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Innovation Profile: The Fab 5

Products and services to watch

Parking Panda

Ever wasted half an hour cruising around the same four blocks in a desperate parking search? Me too. Parking Panda is here to save your sanity. Think of it as an AirBnB for parking spots. If you’ve got a vacant spot in your driveway or garage, you can rent it out in whatever timeframe works for you. The Panda crew also partners with garages near sporting and event venues, often at a discount.


A shirt that fits like an A-frame tent makes you look silly. Sadly, for many of us, off-the-rack button-downs rarely suit our body shapes. Short of going to the tailor, what can you do? Enter the ZipSeam. Founder/inventor SiDi Huang was fed up with how poorly shirts would fit from the store and decided to do something about it. This ingenious tool allows you to give your shirts an inexpensive, impromptu tailoring job to make the fit slimmer. It really works—check out the video.


Coding is hot right now, and it will be for the foreseeable future (read: forever). Numerous companies are looking for programmers, and there’s one credential. Can you program? Bloc.io provides intensive online programming courses. It’s not free, but nothing this comprehensive is. Each student gets a mentor, who responds to questions and works through problems in real-time, one-on-one conferences.


Party-planning is a hassle. Setting up a party is even more of a hassle. Inevitably, there’s something that you’ll forget. When you forget the booze, you’ve got a real crisis on your hands. Enter Thirstie. Born in February of 2014, Thirstie is a wine and spirits delivery service operating in New York, Chicago and LA. The whole thing is operated through an iOS or Android app. Tap a few buttons on your phone, be of drinking age, and a sorely needed delivery of party libations will arrive at your door, free of any additional charge.


Conference calls are extremely annoying. Occasionally, some telephony master will get the whole thing to go flawlessly, but there are usually hiccups. Speek, a Washington D.C.–based communications startup, is taking a steamroller to VOIP conference services with their streamlined solution. Basically, you enter your phone number on a webpage, Speek calls that number, and you’re in. The call is managed through Speek’s site. The platform will include document sharing and a full visual interface.

This article is independent and not sponsored nor endorsed by any of the above companies nor their employees/executives/directors.

Michael Nissenbaum is a lawyer by day (and night), and a writer by night (and day). You can follow him on Twitter @gnarsenbaum.


Photography by Olivier Le Moal/Veer

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