TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp recruiting entrepreneurs for 2023 spring cohort

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

Jan. 10, 2023

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 Spring 2023 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, Hamtramck or Highland Park. The program curriculum is designed to strengthen businesses to grow to a permanent location as they look to thrive in today’s retail environment.

“For years now, TechTown has helped Retail Boot Camp graduates open competitive retail businesses in a fast-changing environment,” said Jeremy Lewis, Director of Small Business Services forTechTown Detroit. “This program helps entrepreneurs to comprehensively think through how to open a location in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park that will service customers. During the course, industry experts will speak to our 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 with one hybrid session held both virtually and in-person at TechTown on Tuesday, Jan. 31:
Tuesday, Jan. 10 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 31 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Hybrid session)

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
▪ 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, Music, Plum Health, Voluptuous Bien’Aime Boutique, Urbanum, Flamingo Vintage Detroit, Mature, Mongers Provisions, Estella’s Vegan Cuisine & Desserts, Spectacle Society, Breadless and K. Walker Collective.

There are no restrictions on where participants reside, but they 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, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and Walters Family Foundation.

Those interested in the program can visit for additional information. There is no fee to apply to the program. Program fee upon acceptance is $499.