Application window opens for next cohort of TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp

What’s happening: House of Pure Vin. Plum Health. Breadless. These are but a few of the now well-established small businesses that once graduated from TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp, the 12-week course that prepares the city’s burgeoning entrepreneurs to open their own brick-and-mortar storefronts. The application window for the Spring 2023 cohort is now open.

What it is: Retail Boot Camp is an intensive, hands-on program that provides entrepreneurs the know-how to open their own physical storefronts in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. A team of business development and retail experts teach such topics as identifying startup costs and funding sources; selecting a permanent location based on market data; navigating brick-and-mortar regulations with legal guidance; and more.

Alumni perks: Following graduation, entrepreneurs are entered into a pitch contest, where five businesses will win a $5,000 Kickstart Award. A $1,000 People’s Choice Award will also be awarded. Win or lose, each entrepreneur will also receive post-graduate business coaching.

How it works: The application window for the next cohort is open now and through Friday, Feb. 3. A series of informational webinars will be held each Tuesday leading up to the deadline for applications. There is no fee to apply to Retail Boot Camp; once accepted, the program costs $499 to enroll.

Visit TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp online for more information about the application process, webinars, and more.

Why it’s important: “For years now, TechTown has helped Retail Boot Camp graduates open competitive retail businesses in a fast-changing environment,” says Jeremy Lewis, Director of Small Business Services for TechTown Detroit. “This program helps entrepreneurs to comprehensively think through how to open a location in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park that will service customers. During the course, industry experts will speak to our clients to help them think like business owners and entrepreneurs.”

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.