Shopping online may be less stressful than heading from store to store looking for the best shoe prices in town. However, with all the nearly limitless options available, it often turns into a time consuming and often confusing experience.
Step in a trio of 17-year-old high school entrepreneurs who came together to launch web platform Lace-up, designed to connect students like themselves with some of the most in-demand styles at the best price, from among a range of sites. On average, 4,000 to 6,000 shoes are listed on the site.
For those who aren’t sure what styles are currently hot, a unique algorithm tracks and ranks how many likes, views and purchases a particular shoe gets. Once it’s located, consumers can see what website offers it at the best price from its seven affiliate retail partners that include Zappos, Amazon, Foot Locker, Foot Action and Finish Line.
The business partners, Rohan Bhatia, Cole Nachman and Matt Thompson, were inspired to launch the venture after realizing there was a gap in the market when it came to high schoolers attempting to shop online for shoes.
The project got underway in 2016 when they participated in Catapault Incubator, a summer internship program for young entrepreneurs. The group applied to the program by submitting a business plan, where they were then selected to participate by a committee from the program’s parent company, Quarter Zero. Through the venture, the participants are given exposure to startups, advisors and experts in cities around the U.S., in order to hone their business skills. The program is fee based, with scholarships and awards available.