Christopher Hall, who recognizes a good market opportunity when he sees one, wants to be to sneaker lovers what Bill Ackman is to shareholders.
The 22-year-old has a start-up, Kickster, a mobile and desktop platform designed to keep users on top of all the latest sneaker release dates and sneaker news – in other words, a sneakerhead's paradise – but that's not all.
Barely a year old, the company is currently developing partnerships with boutique stores, designers and even shoe companies. As Hall says, Kickster wants to be a consumer's "complete beginning-to-end service for buying shoes… everything from knowing a shoe exists, to getting it to your door."
It's a daunting task, but there's little doubt the U.S. shoe market is a goldmine. Shoe enthusiasts and the athletically inclined are willing to pay top dollar – which can run to thousands of dollars in the resale market – to own some of the flashiest brands like Nike's blockbuster Air Jordan's. SportsOneSource estimates that U.S. sneaker sales topped $23 billion last year, and has grown by more than 30 percent since 2004.
The upstart Kickster "harnesses the insatiable community behind the high-end sneaker and fashion market to bring more value to everyone," Hall told CNBC in a recent interview.
"These markets are desperately underserved and pathetically underrated, and Kickster is solving their most fundamental and complex problems by putting the community first, and backing it up with the best technical systems on the planet," Hall said