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R etail Up star t s S cott Hessell • published in the M arch 2014 issue


he Retail Entrepreneurship Club (REC), a student club within the Terry J. Lundgren Center for

Retailing, is starting a new initiative called Retail Upstarts that is designed to assist Tucson-based retail entrepreneurs-to-be in their business planning and market launch efforts. The program will match local retail entrepreneurs with students and, in an intense, focused engagement, help develop key retail strategies for the entrepreneurs based on students’ researching the local market and the product opportunities. Lindsey Walsh, President of REC, indicated that the program would be a great way for members of the club and others in the retailing program to help local entrepreneurs but also to learn about the process of starting one’s own venture. Walsh said “we know this will be a great opportunity for students to learn from real life retail entrepreneurs about what it is like to start your own company. We know it is a challenge but to work with someone who is doing it right now will be a great experience.” The first two companies in the Retail Upstarts program are a local craft beer brewery started by Kyle Jefferson and a retail venture focused around a unique combination of technologies in the headphone/earbuds product category led by Bryan Jaret-Schachter. Both are graduates of the University of Arizona and the Eller College of Management but see a great value in working with students focused on the retail aspects of their venture. “This program came about at a perfect time for me. To get some support and insight from the students on how I should roll this out in a retail environment will be a great advantage for my business success,” said Jaret-Schachter. The program is being developed with the support of the Southern Arizona chapter of CCIM, a national organization that is recognized as experts in commercial and investment real estate. Debbie Heslop of Volk Company and Jason Wong of Red Point Development have been great proponents and early supporters of the program. Heslop said that, “the Upstart program will benefit the retail entrepreneur by providing an increased rate of success. Through an in-depth analysis of the company’s operational and marketing plans based on understanding the Tucson market, these startups will have a greater chance of success going forward. In the end, the outcome of the program is to align the retailer’s plans with the realities of their retail store launch and on-going management needs.” The plan for the Retail Upstarts program is to work with several companies each semester. This initial semester is designed to develop further the program and to begin marketing it to the local business community.

Scott Hessell is a Senior Lecturer and Lundgren Teaching Fellow in Retailing and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona. He is also Managing Partner at Hessell Ventures, a consulting practice principally focused on key sales, marketing and business development activities in life sciences and other consumer‐related products. He can be reached at Tu c s o n R e a l E s t a t e + N e w D e v e l o p m e n t Subscribe online at

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