Words by Lorel Scott, Co-Founder of StartupStarter
Gerome Sapp, Founder & CEO at Rares, is creating a life of legacy, one that can only be described as inspirational, a true innovator and entrepreneur who is making a significant contribution to the world of sneakers. From a young age he showed a passion for sports, particularly football, that would eventually lead him to the NFL. However, it was his love of sneakers that would ultimately lead him down the path of entrepreneurship and leave an indelible mark on the world of sneaker culture.
A journey that began in the small town of Houston, Texas, where he was born and raised. As a young boy, he showed a natural talent for football and was quickly noticed by his coaches and peers. He excelled on the field throughout high school and eventually earned a scholarship to play at the University of Notre Dame and received his MBA from Harvard Business School.
It was during his time at Notre Dame that Sapp first began to develop his passion for sneakers. He started collecting shoes and soon found that he had a natural eye for spotting rare and collectible pairs. His collection continued to grow over the years, and he continued to nurture his love of sneakers even as he pursued his NFL dreams.
After six years in the NFL, he decided to retire from football and turn his attention to entrepreneurship. He realized that the traditional sneaker retail model was becoming obsolete, as more and more consumers were buying sneakers online.
This realization led Sapp to pivot his business to an online model and launch Rares. Rares is a platform that allows people to invest in rare and collectible sneakers. It's essentially a stock market for sneakers, where investors can buy shares in a particular sneaker and then profit when the value of that sneaker increases. This innovative model has made sneaker investing accessible to a wider audience and has helped to create a new generation of sneaker collectors and investors. Rares quickly gained a following among sneaker enthusiasts and investors, and Sapp's innovative model helped to create a new generation of sneaker collectors and investors.
His success with Rares was not without its challenges, however. As a minority founder, he faced obstacles like many other minority founders in raising capital and getting his business off the ground. However, he remained undaunted and was eventually able to secure funding from a number of investors, like Warner Music Group and Mac Ventures Capital - a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology startups leveraging shifts in cultural trends and behaviors, and has raised $9.3M to date.
Today, Geromes growing legacy is one that extends far beyond the world of sneakers & football. He is an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamed of starting their own business and making a mark on the world. His story is a testament to the power of resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit.
Learn more about Gerome Sapp and find out how you can invest in the culture and turn your passion into profit by investing in the world’s rarest sneakers by visiting www.rares.io and subscribe to the StartupStarter newsletter to receive $25 when you fund your wallet.