Five retailers receive Kickstart Awards from TechTown to help launch brick-and-mortar businesses


Date: October 2, 2019
Contact: Kimberly Palter
Phone: (313) 483-1326


Five retailers receive Kickstart Awards from TechTown to help launch brick-and-mortar businesses
Applications for the spring 2020 Retail Boot Camp cohort will open Nov. 5


TechTown Detroit has presented five Detroit retail entrepreneurs with Kickstart Awards following a pitch presentation at the fall Retail Boot Camp Showcase Sept. 17. Winners include Bouncing Around The Motor City, Locs of Love, Spectacle Society, True Desserts and Wonder Falafel.

The Kickstart Awards are designed to help retailers start their businesses in a Detroit commercial district within the next six to 12 months. The winning packages include up to $5,000 worth of technical assistance, and all graduates receive post-graduation one-on-one coaching from the TechTown team to help them grow their businesses.

Judges at the pitch presentation included representatives from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Invest Detroit, Bank of America and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Retail Boot Camp is an intensive, 10-week program that prepares serious entrepreneurs for the opening of their brick-and-mortar establishments in Detroit. The curriculum is designed to strengthen businesses moving from pop-up stage to a permanent location as they prepare to thrive in today’s retail environment. Graduates include Ariya’s Apparel and Accessories, Lush Yummies Pie Company, Monger’s Provisions, Plum Health, Sfumato Fragrances, Toma Detroit and Urbanum.

“TechTown is proud to offer Retail Boot Camp twice a year to support the opening of brick-and-mortar businesses throughout the city,” said Sarah Donnelly, TechTown’s director of retail services. “While retail is evolving industry-wide, there is still value in physical store locations. Program participants are thinking differently about what they need and what their customers want, and it’s exciting to see their creativity breathe new life into an industry ready for disruption.”

Applications for the spring 2020 Retail Boot Camp cohort will open Nov. 5. For more information, visit

Fall 2019 Kickstart Award winners include:

Bouncing Around The Motor City
Bouncing Around The Motor City is Detroit’s one-stop shop for all party and event rentals needs, from inflatables, to balloons and customized favors. BATMC is an insured approved vendor for Belle Isle and all parks.

Locs of Love
Locs of Love is Detroit’s Natural hair Mecca. Locs of Love uses the most innovative retwist techniques and products to provide a comprehensive selection of services and offers styling, beauty products and continuous beauty education under one roof.

Spectacle Society
Spectacle Society is an eyewear boutique dedicated to helping the people of Detroit customize glasses that reflect their individuality and optimize their vision in a space that is invested in giving back to our community. With over 20 years of expertise in optics, Spectacle Society focuses on handcrafted independent eyewear not currently available in the city, customized digital lenses and providing a unique eyewear experience for customers.

True Desserts
True Desserts is a locally owned raw plant-based desserts business created and owned by Patricia Ode. Each menu item True Desserts offers is free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, refined sugar, GMOs, preservatives and artificial ingredients.

Wonder Falafel
Currently handmade out of Eastern Market, Wonder Falafel provides a great tasting falafel, a superfood made from fresh local ingredients. Wonder Falafel is available at 13 restaurants in Metro Detroit including all Bucharest and Delite Café & Deli locations, and Harmony Garden Cafe in Midtown.