The POA Educational Foundation Student Entrepreneur Grant annually provides three students with $6,000 each, to assist them in pursuing their business full-time in a Ryerson Zone upon graduation. Owen Osinde of Sneakerdeck is one of three winners awarded with the 2017 iteration of this POA Grant for innovation in entrepreneurship.

Sneakerdeck is an online platform for selling and buying quality shoes, started and co-founded by Owen Osinde. Osinde is incubated out of the Fashion Zone, one of 10 zones within Ryerson’s Zone Learning network. Learn more below, about the inspiration behind Sneakerdeck as this venture moves forward:

  1. What inspired you to start this company?
    What inspired me to start this company is when I was working at a retail store in the stock room. In my breaks I would look at sneaker groups on Facebook on what people were reselling. As I was putting boxes on the shelves, the name “Sneakerdeck” came to me. I was pretending I was putting shoe boxes away on a platform. My mind was on sneakers the whole day that as I was travelling back home, I got inspired to think of a platform only dedicated to reselling sneakers alone. I saw an opportunity in this market to provide this service while also protecting users from buying fake sneakers.
  1. Have you won or received any other awards or special mentions in the past?
    Yes. We won the Branded TO Pitch competition in 2016 and we were 1 of 20 to receive a grant from the Kimel Family Campus-Linked Accelerator award. 
  1. How many people are on your team? another co-founder?
    There are two people in total on the Sneakerdeck team. I am a co-founder with Jason Abraham, who joined me in building Sneakerdeck in 2016. Essentially, he approached me in class after I pitched the idea in our entrepreneurship class. We met up after class, he joined the team, and together we have developed SneakerDeck to what it is today.

The 2018 POA Educational Foundation Student Entrepreneurship Award will open in the fall of 2018. It is a grant made available to Ryerson Students enrolled in their final year, looking to further develop their venture incubated within one of Zone Learning’s ten zones.