Retail Business Incubator

What is a Retail Incubator Program?

A retail incubator program is designed to catalyze the process of starting and growing retail businesses by providing a place for highly motivated entrepreneurs to learn retail skills relatively quickly. Retail incubators nurture new, emerging, and established small business owners by helping them to survive during the critical start-up period and by assisting in continuous growth and sustainability planning.

Wheelhouse Retail Incubator

Program Framework

  • Business Coaching, Mentoring, and Consulting: Tailored guidance to set entrepreneurs up for success
  • Local Training & Business Resource: Valuable resources for startup, launch, and sustainable growth phases of business
  • Retail-Specific Technical Assistance: includes display, design, pricing, supply chain; inventory; and operations logistics
  • Capital Readiness Preparation: assistance to accessing capital/funding resources
  • Retail & Tourism Market Research: procurement and client-specific application of research
  • Retail Space Assistance: guidance and milestone planning for acquiring retail space upon graduation
  • Networking and Community Engagement Hub: Facilities to engage within a vibrant entrepreneurial community
  • Prototyping and Manufacturing: Equipment and expertise to actualize ideas into products

Innovation and Design Thinking

The Wheelhouse Makerspace Product Development Program is designed for the Retail Business Incubator Program participants to support product development for their retail business. The program is divided into 5 product development tracks. Within each track, there are several touchpoints with an expert for product design, development, and testing. Safety and equipment certifications for product development and prototyping are included on an as needed basis.

  1. Idea Lab
  2. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Design
  3. Prototyping & Manufacturing
  4. Product Launch
  5. Post-Launch