowSafety

The first thing that many people want to know about self-driving cars is how safe they are. You may be surprised to hear that self-driving cars are, at least in theory, much safer than cars driven by humans. They’re still in development of course, but the reality is that computers can accept input, respond, and multitask much more quickly and efficiently than humans can, even on their best days. While humans can be very unpredictable, computers tend to be very predictable, to both humans and other computers.

Although Google, one of the leading researchers in the world of self-driving cars, has had a number of autonomous cars on the road for many years, they have only recorded a few accidents, and in most cases, the autonomous car was not at fault. Although many people have a hard time believing it at first, self-driving cars may very well make the roads considerably safer.


Currently, self-driving cars are very expensive. In fact, one of these vehicles can cost as much as several hundred thousand dollars. This is out of most people’s price range, of course. The high price of one of these cars is due to the expense of the many sensors and systems that are required for safe operation. In addition to a long list of safety sensors, the cars generally use cameras, a high-quality GPS system, and software to keep everything running. However, this price is expected to come down considerably in the future. In fact, within the next decade or two, the entire automation system may only add a few thousand dollars to the price of a vehicle.


So what are all of these autonomous vehicles going to be used for? Of course, the thing most people think of first is human transportation. Need to go to the store or get your kids to soccer practice? Just jump in and it’ll get you there. There are a number of other possibilities though. For example, Ridesharing companies are already partnering with autonomous car manufacturers with the intention of eliminating the need for drivers. Many companies are also considering this technology for deliveries, both on a small-scale, such as delivering your lunch, and on a large-scale, for example, tractor-trailer delivery companies.

Legal aspects

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of autonomous cars on the road yet. This is partially due to a lack of acceptance and trust, as well as a lack of knowledge, from the general public, but it is also because of the fact that many states have not legalized the use of these vehicles yet. On the other hand, you may be surprised to know that several states have decided to allow this new technology. A handful of states have already enacted laws that make self-driving cars legal, and many other states only have vaguely written legislature that does not allow or disallow the technology.


What’s next with self-driving cars? According to some predictions, this technology may be commonplace by 2020 or a little after. Numerous companies are working on this, in addition to Google. Some of these companies include GM, Ford, Tesla, and Audi. Would you ride in a car that drives itself?

Looking for more information about innovative transportation technology? Google gives lots of good information about their program here, and this article talks about the growth of the self-driving car industry that is expected by 2020. Feel free to contact us with any other questions.

ParqEx News & Events: Find us at the Taste of Randolph 2016

June 15th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, News & Events, Parking No Comment yet

ParqEx In The News

Come say hello at the Taste of Randolph this weekend!


June 17-19, 900 W. Randolph Street

What better way to spend Father’s Day than at the Taste of Randolph street festival? The ParqEx team is going to be there with our brand new tent AND we’re one of the event sponsors! (Hint: Stop by and we might have goodies for you!)

Commemorating the iconic street festival’s 20th Anniversary, Star Events and WLCO will bring together the biggest and brightest names in Chicago dining, featuring over 20 restaurants exemplary for delectable menus and irresistibly unique flavors. Sample the food to the sounds of the nation’s hottest up-and-coming bands and musicians, as well as the biggest names in Chicago house music, performing on two stages and a DJ stage.

Taste of Randolph benefits the West Loop Community Organization, which has been advocating for the West Loop neighborhood since 1991, supporting local businesses and economic development.

For event info, hours, and schedule, click here.

Here are some private parking spots right by the Taste of Randolph for you to rent!

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ParqEx Launches Access+

Open any garage door or gate with the ParqEx app!

Parking spot owners can rent their private parking spots that are behind garage doors or a gate without requiring to hand over the transponder / FOB. When the parking spot is rented, for the duration of the rental, the renter will be able to access the parking spot.

Looking for secure parking? You can now rent exclusive private parking in secure residential buildings, gated residences, private lots and more. Once you rent, you dont need a FOB to access the parking spot any more. Simply click the garage door opener button in the app to open the gate or garage door to access your secure private parking spot.

To learn more, click here.

ParqEx Joins Lakeview Chamber of Commerce


The latest in a growing membership

We are proud to announce that we are now members of several chambers of commerce, most recently joining Lakeview Chamber of Commerce.

The Lakeview Chamber’s service area is from Diversey on the South, to Irving Park Rd. on the North, and Ravenswood on the West, to Racine on the East.

To learn more, click here.

ParqEx Launches Initiative to Improve Parking in West Loop


Joins West Loop Community Organization

If you haven’t heard yet, ParqEx will work with fellow members of the community group to augment parking supply while benefitting local residents and businesses

Over the past several years Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, which was largely industrial or residential in nature in the past, has seen a massive surge in all types of development – including commercial and retail. New big name tenants like Google, who recently opened their latest Chicago office for over 500 employees there, and trendy hotels and restaurants, have made the West Loop one of the hottest areas in town. However, those establishments have also brought many more commuters and visitors to the neighborhood without sizable increases in parking to accommodate them. The result has been mounting frustration with the scarcity of parking options available to meet all the growth.

The ParqEx platform replaces traditional methods of listing parking — To read the full article, visit

From the blog…

If you’re not up to speed yet on the ParqEx blog, here’s a few of our latest posts.

Five of Our Favorite Chicago Summer Festivals

Chicago is a town that knows how to party, so the only difficult thing about recommending five of our favorite Chicago summer festivals is narrowing it down to five. There are music festivals, food festivals, ethnic festivals, art festivals, and more. From the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival to the 57th Street Art Fair, from Ribfest Chicago to the Great American Lobster Fest, Reggae Fest Chicago to Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, from Chicago Gospel Music Festival to…

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Ways The IoT is Helping Increase Parking Availability in Major U.S. Cities

Advancing technology is using cloud-based applications to bring innovation to many different industries and sectors of society. In the realm of transportation, mobile apps using the cloud, are solving difficult logistic problems like delivery, public transportation, and even parking. Let’s explore the possibilities by looking at ways the IoT is helping increase parking availability in major U.S. cities….

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Don’t Let These 3 Common Summer Transportation Problems Ruin Your Fun in the Sun

Summer is right around the corner, and this is usually exciting for most people. But after that initial jolt, the reality sets in. Nothing is for free, and with all the joy that summer brings, it also has its costs. Certain issues such as childcare, getting that beach bod ready, and dealing with the oppressive temperatures come to mind, but few things are as frustrating as…

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ParqEx: 5 of Our Favorite Chicago Summer Festivals

Five of Our Favorite Chicago Summer Festivals

June 9th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

Chicago is a town that knows how to party, so the only difficult thing about recommending five of our favorite Chicago summer festivals is narrowing it down to five. There are music festivals, food festivals, ethnic festivals, art festivals, and more. From the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival to the 57th Street Art Fair, from Ribfest Chicago to the Great American Lobster Fest, Reggae Fest Chicago to Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, from Chicago Gospel Music Festival to Printers Row Lit Fest, there are celebrations to suit every taste.

ParqEx: 5 of Our Favorite Chicago Summer Festivals

Gold Coast Art Festival, located in Grant Park, is considered the “Granddaddy of American art festivals.” June 18 and 19, 2016, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm will be the 59th annual Gold Coast Art Festival. It’s considered one of the top thirty juried art festivals in the United States, with displays from over 300 artists. There will be food, drink, live music, and children’s activities. Go to admire or go to buy. ParqEx can help you find a parking spot nearby, so you don’t have to carry your purchases a mile or more to your car.

Fiestas Puertorriqueñas and Puerto Rican People’s Parade is a four day festival of Puerto Rican heritage, from June 16 to June 19, 2016. One of the largest Latino cultural events in the United States, this celebration takes place in Humboldt Park. The 37th anniversary of the Puerto Rican People’s Parade will be along Division Street. In addition to the parade, there will be live music, entertainment, carnival rides, authentic Caribbean cuisine, arts & crafts, dancing, and much more.

Square Roots Music Festival is a chance to have a great time and help the community. Money raised by the festival supports Old Town School of Folk Music scholarship programs and Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce farmers markets and concerts. The festival is in Lincoln Square, July 8 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, July 9 from 12 noon to 11:00 pm, and July 10 from 12 noon to 9:00 pm. More than 30 craft beers from local breweries will be available for tasting. There are plenty of activities for those under 21: games and arts & crafts. Musical performances range from indie rock to folk music to jazz.

Lollapalooza is a four day music festival in Grant Park, running from July 28 to 31. This year’s entertainers include world-famous rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, electronic-eclectic band Major Lazer, pop singer Lana del Rey, rock band Jane’s Addiction, hip-hop band Flatbush Zombies, singer-songwriter Melanie Martinez, indie rock band Frightened Rabbit from Glasgow, Scotland, pop singer Alina Baraz, English folk group Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, Norwegian musician Cashmere Cat, English rock band Radiohead, Chicago rapper Towkio, and too many others to list here. In addition to some of the world’s best musicians, there will be an art market, shopping, and photo opportunities. There’s a mini-fest for children where they can have fun. Food comes from some of Chicago’s favorite restaurants, rather than the usual carnival fare. This year is Lollapalooza’s 25th anniversary. Come experience the music and the energy. Let ParqEx help you find parking for all four days.

The Chicago Air and Water Festival is the largest free festival of its kind. August 20 and 21, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, the place to be will be North Avenue Beach. This year will be the 58th anniversary of the Chicago Air and Water Festival, featuring aerial acrobatics, watercraft daredevilry, food, and music. Performers at the festival include US Navy Blue Angels, US Army Golden Knights parachute teams, the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs parachute team, the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, and the Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Rescue team. From biplanes to jet planes, the Chicago Air and Water Festival has aircraft and stunts to thrill you.

For more information on the best festivals in Chicago, how to get there, and where to park, contact us.

ParqEx: Ways The IoT is Helping Increase Parking Availability in Major U.S. Cities

Ways The IoT is Helping Increase Parking Availability in Major U.S. Cities

June 2nd, 2016 Posted by mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

Advancing technology is using cloud-based applications to bring innovation to many different industries and sectors of society. In the realm of transportation, mobile apps using the cloud, are solving difficult logistic problems like delivery, public transportation, and even parking. Let’s explore the possibilities by looking at ways the IoT is helping increase parking availability in major U.S. cities.

internet of things

Connecting Users with Services

Most of the SaaS solutions are acting as brokers or liaisons, connecting customers with helpful services. These services are being provided by users of the application as well, which means all three parties are benefiting from the solution.

For instance, everyone who lives in a metropolitan city (or visited one) in the United States understands parking can be a headache and even impossible at times. Well, this problem is being solved through cloud-based technology, mostly using mobile devices through an app. ParqEx, a Chicago-based company, has created a liaison service where users are connecting to do businesses, specifically to find rent-able parking spots in real-time.

The IoT is the Glue

The Internet of Things is simply an all-encompassing phrase being used to describe every possible electronic mode of connecting, sharing, and collecting data. This means the devices and objects used in these processes are the glue, for instance, making parking available in large cities.

For instance, GPS plays a large part in showing users where the parking spaces are, and how to find them from their location. All the objects that makes this happen are part of the IoT. The mobile devices, the electronic garage openers the parking spot owner may use to facilitate the parking, the laptop used to gauge business for the month, etc…

The real-time exchange of data used to pay for and sign up to the cloud-based service, are all facilitated by distant servers and networked from hosting companies. Also, the automation processes allowing the exchange of funds from the customer to the parking spot owner, are made possible by the IoT in the form of card processing services.

Related Services and Inter-Connectivity

The IoT also helps users find the service in the first place. This could be done through a search engine, or possibly a related service. Say for instance, the Chicago Cubs organization begins to become an affiliate of ParqEx, in order to help their fans find parking during home games. A small ad shown when a fan purchases a ticket for a home game of ParqEx’s service, gives fans an option to find rent-able parking during the game.

Inter-connectivity with other services such as Uber, can help customers find a rent-able parking spot (even for months at a time), while they get a ride through Uber’s service to the airport. Even the airports, bus stations, taxi services, and other transportation services can help in solving the cities parking problem, by advertising ParqEx’s service. This could happen in the form of: using electronic billboards, telephone communications, emails, and other technological communications.


The IoT is an all-encompassing glue, connecting technology with innovative ideas. Sensors, marketing mediums, mobile devices, credit card processors, automation in logistical processes – all contribute to increase the rent-able parking spaces in a large city. The more people who find out they can make money renting their parking space, the more parking availability will increase.

ParqEx is using an innovative idea to solve a real problem, which is helping large cities find parking for visitors and residents alike. The IoT is helping to spread the word and connect related services together, in order to further along the smartness of the cities we’re serving. The more people who rent out their parking spaces, and the more people hearing “through the grapevine” that they can rent these parking spaces, the more the parking problem is solved.

We’re relying on the IoT to comprehensively glue our efforts together into a seamless service users can’t resist. With the help of the IoT, services like ParqEx can work together, not only solve common problems like parking, but also create opportunity for independent users looking to make some income. In the end it’s a win-win, which is always nice. Please contact us to learn more about ParqEx’s innovative parking app, and we’ll be glad to help.


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