Retail Boot Camp
TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp is an intensive, eight-week program that prepares serious, Detroit-based entrepreneurs for the opening of their brick-and-mortar retail establishments. In addition to training, RBC provides access to critical start-up capital, affordable space and ongoing business support. Retail Boot Camp has gained a reputation for launching successful and much-anticipated businesses that are catalyzing neighborhood commercial districts, including Paramita Sound, House of Pure Vin and recent Hatch Detroit winner Live Cycle Delight.
Retail Boot Camp covers
- Choosing the right location
- Sound fiscal management
- Customer service
- Marketing and branding
- Government regulations and processes
- Taxes and insurance
- Planning start-up costs
- Business Model Canvas
- Developing the pitch
How it works
- Eight weeks of in-person sessions, facilitated by business development and retail experts
- Detroit-specific topic are also addressed, including introductions to select neighborhoods and key stakeholders, as well as opportunities and resources
- All graduates will receive a toolkit of professional services to help launch business. Services include:
• social and digital marketing consultation
• legal review of lease agreements, partner or vendor contracts
• business plan development
• public relations support
- Program culminates with a “Draft Day” where up to five successful graduates are awarded packages which include:
• Subsidized permanent or pop-up location
• Point-of-sale system
• Inventory subsidy
Who is eligible
- Must be willing to locate business in Detroit
- Operate as brick-and-mortar, for-profit, independent retail establishments OR have evidence of retail activity (Pop-up, web site/ecommerce transactions, trunk shows, etc.)
- Strong value proposition; offers an exciting product niche and/or serves community need
- Previous retail experience
- Good understanding of start-up costs and ability to commit personal funds
- Commitment to launching business within three months of program completion
Applications for the next Retail Boot Camp will be available in summer 2016.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program partners and sponsors
Retail Boot Camp partners include BUILD Institute, Hatch Detroit, Lifeline Business Consulting Service, M1/DTW, ProsperUS Detroit, Revolve (a program of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation), Sadek Bonahoom PLLC, Small Business Development Center Michigan, Social Coop Media and Wayne Alumni Law Group.
Program sponsors are JPMorgan Chase Foundation, New Economy Initiative and Bedrock Real Estate Service.