A startup called Garage Time wants to be the AirBnB for people who love to tinker with cars. Basically, it would let anyone rent out unused garage space for people who need a place to work on projects. It began when Andrew Koretz, 31, found himself working on his 2002 Porsche 996 in his friends’ garages in Chicago. He had recently traded his Toyota 4Runner SR5 for the sports car, and was eager to take care of it.
However he lived in an apartment in a city famous for cold, windy weather. That made dealing with basics like serpentine belts and fluids a real chore. Whenever friends would let Koretz use their space, he would “reduce the friction” by throwing a little money their way.
This experience was the birth of the idea for “Garage Time” after Koretz got sick of his old job in financial services. After opening two weeks ago, the goal of the online marketplace is to let people rent out their garages (or even slabs of concrete) at a rate of their choice to people who need a place to tinker with cars, motorcycles, other projects for a few hours, days, or any agreed-upon limit. The company makes money by taking 10% of what the wrencher pays to the garage owner.
The site has few listings, a “couple dozen,” transactions have taken place so far. Koretz, an Oakland, California who now lives in Denver, wants to solve that with greater publicity.
Marketing, along with proof of concept, and improving the user experience, particularly in Denver, is his top priority. From there, wants to set his sights on expansion in San Francisco, Chicago and New York.
Koretz is working on establishing a liability policy that mimics Airbnb’s. In short, he wants his company to be capable of paying accidental damages that occur during a tinkering session.
There are a few self-serve garages, like this one in Michigan that offer a dry place to work as well as tools to rent. However, these are still rare and they aren’t hooked up to a network, hence Koretz’s claim that his company is the first “garage peer to peer marketplace.”