This black entrepreneur finds it more effective to ask which investors he wants to make money from than to beg them.
Jim Gibbsco-founder of Meter Feeder, a parking payment app that allows vehicles to pay for parking through an integration between the vehicle and a city’s metering system, built a long career in software engineering after dropping out Carnegie Mellon because of a lack of finances.
According Forbes, Gibbs, who has been writing software since 1968, decided there was no need to change his strategies after being told he needed to be “more confident” or “undersell” investors whites. He is said to have generated millions through Meter Feeder with a team of 15 employees and his co-founder, Daniel Lopretto, since they launched the company after winning a hackathon in 2015.
He said his process when meeting with investors grew to questioning himself with, “Would I be an LP in their fund?”
In 2016, the company went through Y Combinator and received $100,000 from the Google Black Founders Fund in 2021. Additionally, Meter Feeder investors, who raised a total of $4.1 million, include Paul BuchheitState Innovation Works, Mountain State Capital, Precursor Ventures and Trucks Venture Capital.
Gibbs is convinced that Meter Feeder already has a solid business model for finding investors who believe in the company’s mission. Forbes shared that the entrepreneur is currently in discussions with automakers and the federal government about possible applications for the Meter Feeder API, which allows money to be transferred through internet-connected devices.
According Technicallythe platform officially launched with the Pittsburgh Parking Authority in August 2021 after starting in the Dormont area in 2015. The team has brought the app to local municipalities and is working on expanding it to major cities.
“Big cities come to Pittsburgh to find out what we’re doing on parking,” Gibbs said in a 2021 post.
Gibbs attended Carnegie Mellon as a computer science major and worked as a software developer for companies like Slaymaker Solutions, American Eagle Outfitters and Branding Brand.