In an effort to help bricks and mortar stores future-proof retail, 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.
Kicking off with a bootcamp in March 2019, the eight week accelerator program combines 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 modeling, 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.
Aiming to reach beyond the program and have a positive impact on Sydney’s wider retail ecosystem, each business journey will be shared on digital channels to help inspire other retailers to innovate.
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.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said: “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”.
As the most active seed investment fund in Australia and with a portfolio of 71 companies showcasing a 67.2 per cent IRR including the likes of Canva, Car Next Door, Bellabox and ShoreTrade, Investible believes that technology will fuel the resurgence of brick and mortar retailers.
The Retail Innovation Program is based on Investible’s tried and tested methodology used to train thousands of entrepreneurs – a methodology originally designed by co-founder Creel Price for Richard Branson’s Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa.
Sir Richard Branson, in his book ‘Screw Business As Usual’, described Creel as “the living, breathing definition of an entrepreneur”.
Investible co-founder Creel Price said: “Where I see an industry in turmoil I see opportunity.
“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 Kelly Slessor founder and CEO of Shop You, (an artificially intelligent personalized shopping assistant).
Kelly 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 Westfields (Scentre Group), Lendlease, Big W, Woolworths, Gluestore, Suria KLCC, Sunshades Eyewear and over 500 independent small to medium retailers.
Past participants describe the program as “like completing a two year MBA in eight weeks”, 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.
Fishburners head of community Henry Weaver said: “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 450 sqm 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”.
The Retail Innovation Program is looking for local retail businesses to apply to take part in this exciting program.
Successful businesses will be passionate about their business, seeking to actively grow, open to innovating and have an interest in sustainability business practices.