What is retail today? After all the dire warnings of the “retail apocalypse,” store closings, zombie malls and retail bankruptcies, “retail” is a loaded term. But in reality, retail is changing – and the definition of the very word “retail” is no longer what it was.
Startups in what I call the “retail sector” can be B2B or B2C. They can be marketplaces or ecommerce sites. They can be digitally native brands or fashion brands. They can be technology companies that sell into enterprise (legacy) retailers like Walmart, or they can be fashion tech companies that provide products and services for fashion brands. They can be apps or sharing/rental platforms. They can be companies that provide tech services for small and medium sized bricks and mortar retailers, or platforms for influencers that are launching their own ecommerce presence. In short, the definition of retail is expanding.
And the challenges for these companies are very specific to the sector. Retail, in every shape or form, requires a knowledge of how shoppers shop and buy. Of the specific seasonality and sales cycle that is unique to this sector. Of the legacy of promotional calendars and wholesale models. Of bricks and mortar versus online versus mobile. And marketing – both online and offline.
I’ve said in previous posts that I’m looking to invest in the future of retail. But I also want to help build it. And as I looked around at the growing retail ecosystem of New York, I realized that while there are some great incubators and accelerators locally targeting the sector, there are fewer resources for entrepreneurs who are just starting out in these sectors.
That was the genesis for Retail X Series, which is launching on September 19th. What is it? It’s a retail startup boot camp program for pre-seed stage founders who are revolutionizing the future of retail. We’re hosting twice monthly events with experts covering topics from customer acquisition, to financial modeling, to seed stage fundraising, targeted specifically to B2B and B2C retail founders. Featuring great panelists who have been there, and actionable insights for early stage founders. No equity taken, no commitment to attend all sessions. I’m incredibly excited to launch soon, and if you’re a pre-seed retail founder, I hope you can join me.
- Digitally native brands
- Shopping/retail apps
- Ecommerce/mobile commerce
- B2C or B2B marketplaces
- Rental/peer-to-peer businesses
- Enterprise retail technologies/software
- SaaS businesses targeting retailers
- B2B or B2C fashion tech