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Web Startup Will Find the Best Parking Spot Ben Sann was a junior in high school when he came up with an idea for a website that would post the rates of parking garages all over New York. BestParking.com has now grown to include six cities.

By Jodi Helmer

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

George Costanza was not known for his largess, or his patience. An episode in which the Seinfeld character angrily circles New York City streets in search of a free parking space sparked something in Ben Sann. A junior in high school at the time, Sann came up with an idea George would certainly have approved of: a website that would post the rates of parking garages all over New York.

"In New York, there is a whole culture around parking," says Sann, now 24, a 2010 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. "There are always conversations about great early-bird parking specials and the price of monthly parking or a frenzy to move the car and circle the block for a new parking space."

Despite the preoccupation with where to park, there was no centralized database of parking rates for the city. Because he didn't have a driver's license, Sann rode around New York on his bicycle gathering data. With $50,000 in startup funds (a combination of bar mitzvah savings and a loan from his father), Sann launched NYCgarages.com in 2007. The website displayed the locations, rates and specials of garages citywide, helping drivers find the closest lot at the best price.