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Founded by four friends Dario Boras, Karlo Gašpar, Josip Labrović, and Marko Smoljo in 2017, Parklio is another one of Split’s startups that has seen great success in recent years. Started from a spontaneous idea born from the need to provide smarter parking solutions that will benefit many, the first success came in 2016 during the early stages of development when they presented their hardware products that were in the prototype phase at a fair and their Parklio™ Smart Parking Barrier – a parking barrier controlled with a mobile app – was a hit!
That success was followed by worldwide recognition in 2017 at the startup competition held in Singapore when Parklio was declared the second-best early-stage startup in the world among more than 5,000 startups. This noteworthy award led to investments that kickstarted the production, and the first Parklio™ Smart Parking Barriers found their way to the customers.
Further growth and expansion of production continue in 2018 with more and more clients and distributors of Parklio’s smart parking solutions across Europe. In 2019 the company gained strategic partners in the Middle East and began to expand its network beyond European territory. 2020 didn’t slow them down, quite the contrary – they expanded their product range and developed a Parklio™ platform.
Now, several years after the first success of Parklio™ Smart Parking Barrier, the company grew to a team of 16 employees, increased its production, and it offers a wide range of smart parking solutions. Their products have been used in Europe, South America, North Africa, and the Middle East in all types of parking, private and public alike, across different industries.
Dario, one of the founders of Parklio, offered us his insight into the company, its development, and overall journey so far. What he likes the most, and what many mention as one of the most positive aspects of any startup company, is the dynamic work environment: “Each day brings something new: a new challenge, a new problem that needs to be resolved quickly and efficiently. This pushes you to leave your comfort zone and creatively approach the work you do and the process of solving the issues that arise.”
Aside from the biggest obstacle of securing funding during the beginning stages of their startup journey, something all startups in our local ecosystem are struggling with, once the project took off the issues of company scaling and setup of serial production arose. Dario gave insight into how they handled that:
“That obstacle was resolved with the good old ‘trial and error’ method.”
Therefore, the Parklio team is no stranger to learning from mistakes they’ve made in the process of conquering obstacles on their way.
According to Dario, the biggest mistake and the greatest lesson for the whole team relates to trust in the business world: “We believed everyone had the best intentions and lived by the same ethical principles as we do. However, on multiple occasions, we found out that isn’t so. Therefore, we now carefully select companies and partners to cooperate with.”
Learning from your mistakes is a great skill to have in anything we do and at any point in life, but other advice on how to navigate the development of a startup company is always more than welcome. Dario pointed out one:
“Balance the time in development, marketing, and sales well. Depending on the stage a certain project is at, it is necessary to give each of these segments the attention it needs at the right time.”
We hope you are inspired by Parklio’s journey and that you learn something from the advice they’ve shared with us. Big thanks to Dario and the rest of the Parklio team for this insight into their startup life. We wish them success in the future and are always happy to see (and use!) their smart parking barriers here in Split!