You’ve got to start somewhere. In Detroit, far too many of our small neighborhood business start-ups launch their business operations with less capital and support than is needed to survive.
They are not alone according to Bloomberg, which reports that 8 out of10 U.S. entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months.
Tech Town Detroit is attempting to approve survival rates with an innovative program designed to provide support for promising would-be Detroit brick and mortar retailers.
Past program graduates operate thriving break-through businesses.
Regina Gaines, the co-owner of Midtown’s House of Pure Vin is among those defying the odds. She credits the program with helping her to avoid the many pitfalls that often destroy new bricks and mortar business owners (See TheHUB’s House of Pure Vin coverage)
Tech Town is accepting applications for its 2017 Retail Boot Camp beginningApril 24.
The Retail Boot Camp is an intensive, eight-week program that prepares serious, Detroit-based entrepreneurs for the opening of their brick-and-mortar retail establishments. In addition to training, RBC provides access to start-up capital, affordable space and ongoing business support.
The program is open to businesses located in (or willing to relocate to) Detroit who have proof of retail experience, funding sources and a strong value proposition. Each weekly, three-hour classroom session consists of coursework with business development and retail experts, and supported work on a business plan. Substantial out-of-class work will be required. Classes runAugust 1-September 26.
The program culminates with a Showcase, where up to three graduates will be awarded prize packages valued at up to $5,000, and which include a subsidized permanent or pop-up location, a point-of-sale system, an inventory subsidy and/or a professional services package (design, social media, legal, financial). Upon graduation, participants have the opportunity to participate in TechTown’s SWOT City program, which provides customized, one-on-one small business consulting. The cost for the eight-week course is $499.
“Retail Boot Camp covers everything from negotiating a lease to devising marketing strategies to developing eye-catching displays,” says Sarah Donnelly, TechTown’s Retail Services Director. “This program helps promising retailers with strong concepts get turn-key ready for the successful launch of their business in a Detroit neighborhood.”
Retail Boot Camp has gained a reputation for launching successful and much-anticipated businesses that are catalyzing neighborhood commercial districts, including House of Pure Vin, Paramita Sound, Tribalfare, Mama Coo’s Boutique, The D. String, Third Wave Music and 2015 Hatch Detroit winner Live Cycle Delight.
Applicants are encouraged to attend one of three information sessions across Detroit:
• Monday, May 1at TechTown Detroit, 440 Burroughs,6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
• Monday, May 15at Grand River WorkPlace, 19120 Grand River Avenue,6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 31at TechTown Detroit, 440 Burroughs,6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Retail Boot Camp supporters include JPMorgan Chase Foundation, New Economy Initiative, Bedrock Real Estate Service and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Motor City Match.