Promising Detroit retailers compete for funds at Retail Boot Camp Showcase

Date: September 21, 2017
Contact: Kristin Palm
Phone: (313) 483-1326



Promising 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

Sixteen on-the-verge Detroit retail entrepreneurs will compete for $25,000 in prizes at TechTown Detroit’s Retail Boot Camp Showcase on September 26 from 5-8pm at TechTown, 440 Burroughs, Detroit.

The entrepreneurs are all graduates from TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp. 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 12 months. Each Kickstart package includes financial support of $5,000 to be directed toward a permanent or pop-up space, inventory and/or a point-of-sale system. All graduates will receive ongoing business consulting and support services from TechTown and its partners.

Now in its sixth year, 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. More than 50 percent of graduates in the program’s first five years are currently operating or opening soon in permanent or pop-up locations, including House of Pure Vin, Mama Coo’s Boutique, Ashe Supply Co., Plum Health, Third Wave Music, The D. String, Pedicure & Shoes 2 Go and Live Cycle Delight.

“Our Retail Boot Camp graduates are making a true mark on the city—from Southwest Detroit to the East Side,” says Sarah Donnelly, TechTown’s retail services director. “We look forward to helping more local businesses get open, stay open and bring needed services to our neighborhoods in the coming year.”

Judges for the pitch competition include Ashley Mizzi, Director of Operations and Lending at Detroit Development Fund; Tara Liong, Vice President of Retail Design Institute – Detroit Chapter and Marketing Manager at JGA; Bonnie Fahoome, Director of Business Programs at Detroit Creative Corridor Center and Rachel Lutz, owner of Peacock Room and Frida.

Support for Retail Boot Camp comes from JP Morgan Chase, New Economy Initiative, Bedrock Real Estate and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Motor City Match.

TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp Showcase is free and open to the public with advance registration at Free parking is available in the secured lot at Cass and Amsterdam. For more information on TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp, visit

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.