Retail X Series

A retail startup boot camp program for pre-seed stage founders who are revolutionizing the future of retail.
Monthly events with experts covering topics from customer acquisition, to financial modeling, to seed stage fundraising, targeted specifically to B2B and B2C 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 Sessions

Fundraising Tips from Founders

February 26, 2020

Davis Wright Tremaine, 1251 Avenue of the Americas

6pm to 8:30pm


Aditya Khilnani, Co-founder, Mobley

Reham Fagiri, Co-founder & CEO, AptDeco

Come hear from founders on their advice on the how they handled fundraising:

  • Timing of a preseed or seed round

  • How much to raise

  • Necessary proof of concept/metrics/traction

  • Raising from angels, angel groups, VCs, family offices, strategic investors

  • Best practices for fundraising and outreach to investors

  • Fundraising on convertible debt vs. SAFE vs. preferred stock structure

Early Bird Tickets Available HERE

Do's and Don'ts of Social Media Advertising

March 30, 2020

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

Early Bird Tickets Available HERE

How to Build Your Brand

April 22, 2020

Davis Wright Tremaine, 1251 Avenue of the Americas

6pm to 8:30pm

Speakers TBD

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


Sapna A Shah

Sapna Shah

Sapna Shah is an angel investor, retail expert and three-time entrepreneur. Through Red Giraffe Advisors, Sapna makes angel and early-stage seed 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