Retail X Series

A retail startup boot camp program for pre-seed stage founders who are revolutionizing the future of retail.
Monthly events with founders, funders and experts covering topics like customer acquisition, financial modeling, fundraising and more, targeted specifically to B2B and DTC retail founders.
Founded by Sapna Shah of Red Giraffe Advisors.
Scroll down for upcoming sessions.

About Retail X Series

The Program

Retail X is a monthly boot camp for early stage, retail-related startups as they launch their businesses. Think of this program as a "Retail 101" class for startups in the retail tech, ecommerce, fashion tech and consumer verticals.  Learn from founders, retailers, investors and more. Retail X Series runs from fall to spring, with a break for the summer.

Who Should Sign up to Attend?

Early pre-seed stage founders focused on retail, retail tech, ecommerce or fashion tech who have not yet raised significant outside capital.

- B2B Retail and Fashion Tech Startups - startups that focus on selling to retail/business (eg, enterprise retail tech, SaaS, B2B marketplaces, fashion tech

- B2C Ecommerce and DNVBs - startups that focus on the end consumer (eg, young brands, consumer/fashion apps, ecommerce, marketplaces, rental platforms, P2P platforms



Monthly evening sessions from 6 to 8:30pm

$20 per session, $15 early bird (no equity taken) 


Upcoming Virtual Sessions

Fundraising in an Uncertain Environment 

April 2nd, 1pm to 2pm EDT

Via Zoom


  • What the fundraising landscape looks like right now

  • Who's investing and who might not be

  • How to think about creating relationships and pitching virtually

  • Which business models may become most attractive to investors

Format: Short remarks by Sapna Shah & David Goldberg, General Partner of Corigin Ventures, then Q&A - come prepared with your questions.

Note: if you attended the virtual session on 3/25, this content will be the same at that session.

Register to attend (free) HERE

Alternative Sources of Capital for DTC Startups

April 9th, 1pm to 2pm EDT

Via Zoom


  • Sources of debt (microlenders, banks, friends & family, others)

  • Managing accounts payable/terms to free up cash

  • Customers as sources of capital

  • And more

Format: Fireside chat with Sapna Shah & Maria Boustead of Po Campo.

Note: if you attended the virtual session on 3/25, this content will be mostly similar to that session.

Register to attend (free) HERE

Upcoming Live Events



Do's and Don'ts of Social Media Advertising - POSTPONED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS. To be rescheduled.

Davis Wright Tremaine, 1251 Avenue of the Americas

6pm to 8:30pm


Chris Franco, Founder & CEO, Woodridge Growth

Marc Atiyeh, Founder & CEO, Pawp

Join us for a fireside chat about the do's and don'ts of social media spend:

  • Case study of a founder's journey in paid advertising

  • Best practices for Facebook and Instagram advertising

  • How to start running tests on paid advertising

  • How to build a paid advertising model and staff it

  • When agencies should be utilized

  • And more

How to Build Your Brand

April 22, 2020

Davis Wright Tremaine, 1251 Avenue of the Americas

6pm to 8:30pm


Denise Jin, Co-founder & COO, Floravere

Others TBA

Join us for a discussion from founders who have built their brands:

  • When brand building should start

  • How brand building is different than marketing

  • Critical activities for building a brand at the earliest stages of the company

  • Branding firms - pros and cons

  • How brands can evolve as the company grows

  • Building brand into the culture of the company

Early Bird Tickets Available: HERE

Hiring Talent & Building Your Early Team

May 21, 2020

Davis Wright Tremaine, 1251 Avenue of the Americas

6pm to 8:30pm


Claire Humphreys, Co-founder & COO, Wethos

Adrian Solgaard, Founder & CEO, Solgaard

Gertrude Allen, CEO, PetPlate

Join us for a discussion about how founders have built their teams from day one:

  • How to think about who the first, most critical hires are

  • How to identify talent (in creative, marketing, ops, etc)

  • Pros and cons of full-time vs. part-time hires and how to make those choices

  • Common hiring mistakes and lessons learned

  • When HR becomes formalized

  • Building culture as new team members are added

Early Bird Tickets Available: HERE




A big thank you to Davis Wright Tremaine's Project W for sponsoring the monthly Retail X Series live events.


Sapna Shah

Founder of Retail X Series

Sapna Shah is an angel investor, retail expert and three-time entrepreneur. Through Red Giraffe Advisors, Sapna makes preseed investments in retail tech, ecommerce and consumer start-ups. Sapna serves on the Board of Directors of the NY Tech Alliance.


Previously, Sapna co-founded Retail Eye Partners, an independent Wall Street equity research firm. Sapna also co-founded a menswear e-commerce retailer, Mind the Chap. Prior to Retail Eye Partners, Sapna held executive strategy roles at Linens 'n Things, Inc. and at Ann Taylor, and spent time at Gap, Inc. Previous to her career in retail, Sapna worked in investment banking at Punk, Ziegel & Knoell and in credit at Morgan Stanley.


Sapna holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School as well as a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.  She received her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Want to know more about Sapna? Check out the Red Giraffe Advisors site HERE

Sapna A Shah