Retail Boot Camp
TechTown’s Blocks Retail Boot Camp prepares serious entrepreneurs with strong retail concepts for the successful launch of their brick-and-mortar business in a core Detroit commercial district after program completion. The program enables an entrepreneur’s success not only through training, but also through access to critical start-up capital, affordable space and ongoing business support.
Applications are now closed.
- July 7: Applications open
- Aug. 13 (11:59 p.m.): Applications close
- Aug. 25: Session begins
- Oct. 15: Session ends
- Nov. 28: Opening of brick-and-mortar storefronts
The boot camp will cover
- 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 and Web-based 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
- Program ends a “draft day” where the placement of each graduate is announced (permanent space, or short- or long-term pop-up space)
Who is eligible
- Must be willing to locate business in Detroit
- Brick-and-mortar, independent retail establishment (e.g. coffee shop, clothing store, bookstore, green grocer, gallery, gift shop; not a franchise)
- 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
Potential “Draft Day” placements
Three graduates will be selected by partner organizations to open permanent brick-and-mortar storefronts in the city. Post-graduation locations will depend on the retail concept and market need. TechTown may provide rent support, inventory (one-to-one match by the entrepreneur), accounting and inventory software, marketing materials, build-out (one-to-one match by the entrepreneur), signage, and fixtures.
In addition, two program graduates may receive support to execute a longer-term pop-up space in the city (approximately three months), including funds for build-out, inventory, signage, marketing and fixtures.
Another two graduates may receive short-term pop-up space in the city (one day or weekend).
Applications are now closed.
Program fee upon acceptance is $499.
For more information
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program partners and sponsors
D:hive, LifeLine Business Consulting Services, the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.’s REVOLVE program and ProsperUS Detroit feed up to two of their most promising retail entrepreneurs into the program. Remaining spots are filled through open applications.
Detroit Development Fund is a program sponsor.
The Detroit Micro Loan Collaborative, which includes the Michigan Women’s Foundation, LifeLine Business Consulting Services and the Detroit Development Fund, streamlines the microloan application process for program graduates.