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Opportunity Detroit and D:hive team up to bring more pop-ups to Woodward Ave.

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Retail! Retail! We need more retail!

That’s the constant chant as downtown Detroit works to transform itself.

Opportunity DetroitOver the past few weeks Opportunity Detroit has laid out several plans to do just that. One of the most recent is a partnership with D:hive to bring more retail entrepreneurs downtown.

The program is Pilot, a retail pop-up project for emerging entrepreneurs. Those chosen for the project will get two months of rent-free interior white-box space in D:hive’s welcome center located at 1253 Woodward Avenue. 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.

“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.

home_1The first business to open is pot & box, a floral design and container gardening service based in Ann Arbor. It will move into D:hive May 2 and recently announced plans to open up a permanent location in Corktown as well.

“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. A committee of experts will select each pop-up in residence putting an emphasis on community engagement and involvement.

Pilot will begin taking submissions for the next pop-up proposal on June 6 for an initial pop-up start date of August 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.

d-hive-0Along with a two-month, rent-free space 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.

“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.

For more information on Pilot, including the submission process and timeline, visit dhivedetroit.org/pilot.

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