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August 14, 2015

| $499

Aug 14, 2015 ,


TechTown’s Blocks Retail Boot Camp prepares serious entrepreneurs with strong retail concepts for the successful launch of their brick-and-mortar business in a core Detroit commercial district after program completion. The program enables an entrepreneur’s success not only through training, but also through access to critical start-up capital, affordable space and ongoing business support.

The boot camp will cover

  • Choosing the right location
  • Merchandising
  • Sound fiscal management
  • Customer service
  • Marketing and branding
  • Government regulations and processes
  • Taxes and insurance
  • Planning start-up costs
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Developing the pitch

How it works

  • Eight weeks of in-person sessions, facilitated by business development and retail experts
  • Detroit-specific topic are also addressed, including introductions to select neighborhoods and key stakeholders, as well as opportunities and resources
  • All graduates will receive a toolkit of professional services to help launch business. Services include:

• social and digital marketing consultation
• legal review of lease agreements, partner or vendor contracts
• business plan development
• public relations support

  • Program culminates with a “Draft Day” where up to five successful graduates maybe awarded packages which include:

    • Subsidized permanent or pop-up location
    • Point-of-sale system
    • Inventory subsidy

Who is eligible 

  • Must be willing to locate business in Detroit
  • Operate as brick-and-mortar, for-profit, independent retail establishments OR have evidence of retail activity (Pop-up, web site/ecommerce transactions, trunk shows, etc.)
  • Strong value proposition; offers an exciting product niche and/or serves community need
  • Previous retail experience
  • Good understanding of start-up costs and ability to commit personal funds
  • Commitment to launching business within three months of program completion

Potential “Draft Day” placements

Up to 5 graduates will be selected by partner organizations to open permanent brick-and-mortar or pop-up storefronts in the city. Post-graduation locations will depend on the retail concept and market need. TechTown may provide a point-of-sale system and an inventory subsidy. All graduates will receive a professional services package valued at $3,500.

Application process

Applications are now open. Apply here: bit.ly/rbc2015tt


Program fee upon acceptance is $499.

For more information

Questions? Contact blocks@techtowndetroit.org.

Program partners and sponsors

Retail Boot Camp partners include Airfoil GroupBUILD InstituteHatch Detroit, Lifeline Business Consulting Service, ProsperUS Detroit, Revolve (a program of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation),Sadek Bonahoom PLLC, Small Business Development Center Michigan, Social Coop Media and Wayne Alumni Law Group.

Program sponsors are JPMorgan Chase Foundation, New Economy Initiative and Bedrock Real Estate Service.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Retail Boot Camp applications will be accepted through August 14, 2015.


August 14, 2015


TechTown Detroit


440 Burroughs St, Detroit, MI 48202 United States
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