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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Imagine your product on our shelves.

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 bootcamp, 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. 


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

Co-work at Shift!


M-F: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Sat: 12 p.m.-2 p.m.

Coworking can be a fun alternative to working from home or office. A shared workspace offers a variety of perks and a sense of community, collaboration, learning, and sustainability with individuals who you may not have met otherwise. Join us during our open hours for free coffee, tea, snacks, and collaboration!

Co-work at Shift Retail Lab


Join our staff and students at an upcoming event at Shift Retail Lab!

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Help the Shelfies out by browsing and taking their surveys. Your insight will help them be more successful, more quickly!

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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 partnership with Mark Hourigan and Hourigan Group. Branding created by students from VCU Brandcenter.

VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation

Shift Retail Lab is brought to you by VCU da Vinci Center