Five Rising Retailers win Kickstart Award at TechTown Detroit’s Retail Boot Camp Showcase

Date: November 1, 2018
Contact: Kristin Palm
Phone: (313) 483-1326



Five Rising Retailers win Kickstart Award at TechTown Detroit’s Retail Boot Camp Showcase

TechTown Detroit has awarded five Detroit retail entrepreneurs with Kickstart Awards to help launch their brick-and-mortar businesses. Each of the award winners is a graduate of TechTown’s Fall 2018 Retail Boot Camp. The Kickstart Awards are designed to help retailers launch their businesses in a Detroit commercial district within the next six to 12 months.

The Kickstart Package includes up to $5000 worth of subsidies to be directed toward a permanent or pop-up space, inventory and/or a point-of-sale system. The winners were announced at the Retail Boot Camp Showcase on September 25, following pitch presentations.

Judges for the pitch competition included representatives from Chemical Bank, Design Core Detroit, JP Morgan Chase Foundation and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

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. Graduates throughout the city include Mama Coo’s Boutique, Live Cycle Delight, Sfumato Fragrances, Plum Health and Lush Yummies Pie Company.

“We are proud of the role Retail Boot Camp plays in Detroit’s retail industry shift,” says Sarah Donnelly, TechTown’s director of retail services. “Our businesses are standouts and are providing services and amenities to residents in neighborhoods across the city.”


Fall 2018 Kickstart Award winners include:

Eumelanin is a clothing brand that celebrates the many shades of black and brown people around the world. The Melanin Collection shows the chemical structure of Melanin in gold in a variety of skin tone shade shirts, hats and accessories.

Ariya’s Apparel and Accessories
Ariya’s Apparel and Accessories provides modern and modest ready-to-wear and custom-designed clothing for women.

Every Child is A Genius
Every Child Is A Genius is a 24/7 childcare STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) educational academy that services children from 2.5-13 years of age.

The Velvet Tower
The Velvet Tower is a Detroit based vintage collector that sells fashions for men and women, including plus-sized options.

Vivid Glam Beauty
The Vivid Glam Beauty is a provider of beauty products and makeup events. Its premier product is a collection of premium quality, 100% cruelty-free, 3D Mink Lash strips, each named in honor of old Hollywood glamour icons.



TechTown is Detroit’s entrepreneurship hub, with a full suite of programs for both tech and neighborhood small businesses. TechTown works with businesses at all stages, helping startup, emerging and established companies develop, launch and grow. For more information, visit