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City of Sydney to help retailers go digital

The shift to digital has spelled disaster for many retail businesses over the years, as companies struggled to keep up with rapidly changing consumer behaviour and compete on price, channel and product.

Now, the City of Sydney wants to equip its retail businesses with the skills to survive. It is launching an eight-week accelerator program in partnership with investment group Investible and startup hub Fishburners for 15 small-to-medium Sydney retailers to learn how to future-proof their businesses.

The Retail Innovation Program will focus on concepts such as idea validation and testing, solution design, data analytics, financial modeling, scale strategy, growth marketing and customer traction analysis.

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.

Kicking off with a bootcamp in March 2019, the program will involve online learning, as well as in-person learning and mentoring. Kelly Slessor, founder and CEO of the AI-enabled personalised shopping assistant app, Shop You, will be the entrepreneur in residence.

Each business journey will be shared on digital channels to help inspire other retailers beyond Sydney to innovate. Applications for the program are now open.

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