Jim Gibbs, from school dropout to building an app that is making millions

Abu Mubarik November 14, 2022
Photo: Twitter/Jim Gibbs

Jim Gibbs is the co-founder of Pittsburgh-based company Meter Feeder, a parking payment app that enables vehicles to pay for parking via an integration between the vehicle and a city’s metering system. 

He co-founded Meter Feeder with Daniel Lopretto in 2015 after winning a hackathon, a competition with nearly 300 participants, and won the grand prize of $10,000, according to technical.ly.

The company first launched in Dormont and later in the Pittsburgh area. Since then, the startup has expanded to local municipalities like Homestead, Sewickley, Carnegie and Brentwood. In addition, the company also has operations in locations across Rhode Island, New Jersey, Ohio and Philadelphia, with plans to continue that growth into larger cities.

In 2021, Meter Feeder got $100,000 from Google Black Founders after going through Y Combinator in 2016. Today, the company has 15 workers and is already generating revenue in the millions, according to Forbes. The company has also raised $4.1 million from investors like Paul Buchheit, the state’s Innovation Works, Mountain State Capital, Precursor Ventures, and Trucks Venture Capital.

Gibbs has a long career in software engineering prior to creating Meter Feeder. According to him, he has been writing software since 1983. However, investors did not have confidence in him because he was underselling.

Born to a painter and a secretary from Long Island, Gibbs dropped out of college Carnegie Mellon due to a lack of money to pay his fees. He later did break dancing for money to buy his books. In addition, he took data input jobs and coding jobs in between semesters at school, according to Forbes.

“For some strange reason, I couldn’t get software development jobs,” he told Forbes. However, when he eventually secured a job building medical software, he dropped out of school, marking the start of his software career.

The tech entrepreneur is also discussing with car manufacturers and the federal government about possible applications of Meter Feeder’s API, which allows money to be transferred via Internet-connected devices, according to Forbes.

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