Retail Boot Camp

TechTown’s 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 program curriculum is designed to strengthen businesses from pop-up stage to permanent location as they look to thrive in today’s retail environment.  Retail Boot Camp has gained a reputation for supporting the launch of successful businesses in neighborhood commercial districts, including House of Pure Vin, Mama Coo’s BoutiqueThird Wave Music, Plum Health, Voluptuous Bien’Aime Boutique, Urbanum, Rebel Cycle Studio, Mongers’ Provisions, and Hatch Detroit winners Live Cycle Delight and Toma Detroit.

Retail Boot Camp covers

  • Developing quality retail operations and routines
  • Designing impactful visual merchandising
  • Selling through customer service
  • Selecting a point-of-sale system
  • Understanding your pricing and inventory mix
  • 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

How it works

  • Ten weeks of in-person sessions facilitated by business development and retail experts
  • At final showcase event, participants have the opportunity to pitch for up to $5,000 in technical assistance
  • All graduates receive post-graduation coaching from the TechTown team for six months

Who is eligible

Participants must have evidence of previous retail activity (pop-up or e-commerce transactions, trunk shows, job experience) and must be intending to locate their business in Detroit within 12 months of graduation.

Class Schedule

Spring 2019: March 12-May 14. Fall 2019: July 16 – September 17. Every Tuesday, 5-8pm at TechTown.


Retail Boot Camp is made possible through the support of JPMorgan Chase Foundation and New Economy Initiative

Questions? Contact


Applications for the spring Retail Boot Camp cohort are now closed. Applications for the fall cohort are currently open until June 17.