DETROIT -- D:hive, a hub of resources to live, work, engage or start a business in Detroit, announced today that it has partnered with Opportunity Detroit to launch Pilot, a retail pop-up project for emerging entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs who are chosen for the Pilot program will receive two months of rent-free interior white-box space within D:hive's welcome center located at 1253 Woodward Ave. in downtown Detroit's central business district.
"This is an opportunity open to all entrepreneurs to test their brick and mortar potential in a prime location downtown," said April Boyle, D:hive's Director of Recruitment and Pilot's project manager.
To launch Pilot, D:hive has selected pot & box, a floral design and container gardening service, and they will move into the spot May 2. Pot & box recently announced plans to open up a permanent location in Corktown and has a flagship location in Ann Arbor.
"We wanted to launch Pilot with a business that represents the kind of retail that will work in Detroit, and whose strong branding, design and programming will demonstrate the potential of our space as a retail laboratory," said Boyle.
Going forward, D:hive will hold a quarterly open call for pop-up proposals, and a committee of experts will select each pop-up in residence putting an emphasis on community engagement and involvement, whether in the form of classes, workshops, events or other innovative programming open to the public.
Aside from a two-month, rent-free tenancy, each selected business will receive a number of perks including a modest space transformation grant, marketing from D:hive, design assistance from its in-house designers, mentorship from its team of small business experts and continued support and collaboration with D:hive, Opportunity Detroit and other partners throughout their stay.
"This program is a great opportunity for an early stage local entrepreneur to have a risk-free temporary venue to present and experiment with a creative retail concept," said Deb Dansby, vice president of Rock Ventures.
Pilot will begin taking submissions for the next pop-up proposal on June 6 for an initial pop-up start date of Aug. 1. Interested business owners should submit a detailed proposal including a business plan, preliminary designs for the physical space and a marketing and programming strategy. Pop-ups will have full use of the 375 square-foot interior space, as well as a window display portion of D:hive's exterior window facades facing Woodward Avenue.
For more information on Pilot, including the submission process and timeline, visit http://dhivedetroit.org/pilot.
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