Here, failure is an option.

Successful innovators and entrepreneurs take risks and never give up. When you take a risk, failure is an option, and often the quickest way to learn and improve. Shift Retail Lab provides an important space for student entrepreneurs to test their ideas through sales and customer feedback. This alternative type of retail offers a lab-type approach for creative thinkers and doers from a wide range of backgrounds to put their ideas into action. Shift customers have the opportunity to take an active part in developing ideas into successful products and services ready to go out to market.

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Meet the Shelfies

Our Shelfies have about a month to showcase and test their ideas. They could be working on a product or service that is already developed or starting at the beginning, with just an idea. During their month at Shift they will receive a stipend and programming, including a boot camp, Feedback Friday, and group pop-up market.

Each semester there are multiple opportunities for current VCU students, alumni, and community founders to test their products, services, and ideas on the shelf at Shift. Help the Shelfies out by browsing and taking their surveys. Your insight will help them be more successful, more quickly!

*Applications will be available in August 2022

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Two students in shift retail lab. One is holding up a grey tshirt with the shift logo and the other is looking at merchandise on the shelves

Take a class at Shift

INNO 591: Shift Magazine (3 credits)
Open to all VCU Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Full semester // Wednesdays // 1-3:30pm  // In-person
Faculty: Jessica Collins, VCU Robertson School & Lloyd Young, VCU da Vinci Center

This course is a cross-disciplinary, project-based course where students will build on the foundational principles and practices of visual design by directly applying their skills to create a magazine for Shift Retail Lab. All students will experiment in constructing content through design thinking, graphic design, branding, photography, copywriting, communications, and event planning. This course will end with a launch party to introduce the issue to the VCU and Richmond community. 

Register Today

translucent pink cups with the shift retail lab logo arranged in a line across a row of shelves

Shift Retail Lab at VCU is brought to you by the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation. Construction of Shift Retail Lab was made possible by a parntership with Mark Hourigan and Hourigan Group. Branding created by students from VCU Brandcenter.

VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation