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Startup Creates Mobile App to Ease Parking Nightmares

This story appears in the November 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

One night in July 2011, Barney Pell went to an event in 's Mission District. When he pulled into a self-service lot, a stranger came up to his car and asked him to try QuickPay, a new app that would let him pay for a spot with his iPhone (plus 35 cents for the convenience). Pell--an angel investor who was preparing to leave Microsoft, where he was one of the chief architects of the search engine--downloaded the easy-to-use app and registered his information, including number and license plate, thanked the guy and went on his way.

That stranger was Carl Muirbrook, a serial entrepreneur from the agropharma industry who'd decided to bring the business model for parking lots into the mobile-powered 21st century. When Pell returned after his event, Muirbrook was still there--he had recognized Pell from his Bing vanity license plate and knew a potential partner when he saw one.

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