Aspiring Detroit retailers compete for funds at Retail Boot Camp Showcase

Date:        November 3, 2016
Contact:   Kristin Palm
Phone:     (313) 483-1326


Aspiring Detroit retailers compete for funds at Retail Boot Camp Showcase
Past winners include House of Pure Vin, Mama Coo’s Boutique and Third Wave Music


Twenty-one on-the-verge Detroit retail entrepreneurs will compete for nearly $40,000 in prizes at TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp Showcase on November 15. The entrepreneurs are all graduates from TechTown’s eight-week Retail Boot Camp, and the evening will include a pop-up marketplace and a pitch presentation. Five standout entrepreneurs will receive Kickstart Awards, designed to help them open their retail businesses within the next 6-12 months.  Each Kickstart package includes financial support up to $7500 to be directed toward a permanent or pop-up space, inventory and/or a point-of-sale system. All graduates will receive business consulting and support services from TechTown’s SWOT City program and its partners, valued at $3500 per business.


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. The program has gained a reputation for launching successful and much-anticipated businesses that are catalyzing neighborhood commercial districts. Sixty-four percent of graduates in the program’s first four years are currently operating or opening soon in permanent or pop-up locations, including Paramita Sound, House of Pure Vin, Mama Coo’s Boutique, Ashe Supply Co., Breathe Beauty Bar, Third Wave Music, Pedicure & Shoes 2 Go and Live Cycle Delight.


“Retail Boot Camp graduates have a tremendous track record of success,” says Regina Ann Campbell, TechTown’s managing director for place-based entrepreneurship. “All of our graduates leave the program with the tools and connections they need to hit the ground running. Our Kickstart Awardees are especially poised to launch within the next year, and we are excited to provide them additional financial support to help them cross the finish line.”


Judges for the pitch competition include representatives from Bedrock Real Estate, the Detroit Development Fund and Motor City Match, a program of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, as well as local entrepreneurs.

Support for Retail Boot Camp comes from JP Morgan Chase, New Economy Initiative and Bedrock Real Estate. Program partners include  BUILD Institute, Hatch Detroit, Lifeline Business Consulting Service, ProsperUS Detroit,  Michigan Small Business Development Center and Social Coop Media.


TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp Showcase takes place Tuesday, November 15 from 5:30-9pm at TechTown, 440 Burroughs, Detroit. The event is free and open to the public with advance registration on Eventbrite. Free parking is available in the secured lot at Cass and Amsterdam.


TechTown is Detroit’s most established business accelerator and incubator, offering a full suite of entrepreneurial services for both tech and neighborhood enterprises. TechTown helps startup and established businesses develop, launch and grow, while strengthening and diversifying the local economy.