Comstock's magazine 0119 - January 2019 - Page 78

n SEED ROUND: MEET THE FOUNDER MATHEW MAGNO JAPA As part of an entrepreneurship course at UC Davis, Mathew Magno was instructed to come up with a problem to solve. He didn’t think twice: Magno wanted to solve the nightmare that is finding a place to park — this led to the creation of the smart parking startup Japa in 2017. “Being a student is horrible for parking,” he says. “I’d be late for class or sometimes, by the time I found parking, class was over.” As CEO and cofounder of his Davis-based startup, Magno wants to help drivers steer clear of these headaches. Japa works by using wireless sensors placed on parking spac- es. With a battery life of 7 to 10 years, each sensor can detect with 99 percent accuracy which spaces are open and send users directions to find them, Magno says. Reducing the amount of time drivers spend in search of parking also helps reduce carbon emissions, he says. Other startups in this market focus on reserving spaces in private lots, Magno says, but don’t provide real-time data to open spaces in public lots. To date, Japa has installed sensors at the UC Berkeley campus and on streets in Walnut Creek. An installation at the UC Davis Medical Center is in the works. Park It My backup name for the startup was ................................................................ chef If I could have any other job, I’d be a ................................................. The TV show that best represents my approach to “Silicon Valley” business would be ..................................................................................... inadequacy My biggest fear about launching was ........................................... series of waves to be I believe life is a ................................................................................................................ embraced and overcome ................................................................................................................................................................ HOW DO THE SENSORS WORK? “The sensors communicate through radio frequency to an antenna/ base station. The base station then sends the data to the internet and our servers, and we aggregate the data onto the mobile app and man- agement platform.” HOW DO YOU SEE JAPA SHAPING THE FUTURE? “Smart cities are coming, from smart streetlights to citywide wifi to smart trash cans. We already have smart parking meters where you can pay through an app. With Japa, we can take any third-party data, put it into one app and have the whole bird’s eye view of the transportation industry in a futuristic way.” For more on JAPA, read Russell Nichols’ “Startup of the Month” column at comstocksmag.com. 78 comstocksmag.com | January 2019