The City of Sydney has partnered with Investible to launch Sydney's first Retail Innovation Program.
Designed to inspire innovation and accelerate growth, the program will take 15 small-to-medium Sydney retailers and challenge them to think differently about their business.
The eight week accelerator program will kick off with a bootcamp in March 2019.
It will combine face-to-face learning and mentoring, with innovative online modules that aim to transform traditional businesses into innovative entrepreneurial teams.
With online shopping on the rise, Australia's $300 billion retail sector needs to innovate in order to survive.
The program will focus on modules such as idea validation and testing, solution design, data analytics, financial modelling, scale strategy, growth marketing, customer traction analysis and more.
Participants will review their business models, test their assumptions, and validate solutions to successfully de-risk their growth plan into the future.
They will also be introduced to a range of practical frameworks and tools to help their businesses innovate effectively.
Each business journey will be shared on digital channels.
Together with the City of Sydney, Investible has brought together a range of talented retail innovators and global entrepreneurs to deliver the program, mentor participants and provoke new ideas around the future of retail.
City of Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore said the partnership and program were part of the council's ongoing commitment to help retail businesses.
“We are looking forward to partnering with Investible to bring this new and innovative retail program to Sydney.
“The partnership reflects our commitment to supporting our retail businesses to remain competitive in the digital age and maintaining our billion dollar economy.”
The Retail Innovation Program is based on Investible's tried and tested methodology used to train thousands of entrepreneurs and designed by co-founder Creel Price.
“When I see an industry in turmoil I see opportunity,” Price said.
“The old world order of retail is changing at a rapid pace – yet people are consuming more than ever.
“Investible is excited to work with the City of Sydney to future proof local business owners.”
The program will be mentored/supported by Entrepreneur in Residence and Shop You founder and CEO Kelly Slessor.
Slessor is an alumni of the Investible program with over 20 years' experience in transformation and innovation in retail having worked globally with retailers and property groups including Westfield (Scentre Group), Lendlease, Big W, Gluestore, Sunshades Eyewear and over 500 independent small-to-medium retailers.
The program trains entrepreneurs to evaluate their businesses against 40 quantitative aspects as well as some key qualitative factors such as team chemistry and customer experience.
Fishburners, Australia's largest community of scalable tech-startups, is one of the supporting partners of the program, and will host the majority of the workshops and pitch events.
Its head of community Henry Weaver said it was looking forward to helping local retailers grow.
“As Australia's largest community of innovative tech startups, Fishburners is an inspiring home for these workshops.
“Our alumni include some leading retail startups such as Koala Mattresses and Stashd.
“We are delighted to make our fantastic new 450sqm event space available to this worthwhile program, and look forward to helping local retailer entrepreneurs to take advantage of best-of-breed technology, marketing and growth strategies.”
Applications will be open from now until March 1, 2019.