Sneakers are red-hot right now. And like with everything else, tech has come along for the ride.
From resale apps to startups that actually make their own kicks, we’ve seen countless startups stake their claim on every part of the sneaker industry. And now we’re bringing a panel with the hottest names in the industry to Disrupt NY2017, so you can learn firsthand why the sneaker business is boomin’.
Ryan Babenzein, Greats
While other founders set out to create apps that let people buy and sell sneakers created by big name brands like Nike and Adidas, one guy just decided to create his own shoe.
Ryan Babenzien is the founder and CEO of Greats, which is the first ever sneaker company started in Brooklyn. The brand is direct-to-consumer and focuses on selling high-quality shoes with iconic designs. For example, its flagship shoe the Royale is handmade in Italy with full grain leather and retails for only $160, hundreds of dollars below similarly designed shoes from luxury brands like Common Projects.
The company has raised $3M in venture funding and now sells dozens of different styles of shoes – including a collaboration with NFL All Star Marshawn Lynch.
Josh Luber, StockX
Josh Luber is the co-founder and CEO of StockX, which calls itself the “stock market of things”. Created alongside Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, the startup is a marketplace for limited-edition products. And of course the first product category that the startup sunk their teeth into is sneakers.
Anyone can buy and sell limited-edition shoes on StockX, and the transparent marketplace shows real-time bid and ask pricing — just like a real stock exchange. This means you always know how much someone is willing to pay for your sneakers, or how much more you’d need to raise your offer to instantly make a purchase.
After being purchased, all shoes are sent to StockX for authentication. The startup just closed a $6M funding round from a group of high-profile investors like Mark Wahlberg, Scooter Braun, and Wale.
John McPheters, Stadium Goods
John knows a thing or two about rare sneakers. He previously worked as director of business development at Flight Club, another famous NYC sneaker consignment shop. But now he’s started his own company to try to reinvent the resale industry.
Founded in 2015, Stadium Goods is an online reseller of coveted sneakers and other apparel. The brand also has a brick-and-mortar store in New York where it sells sneakers to walk-in customers as well as authenticates online sales.
The startup has raised $5.6M in venture funding, and boasts Mark Cuban as an investor and advisor.
We’re excited to hear from these sneaker gurus about the state of the industry on our stage at TC Disrupt NY on May 15 to May 17. If you want to buy tickets to the conference you can pick those up here.
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