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 House of Pure Vin, Paramita Sound, Tribalfare, Mama Coo’s Boutique, Third Wave Music and 2015 Hatch Detroit winner Live Cycle Delight.
Retail Boot Camp covers
- Navigating brick and mortar regulations
- Knowing the role of an architect
- Location selection and legal guidance
- Evaluating your branding
- Customer service and salesmanship
- Utilizing the business model canvas
- Identifying startup costs
- Digital marketing and social media strategy
- Understanding your financials
- Being “capital ready”
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
- Program culminates with a Showcase, where up to five successful graduates are awarded prize packages worth $7500 and which include:
• Subsidized permanent or pop-up location
• Professional services (design, social media, legal, financials)
• 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 12 months of program completion
The application period for RBC 2016 has closed.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program partners and sponsors
Retail Boot Camp partners include BUILD Institute, Canvass Legal, Hatch Detroit, Lifeline Business Consulting Service, M1/DTW, ProsperUS Detroit, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Motor City Match, Small Business Development Center Michigan and Social Coop Media.
Program sponsors are JPMorgan Chase Foundation, New Economy Initiative and Bedrock Real Estate Service.