Retail Lab


Retail businesses are a key part of local economic activity and provides residents with essential community services, cultural activities and access to needed merchandise. At the Cabarrus Center, we are focusing on driving economic development through entrepreneurship by supporting the small business owners who are contributing to a healthy and resilient base of economic activity in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.

**We are no longer accepting applications for the Spring 2022 Retail Lab Boot Camp.

Check back for information about the Fall 2022 session, and in the meantime, please support the local entrepreneurs who have completed the Boot Camp and are now selling their products at the Retail Lab Pop Up Store in downtown Concord, NC.

Program Overview

The Retail Lab was established at the Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship through a partnership between the Flywheel Foundation and the Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

This program serves early-stage and pre-launch retail business owners in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties by providing an application-based, six-week immersive Boot Camp, followed by an opportunity for new retailers to test out their concept in the Cabarrus Center’s Retail Lab Pop Up Store for six months.

Retail Lab Boot Camp

The Boot Camp portion of the Retail Lab program consists of an application-based, 6-week immersive boot camp, followed by an opportunity for new retailers to test their concept in the Cabarrus Center’s downtown Concord retail space for 6 months.

Curriculum topics include: Business Basics, Strategy, Branding and Marketing, E-commerce, Point-of-Sale and Inventory, and Real Estate/Licensing.

The ideal Retail Lab participant has a skillset and background that demonstrates their ability to execute their concept or their existing business. They are committed to their idea or business with a clear passion for their project. They must have a unique value proposition of product or service with clarity of market opportunity.

Eligible Boot Camp participants will receive a 3-month Flywheel Membership including space use at the Cabarrus Center, amenities, and member benefits. Participants will also receive ongoing support from the Entrepreneurial Organizations at the Cabarrus Center. Minority and Women Business Enterprises have the opportunity to secure grant funding through the program.


Spring 2022 Session

Applications are no longer being accepted.

Check back for updates as our participants complete the Spring 2022 Boot Camp and prepare to open up shop at the Retail Lab Pop Up Store.

Fall 2022 Session

We are finishing up the Spring 2022 session and will have updates in the next few months on when and how you can apply for Fall 2022.

In the meantime, please support the local entrepreneurs who have completed the Boot Camp and are now selling their products at the Retail Lab Pop Up Store.

Pop Up Store

Shopping at the Pop Up gives you more than great products; it gives you a chance to explore and support new retail businesses that are launching in your community!

Current Vendors:
  • Positive Outlook Grooming | Vegan, all natural men’s grooming products
  • Serene Re’pose | Handmade, cruelty-free bath and body products
  • Sunshine & Gem Co. | Art prints, stickers, magnets and stationary
  • HaZi Enterprises | CBD holistic wellness boutique
  • Kimo’s ONO Grindz | Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water
  • Grace & Sobrie-Tea | Inspirational gifts, cups, bracelets and clothing

Program Sponsor

We want to recognize our program sponsor for helping us make the Retail Lab program possible.

Accelerating Local
Economic Development

Find Us

Cabarrus Center
for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

57 Union St. S.
Concord, NC 28025

Contact Us