Columbia collectible sneaker startup business joining Techstars Austin

February 15, 2023

source: Post & Courier Columbia

COLUMBIA — A Columbia-based startup business that caters to the sneaker resale market has caught the attention of one of the country’s leading accelerator programs.

Copyt, pronounced Cop-it, was accepted into the Techstars Austin Accelerator and will spend the next three months working alongside 11 other startups in the Texas capital city known for being home to a large technology sector.

Copyt marks the third Columbia-area company to participate in the program.

The Techstars organization, one of largest startup investors in the world, has invested in more than 3,300 early-stage companies, according to its website.

“It’s a very big deal,” said Greg Hilton, who runs the Columbia-area coworking company SOCO, where Copyt is a member.

Copyt helps individuals and companies buy and sell collectible high-end sneakers across a variety of online marketplaces, including Instagram, eBay and specialist markets such as StockX.

The technology platform tracks market prices, allows posting of items to multiple websites at once and pulls an item down from all the sites once it sells in one place to prevent the same pair of shoes from being purchased more than once.

As a sneaker collector himself, co-founder Brett Nilsen had the idea for Copyt and joined with fellow entrepreneur and University of South Carolina graduate Sean Powers some four years ago to make it a reality.

Nilsen started reselling sneakers in middle school to help fund his expensive collecting hobby. By the time he was in college he was earning $300,000 in annual revenue.

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