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Chicago events

Five Free February Events in Chicago

January 19th, 2017 Posted by Chicago Events, Parking, sharing economy No Comment yet

February is nearly here, and with it comes a wide variety of fun Chicago events. Whether you are looking for a fun date idea or an activity for the whole family, you are sure to find something to suit your needs in the busy Windy City. Best of all, many of these upcoming events are absolutely free, making them accessible to all, no matter what your budget may be. (more…)

ParqEx: How to Enjoy the Holidays in Chicago with the Sharing Economy

Using the Sharing Economy to Enjoy the Holidays in Chicago

December 8th, 2016 Posted by AirBnB, Holidays, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy No Comment yet

The holiday season is here, and while the bitter cold winters in Chicago may not be everyone’s thing, nobody can resist an amazing Chicago-style holiday season. After all, the holidays in Chicago mean elaborate decorations, frazzled-but-jovial holiday shoppers, and that warm fuzzy feeling everyone loves. Who can resist all of that?


4 Peer-to-Peer Companies to Use on Your Next Vacation

December 1st, 2016 Posted by AirBnB, Chicago Travel Tips, Holidays, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, startup, Uber No Comment yet

The sharing economy has become a huge deal, and it is still growing. From lodging to car rentals, there is a peer-to-peer sharing platform for it all.



Top 5 Things To Do In Evanston

November 29th, 2016 Posted by Community, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

1.) Eat at Buffalo Joe’s

If you like buffalo wings, you’re going to LOVE Buffalo Joe’s. I’ve been going to Buffalo Joe’s ever since I was a little kid (I’m 23 now) and my mouth still waters just thinking about the savory, buttery goodness of the famous Buffalo Joe’s wing sauce. Oh, and let’s not forget that the quality of the chicken wings is good, too. Really good. One bite and you’re hooked; trust me. This Evanston staple is sure to satisfy your taste buds.


ParqEx: 4 Ways the Sharing Economy Can Help You

4 Ways the Sharing Economy Can Help You

November 3rd, 2016 Posted by mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy No Comment yet

The idea of sharing with your neighbor is as old as time. We share an egg when our next-door neighbor runs out, we share a ride with our workmate when their car breaks down, and we happily share our time to help our child’s teacher at the class holiday party.


in the news

In the News with ParqEx

October 25th, 2016 Posted by Community, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

ParqEx is pumped to be finalist for 2016’s “50 on Fire!”

We are 1 of just 16 B-to-C companies to make the list out of hundreds of applicants!

Chicago is one of the most diversified economies in the world, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce. And this diversity extends to the city’s innovation economy, with an eclectic mix of startups, categories, entrepreneurs, enterprise tech companies, STEM organizations, universities, and more making up the ecosystem.

50 on Fire is Chicago Inno’s annual awards show, celebrating the individuals and organizations that are heating up Chicago across a variety of industries. It is a reflection of Chicago’s ecosystem at large – a collection of people and organization in a number of different roles, stages, and categories – that are, for lack of a better term, on fire. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire city to build an innovation.

ParqEx is absolutely thrilled to be one of just 16 B2C companies to be included in the prestigious list.

To read the full article, click here.

Hot spots!

Here are a few of our currently featured parking spots. Going to be in the area and need an easy place to park? Click on the spot you want. Book it. You’re a VIP.

A ParqEx original film


Jeff & Matt: A story about the day two people became friends through parking.


Jeff & Matt were once sad. Jeff drives to the big city every day from the suburbs. Jeff gets lots of headaches figuring out where to park. Matt lives in the big city. Matt has a parking space, but doesn’t always use it.

ParqEx to the rescue! The simple ParqEx app allows Matt to rent his parking space to Jeff. Jeff doesn’t have to worry about where to park anymore. Matt makes some extra money. Jeff and Matt are now friends.

To list or find parking (and maybe a new friend), click here!


ParqEx company news bits:


ParqEx: Always expanding!
This month, Parqex signed deals with Farpoint Development and MO2 Properties.

ParqEx CEO at VentureFWD Summit
ParqEx Founder and CEO Vivek Mehra was one of an esteemed and select group of innovators and leaders to speak at the 2016 Venture for Women & Diversity Summit.

ParqEx is hiring in Chicago and Wisconsin
ParqEx is looking for leaders, including Jr. Account Executives (Sales) in both Madison and Milwaukee. See the full list of opportunities at our great company.

GAME CHANGER: ParqEx Access+

With Access+, residents and approved visitors can open the garage door from their smartphones. Garage owners can simplify management and improve control of the garage.

Interested? Learn more here!



Elmspring Rush: Highlighting the 10 Companies

October 19th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Events, mobile app, Parking, parking spots, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

The Elmspring Accelerator is a venture accelerator that invests in technology startups who aim to disrupt the real estate and housing industry.


Jeff & Matt: A ParqEx Original Film

October 12th, 2016 Posted by Community, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

Meet our friends Jeff & Matt:

        Jeff            Matt


Jeff & Matt were once sad:


Jeff drives to the big city every day from the suburbs. Jeff gets lots of headaches figuring out where to park.

Matt lives in the big city. Matt has a parking space, but doesn’t always use it.

This is where ParqEx comes to the rescue!


The simple ParqEx app allows Matt to rent his parking space to Jeff.

Jeff doesn’t have to worry about where to park anymore.

Matt makes some extra money.

Jeff and Matt are now friends.

Watch the video below! 




We are solving the urban parking problem together.

October 12th, 2016 Posted by Community, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

Parking in the big city doesn’t have to suck. Together, we are solving the parking problem by using the resources we already have and sharing them with others. We can solve the urban parking problem; we just need to work together.

Restaurant Picks: West Loop

October 6th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Restaurants, Chicago Travel Tips, Food, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, restaurants, sharing economy, startup, West Loop No Comment yet

If you don’t love food, don’t read this. If you’re hungry, you probably shouldn’t read this, either. Salivation will occur. We are about to explore some of the best restaurant spots in the West Loop of Chicago.

There are so many restaurant connoisseurs out there. They all eat at the best restaurants in every city and usually end up writing reviews. These reviews usually include words like “Confit” to describe chicken, “Tartar” to describe finely chopped meat or fish, or “Amuse Bouche,” meaning “amuse the mouth.”

That’s all fine and dandy, but I have a different style. I’m not going to use big culinary words in this post; I’m simply going to tell you what I’ve tried and what I like. I like to eat things that taste good and I want to tell you about them so you can try them out, too. That’s the purpose of this post. This particular post will focus on restaurants in Chicago’s West Loop.

West Loop Top Grub Spots

1.) Girl & The Goat

Believe the hype; Girl & The Goat is for real. Located on the 800 block of West Randolph Street, Stephanie Izard’s food is nothing short of awesome. Specializing in small plates, Girl & The Goat just feels like a happening place right when you walk in the door. The atmosphere is great, and the food is even better. The service is top-notch  the staff is knowledgeable and the atmosphere is not too pretentious. Plus, the brains behind the operation and Executive Chef, Izard, was born in Chicago. Oh yeah, you can drink wine there, too. 

What I Ordered:

  • Soft Shell Chili Crab = so good 
  • Wild Striped Bass = unbelievably good 
  • Goat Empanadas = you have to get them 

Izard has also opened two other restaurants in the West Loop, Little Goat Diner and Duck Duck Goat. Trust me, you can’t go wrong with any of the three. 

2.) Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Originating in Memphis, Gus’s is the best spot for fried chicken. Not the best place for a first date (lots of finger licking involved). Hit up Gus’s in the Fulton Market District for some of the best fried chicken you’ve ever had. Gus knows how crispy to make his chicken and he knows how spicy to make his chicken. The crunch to spice ratio is on point and the chicken is just about as juicy as it gets. Oh wait, don’t forget to order the fried pickles. If you like pickles, it’s a no doubter. 


  • Gus’s Famous Fried Chicken has earned the right to call itself “famous” 
  • Order white or dark meat, they’re both really damn good 
  • Fried pickles = better than un-fried pickles 
  • I’m not much of a sweets guy, but I’ve heard great things about their homemade pies 

3.) Nonna’s Sandwiches and Sundries

Let me tell ya, Nonna knows how to make a heavenly meatball sub. The Italian beef is really good, too. If you’re ever in the West Loop for lunch and want something fairly quick, Nonna’s is your spot. It’s a little on the pricey side for a sandwich shop ($10-$11 for a sandwich), but you get what you pay for. You won’t leave hungry. My co-worker, Dan, eats about 1-2 Nonna’s meatball subs per week. I’m thinking about adopting a similar routine. 

Postgame Analysis: 

  • Great meatball sub
  • Excellent lunch spot 
  • Very solid Italian beef 

Little tip: get the hot giardiniera on your meatball sub!

4.) Au Cheval

If you’re lucky enough to get into Au Cheval without having to wait hours for a table, don’t pass up on the opportunity; it’s as good a restaurant as advertised. I ordered the double burger with a fried egg and bacon. The bacon was extremely thick and tasty, and the fried egg was an excellent addition to the juicy, perfectly cooked burger. Au Cheval also has a great selection of specialty cocktails. It’s a perfect place for a date or a good time with your pals. Expect to spend some money, especially if you’re planning on drinking. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself 😉 

5.) Glazed and Infused (Doughnuts)

Technically not a restaurant, but still food. Good food. Desert. Sorry, my sentences are getting shorter and shorter because I am now drooling. There isn’t much to say about Glazed and Infused except that they make awesome doughnuts. After eating at one of the four spots above, infuse yourself with some glaze-y goodness. Try anything because they’re all good. 

West Loop Parking sucks. So if you are in fact heading down to Chicago’s hottest neighborhood, make sure you rent parking in advance using ParqEx. Simply download the ParqEx app on the App Store or Google Play or sign up on the ParqEx website. ParqEx is a peer to peer parking technology platform. Simply rent parking Chicago or list parking Chicago to make your parking experience a lot easier, and better.

About ParqEx:

ParqEx is a technology company that connects owners of private parking spots to people looking for parking. In urban areas where parking demand is high but available options are scarce or expensive, ParqEx makes additional supply available to the driving public by listing exclusive inventory owned by local residents and businesses.

Using ParqEx, parking owners are able to make some supplemental income from an underutilized asset while renters get access to exclusive inventory in more convenient and hard-to-park locations. The ParqEx support team ensures that the entire process of listing, reserving, parking, and paying is as smooth as possible for all involved.

ParqEx has also developed the revolutionary Access+ Technology. With Access+, residents and approved visitors can open the garage door from their smartphones. Property managers and condo boards can simplify management and improve control of the garage.

Don’t have our parking app yet? Get it now @ParqEx on the App Store and Google Play!

Watch our short video to see the beauty of the ParqEx app!




Parking Isn’t Always Frustrating

September 27th, 2016 Posted by Car, Funny, mobile app, Parking, parking spots, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

When thinking about parking, especially parking in Chicago, most people either get bored or frustrated. Let’s be honest, it’s not necessarily a subject you talk about at the bar with your best friends (at least I hope not).

Parking spots are usually used for one thing and one thing only: to store a vehicle. But sometimes, people get creative and do other things with them. Like what??? The following may surprise you…


Park Smarter, Live Better

September 7th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, startup No Comment yet

Park the way YOU want! Here are 4 reasons why using ParqEx will make your life a lot better:


  • You’ll save money. It’s simple: parking in the city using ParqEx will save you money. We all hate that feeling of spending $20 on something, later to find out that same thing was available for $10. Once you pay that $50 to park outside Wrigley Field, you’re not getting that money back after you realize ParqEx had an available spot even closer to the stadium for half the price. With parking, unfortunately there are no price adjustments or price matching. Why pay more than you should for parking when you can be spending your hard earned money on things you love; like Cubs and Blackhawks tickets. Start spending money the way you want to spend it. It’s more fun that way!


  • You’ll make money. There aren’t too many things better than making money while doing nothing. If you’re already making money by sitting on the couch watching the Bears on Monday Night Football, well, here’s a way you can be making more money – and if you’re not yet as lucky as the Bears fan mentioned above, here’s where ParqEx comes to the rescue. It’s as easy as downloading the ParqEx app on your smart phone or tablet or visiting the ParqEx website and listing your parking spot on our platform. It’s like listing your apartment on Airbnb, but doing so with your parking spot. So if you’re working a 9-5 job or going on vacation for a week, list your parking spot on ParqEx daily, weekly, or monthly and start earning the money you deserve.


  • You’re caring about your community. Parking can be frustrating. Very frustrating. Why? Because there always seems to be WAAAY more cars looking for parking than parking spots available. ParqEx is solving the parking crisis by making more parking spots readily available, but we can’t do it without your help. By listing your spot on the ParqEx website or app, you can help out your community by making it easier for everyone to park – and in turn, these people can spend more time doing what they want to do in your city.


  • Believe it or not, you’ll have fun! We all know the satisfying feeling of finding the perfect parking spot. It’s usually worthy of a fist pump or a high five with the person in the passenger seat. ParqEx makes you feel that way every single time you park. Using ParqEx, you can see all of the spots available near your destination. Try to find the spot that you think is most valuable!


Whether you need a parking space for just a day, a whole week, or an entire month, or are looking to rent your space on our app, check out the rest of our site and familiarize yourself with us! We know you may have further questions, so please give us a call or send us an email if you want to chat!

ParqEx Named Best Tech Startup in Chicago

September 2nd, 2016 Posted by Chicago Events, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

Tech in Motion has announced ParqEx as the “Best Technology Startup” in Chicago at the 2nd Annual Timmy Awards, which recognizes the top workplaces for technology professionals. The Chicago tech community chose ParqEx from a field of 10 finalists, including Rippleshot, UrbanBound, Crowdfind and runner-up Peanut Butter. ParqEx is a private parking marketplace that allows parking spot owners to rent their parking spaces daily, weekly or monthly. In doing so, parking spot owners can make some extra cash, while renters have access to more available, affordable parking. ParqEx is currently available for use in Chicago, but will be expanding to other cities including Milwaukee and Madison in the near future.

“With so many fantastic startups launching in our community, it was especially thrilling to announce ParqEx as Chicago’s Best Technology Startup,” said Tech in Motion organizer David Belsky, Regional Director of Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates Chicago. “The competition was intense, with more than 11,000 votes coming in. We plan to keep honoring top Chicago-area leaders like ParqEx as a part of our annual Timmy Awards.”

ParqEx is accessible via smartphone and the web and provides drivers with immediate access to an exclusive parking inventory. The ParqEx Access+ garage door opener services is the first of its kind and offers access to parking located behind doors and gates. With Access+, residents and approved visitors can open garage doors and gates from their smart phones, making more parking available to the community. ParqEx continues to grow

“The ParqEx team is honored to receive this award and is looking forward to helping more and more people not only find affordable parking, but help parking spot owners make some extra money,” ParqEx CEO, Vivek Mehra said, “Our company will solve the parking crisis that impacts many communities by making parking easier, affordable and more readily available.”

The Timmy Awards are presented throughout the year in cities across North America, including Boston, San Francisco and Toronto. Previous winners have included innovators such as, LearnVest, Venmo, Trip Advisor, Gilt, Constant Contact, Casper and Instacart. The next Timmy Awards ceremonies are the Silicon Valley’s Inaugural Timmy Awards in September and Orange County & San Diego’s 2nd Annual Timmy Awards in October. Please visit for more information.

About ParqEx

Founded in 2014 by Vivek Mehra, ParqEx is a community-based platform that allows parking spot owners to rent their parking spots on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Download the app on the App Store or Google Play, or call (855) PARQEX-1 for more information.

About Tech in Motion Events

Tech in Motion is an international events series that brings local tech community professionals together to connect, learn, and innovate. What started as a collaborative project between IT recruiting firms Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates in 2011, grew into an organization of over 65,000 members across 11 chapters in North America including Boston, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, LA, Orange County and Toronto. Please visit for more information about our notable speakers, sponsors and events.

ParqEx: 5 Simple Ways to Monetize Your Home and Property

Five Simple Ways to Monetize Your Home And Property

August 18th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy No Comment yet

The sharing economy has introduced the possibility that anything you own can be shared and monetized, including your home. Hospitality apps like Airbnb, and other home-sharing apps are commonplace. But, for those who are not quite ready to open up their home to strangers, there are ways to monetize your space without sacrificing your privacy or compromising your investments.

ParqEx: 5 Simple Ways to Monetize Your Home and Property

Holding Company

Many homeowners have extra space, whether it’s a spot in a basement, an attic or spare rooms. Conversely, many apartment dwellers have limited space. Honestly, what’s an apartment dweller to do with their snow tires during summer months? They can use apps like StowThat or Spacefinity to find someone who is willing to rent out extra space.

These apps connect those with space, to those without. You can rent out a section of your basement without having to move out, or share the bathroom, while at the same time helping an apartment dweller who had previously considered creating a decorative table out of Michelin tires. That’s a pretty simple solution to two problems.


If your home is located in an urban, or well-trafficked area, you can monetize your parking space by listing it on ParqEx. Take a picture of your spot, list it on the app and pretty soon someone in need of a place to leave their vehicle will fill your empty spot. You choose how much you want to charge and at what times the spot is available. It’s as easy as that.

Stealing Sunshine

Line your roof or property with sun panels and ease the financial burden of power bills, while potentially earning some extra cash. Although this method of monetizing your home isn’t entirely simple, it is a good investment in a long-term money-making solution that is also helpful to the environment. Companies like Understand Solar take care of setting up and maintaining a solar panel system on your roof or property. It’s not entirely simple, in that you will have to check with your municipality to determine if they will buy your surplus energy, but practically every state as well as the District of Columbia has a solar energy buy back program.

Sit in the sun, or power your AC, and get a return on an environmentally sound investment.

Urban Gardens

While we are on the topic of environmental awareness, there has been a bit of backlash regarding the American love of lawns. The concern is that our desire for verdant green pasture may not be the best use of space and resources. For those interested in saving time on lawn care, watering and fertilizer, going lawnless with xeriscaping is an option. Or, you could monetize your property by donating your lawn to a local urban farmer. You might not earn cash, but you will earn food. If you want to create your own edible front yard, you can sell or swap your produce with neighbors.


If you’ve recently adopted the Japanese philosophy of minimalist living but have no idea where to dispose of the objects that no longer bring you joy, you can sell items on eBay, or sell specific items on object-specific sites. Bookscouter is an app that helps you sell your used textbooks (and other joyless prose) directly to people who want it. Freeing up all that space will not only make you happy, but you can potentially turn that space into a profit-earning square foot.

Overall, homeowners have a variety of practical, and whimsical, options when it comes to monetizing their investment. Apps and technology have made the process of sharing your resources with others simple and easy. You don’t have to try every option, but it’s good to know what is available.

For more information on monetizing your home, or the property around it, please contact us.

3 Tips for a Better Commuting Adventure Around Chicago

August 4th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

With around 10 million residents in the Chicago Metro area and 50.2 million international and domestic visitors in a given year (2014), according to Wikipedia, commuting around the Windy City is a daily adventure. Hopefully, with the right strategy, tools, and plan, commuters will get to their destination in one piece and not be late. In an effort to facilitate this small miracle, here are 3 tips for a better commuting adventrure around Chicago.

better commuting USE

1. Know Your Options

Let’s start with the basics and explain the commuting options available. Here’s a list of the most common commuting methods:

    • CTA Rail/Bus (a.k.a the “EL” or “L”)
    • Metra Rail
    • Biking
    • Driving
    • Carpooling
    • Walking
    • Taxi (Car and Boat)

These are the common commuting methods (except taxi boat) people use in Chicago. Looking at the very helpful Chicago Commute Mode Map on the website, we can see which commuting options are used the most according to the areas within Chicago.

Basically, commuting by driving solo dominates the suburbs — outside of the “Chicago Loop” (downtown area). Notably, the Near North Side all the way up to Uptown is dominated by commuters using the Metra Rail (mostly young professionals). Much of the area around the highly concentrated “Loop” is dominated by walking commuters. Driving alone is always a popular choice, but parking problems make this a difficult and expensive option.

2. Plan Ahead and Prepare

Knowing your commuting options is the first step, now preparing for the adventure is the next. In the third largest city in the U.S., commuters generally find a method that works for them and stick with it. Yet, everyone has to start from somewhere, and circumstances can change, requiring a new plotting and planning session to occur.

The optimal commute is somewhat a subjective choice; one person may prefer biking 10 miles, rather than taking a CTA bus. Maybe one person would rather take the Metra Rail, rather than drive alone, etc. There may even be someone who would rather take the CTA bus than any other option, but this is likely from their extreme adventure lifestyle. Either way, consider: what method is preferred, what method is cheapest, and what method is fastest?

With the preferred methods in mind, start mapping out the route from start to finish. This adventure will likely be a mixture of commuting methods, so each stage needs to be considered. Where will you park your car or bike, how much will the commute cost at each stage, how much does any parking and storage needs cost?

This planning may require some phone calls and web searches for specific stops and destinations along the way, in order to get the exact information needed for a smooth commute. How long will you have to wait at the intervals, and how long is each leg of the journey? In addition to knowing the main route for the journey, an alternative route should be considered just in case of an unexpected delay or issue.

Planning and preparing in some capacity needs to be done with every new adventure, even with “regular city folk.” For those who are new to Chicago, this will make the difference between a fun adventure and being part of a “lost in Chicago reality show.”

For instance, if you have to take the CTA rail or bus, make sure you have exact change, or do like regulars do and get a pass at Walgreens. Even those who are used to Chicago need to plan and prepare their commutes, when their work changes and/or they’re trying to commute somewhere different.

3. Driving Alone with Parking Options

Now that we’ve explained the options and process of successfully commuting in Chicago, let’s talk about something most people won’t admit. The preferred method of commuting for almost everyone is driving solo. This method gives people the most freedom, flexibility, comfort, and security out of all the other options. The only problem with this option is being able to find and afford parking at the final destination.

Some people have snazzy employers who provide parking, but what about the times when they’re not working? For everyone else, finding parking is difficult and then cost about around $15/day; and night parking for everyone can be unsafe and confusing. So what’s the solution?

The good news is the “driving solo commuting option” is now more possible and affordable than ever with ParqEx. This is because ParqEx helps people in Chicago (and 6 other major cities in the U.S.) find secure and affordable parking anywhere they need it!

For real, just download the ParqEx App on your smart phone, look up the neighborhood you need parking in, reserve the private parking spot you choose for the times needed, and then park there at the end of your commuting adventure. The only difference now is the adventure will be a lot smoother and less of a headache. Want to know more? Contact us today and we’ll be glad to help.


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