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Mark Lawrence

Founder, SpotHero

Mark Lawrence, the founder of SpotHero, was inspired to launch his digital parking company after experiencing frustrations with parking in Chicago while working as a financial analyst at Bank of America. His difficulties with street cleaning and accumulating thousands of dollars of parking tickets led him to explore solutions to make parking easier. After being laid off in 2010, Lawrence and co-founder Larry Kiss decided to address the parking problem by creating SpotHero. Initially, it started as a peer-to-peer marketplace app where private parking spot owners could rent out their spots. However, they soon realized the limitations of this model and shifted their focus to partnering with parking garages. Despite initial struggles, SpotHero gained traction by securing partnerships with parking garages, significantly increasing their available parking spots. By 2012, the company generated substantial revenue and attracted investments from notable firms like TechStars and Battery Ventures. SpotHero’s expansion into multiple cities posed challenges, especially in dealing with garage and parking lot owners accustomed to non-digital operations. Lawrence personally visited these locations on foot to pitch the benefits of on-demand parking and collaborated with owners to develop new features like monthly parking passes. Today, SpotHero is the leading parking reservation marketplace in North America with over $1+ billion in parking reservations sold. Millions of drivers use SpotHero’s mobile apps and website to find, book and access off-street parking in more than 8,000 locations in over 300 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Mark remains the strategic and tactical leader of the Company and is involved in all facets of the business. His passion and commitment are evident in the growth of the business.