Solving Parking Problems, Until Cars Fly
We sat down with Evgeni Silinov from UntilCarsFly to learn what the inspiration was for co-founding a tech company with Anna Gorbunova, after already spending over 20 years in corporate software development. Evgeni said he wanted to “fix the parking issues facing cities and bring high profile jobs to Bangor,” and like a true entrepreneur, he added that he “really [doesn’t] like having a boss.”
"I worked as a software consultant for 14 companies in the course of 20 years,” says Evgeni, “but I have always wanted my own company.” The opportunity came when Anna Gorbunova, his soon-to-be co-founder, couldn’t find a parking spot in the city and decided to find a solution. Putting their skills and ambition together, they started a company called ‘Parkupine’ with the goal of eliminating the hassle of finding a good parking spot. Parkcupine, now called UntilCarsFly, is a mobile app that connects drivers in busy locations, who are looking for a parking space, with owners of underused spaces. In just a few seconds, drivers can click and rent the parking space of their choice.
Last fall, Anna and Evgeni began working with Scratchpad, a business accelerator focused on female founders, which Evgeni says was “super helpful” in assisting the company with securing grants and conducting market research. “They taught us skills we didn’t know and introduced us to people we hadn’t met,” says Evgeni. “Now we have a chance to get off the ground; without them we wouldn’t have had a chance.” Their extensive market research revealed issues with the company's original name ‘Parkupine’ and their proposed business model.
When Evgeni and his team got down to researching, they found another organization using their intended name, ‘Parkupine.’ “The name was used for a project, which we discovered when we submitted for a grant,” says Evgeni, and even though they could have stuck with Parkupine, they decided to find a better company name, which would be all their own. They soon agreed on UntilCarsFly. This process wasn't easy for Anna and Evgeni, but they learned a lot from it, according to Evgeni.
Anna and Evgeni are looking forward to solving the complicated problem of eliminating the hassle out of parking your car. They aim not only to solve the parking issue but in doing so, to create high profile tech jobs in and around Bangor. “I don’t believe in outsourcing,” Evgeni said. “We look forward to hiring students and will not move the company elsewhere.” We asked why this was important to Evgeni, and he simply said, “Bangor could use more jobs like this, and its just what we believe in.”