After a successful first run in May,
has decided to offer a second Retail Boot Camp
this year, its intensive 10-week entrepreneurial training program designed with the intent of launching sustainable businesses
"There's been such an outcry for additional classes," says Leslie Smith, TechTown President and CEO. "Our partners all have this pipeline of potential companies. We have also sweetened the pot so applications are a bit more competitive to encourage the best of the best."
TechTown will set incentivized milestones throughout the program and the last session will be a showcase where each participant will pitch their business to a panel of judges. First place will win $5,000 cash and a free pop-up space sponsored by REVOLVE Detroit
over the holidays. "(The winner) will have this beautiful opportunity to pop up immediately and test the market." There are also cash prizes for second and third place.
Applications close on Sept. 11. They have space for 15 entrepreneurs but might expand this to 18-20, depending on the response and quality of applicants.
TechTown has also developed an aftercare program. "A lot of programs after the conclusion of the class leave the entrepreneurs out in the wilderness on their own," Smith says. "We bring them together and help them create a formal network. We have found this has been one of the differentiators of this program; our aftercare is more focused on launch."
Previous Retail Boot Camp graduates are "in actual stages of launch towards being an entrepreneur, which is the goal – not just having a theoretical conversation." Smith estimates 70 percent of the spring session participants will launch by the end of this year.
This session will occur Monday nights 6-9 p.m. from Sept. 23 to Nov. 11. Program fee upon acceptance is $499.
Source: Leslie Smith, TechTown President and CEO
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg
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