Sixteen on-the-verge Detroit retail entrepreneurs will celebrate graduation from TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp at Draft Day on November 3. The evening will include a pop-up marketplace and a pitch presentation. Five entrepreneurs will be awarded Kickstart Packages, designed to help them open their retail businesses within the next 6-12 months. Each Kickstart Package includes up to $7500 worth of subsidies to be directed toward a permanent or pop-up space, inventory and/or a point-of-sale system.
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, including Paramita Sound, House of Pure Vin and recent Hatch Detroit winner Live Cycle Delight.
“Retail Boot Camp graduates are the cream of the crop,” says Regina Ann Campbell, TechTown’s director for place-based entrepreneurship. “All of our graduates leave the program with the tools and connections they need to hit the ground running with their brick-and-mortar establishments. We’re pleased and proud to provide the most prepared among them with additional support and resources so they can launch within the year.”
2015 Retail Boot Camp businesses include: The D Jewelry, DaVinci’s Brain, Lapel Bar, Mama Coo’s Boutique, MOR and Co., Motor City Popcorn, Next Light Children’s Boutique, Nirvana Teas, Pearled Shoebox, Teena Cathey Lifestyle, Third Wave Music, Tribalfare, Spenser Maxx Denim, Rolias Caribbean Bakery, Rock City Beverage Co. and Reilly Craft Creamery. Judges for the pitch presentation include representatives from Bedrock Real Estate, the Detroit Development Fund and others.
Support for Retail Boot Camp programs come from Airfoil Group, BUILD Institute, Hatch Detroit, Lifeline Business Consulting Service, M1/DTW (a firm of Justin Mast), 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.
Retail Boot Camp Draft Day takes place Tuesday, November 3 from 6-9pm at TechTown, 440 Burroughs, Detroit. The event is free and open to the public with advance registration at www.eventbrite.com/e/retail-