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 VinMama Coo’s BoutiqueThird Wave MusicPlum HealthVoluptuous Bien’Aime BoutiqueUrbanumFlamingo Vintage DetroitMature, 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 virtual and in-person customer service
  • Selecting point-of-sale and e-commerce 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
  • Developing crisis and store management practices

Attend one of the virtual RBC info sessions here.

Business Support Includes

  • Ten weeks of virtual sessions facilitated by business development and retail experts
  • 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

2020 Applications – 10th Cohort!

Applications Closed.

Application Period: July 13 – August 9, 2020

Retail Boot Camp is made possible with support from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the New Economy Initiative. 

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.

TechTown is 100% committed to connecting all applicants to resources, regardless of program participation. Interested business owners are highly encouraged to complete the application.

There is no fee to apply to the program. Program fee upon acceptance is $499. If needed, payment plans can be arranged.

Class Schedule: September 1 – November 10, 2020

Virtual class sessions will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:00 pm. Please anticipate to commit 15-20 additional hours each week to homework and other assignments.

Have questions about Retail Boot Camp? Please contact

Want 24/7 retail inspiration? Follow our Pinterest page for everything you need to inspire your retail company.

Want to discuss your business needs soon? Sign up for an open office hour with the Retail Services team.