Techtown’s Retail Boot Camp recruiting entrepreneurs for 2022 spring cohort

Upcoming information sessions will be held for those dreaming of opening their own business


Jan. 20, 2022        


DETROIT – A lot goes into making the dream of opening a brick-and-mortar business a reality. Luckily, there’s still time for entrepreneurs to apply for TechTown Detroit’s 2022 Retail Boot Camp to help them through the process.

TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp is an intensive, hands-on, 12-week program that prepares serious entrepreneurs for the opening of their brick-and-mortar establishments in Detroit and, for the first time this year, Hamtramck and Highland Park. The program curriculum is designed to grow businesses to a permanent location as they look to thrive in today’s retail environment.

“The goal of TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp is to impart as much knowledge as possible to entrepreneurs,” said Amanda Saab, Small Business Services Director, TechTown Detroit. “This program helps entrepreneurs to comprehensively think through how to open a location that will service customers. During the course, industry experts will speak to the clients to help them think like business owners and entrepreneurs.”

TechTown Detroit is providing several, free information sessions for individuals wanting to learn about Retail Boot Camp, the history of the program and what to expect during the application process. Business owners will also have a chance to ask questions about the program. Information sessions take place virtually on the following dates/times:

Thursday, Jan. 20 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 27 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 3 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 10 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

To join an information session, participants register for the night of their choice at

Retail Boot Camp covers the following topics:

▪ Developing quality retail operations and routines
▪ Designing impactful visual merchandising
▪ Selling through virtual and in-person customer service
▪ Selecting point-of-sale and e-commerce system
▪ Identifying startup costs and funding sources
▪ Selecting a permanent location based on market data
▪ Navigating brick-and-mortar regulations with legal guidance
▪ Utilizing an architect for the design-build process
▪ Developing crisis and store management practices

Retail Boot Camp has gained a reputation for supporting countless graduates, including House of Pure Vin, Mama Coo’s Boutique, Third Wave Music, Plum Health, Voluptuous Bien’Aime Boutique, Urbanum, Flamingo Vintage Detroit, Mature, Mongers Provisions, Estella’s Vegan Cuisine & Desserts and Spectacle Society.

Participants must have evidence of previous retail activity, such as pop-up or e-commerce transactions, trunk shows or job experience, and must intend to locate their business in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park within one year of graduation.

After completion of the course, all entrepreneurs will pitch their business to a panel of judges, and five businesses will win a $5,000 Kickstart Award. A People’s Choice Award of $1,000 will also be given to one business. All receive post-graduate coaching.

Retail Boot Camp is made possible with support from JPMorgan Chase, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, New Economy Initiative, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Rocket Community Fund and Wells Fargo.

Those interested in the program can visit for additional information. There is no fee to apply to the program.