WHAT IS THE
RICE RETAIL ACADEMY

The RICE Retail Readiness Academy (RRA) is an experiential learning program revolutionizing brand success in the retail industry. Unlike traditional incubators or accelerators, RRA offers targeted sprints designed to address key challenges for emerging Black brands entering retail. Led by notable entrepreneurs who have dominated the retail space, industry leaders, and national and global brands, RRA equips participants with essential skills, knowledge, and strategies for navigating the retail sector covering everything from understanding the retail environment and supply chain, to storytelling, funding and brand pitching.

WHAT IS THE
RICE RETAIL ACADEMY

The RICE Retail Readiness Academy (RRA) is an experiential learning program revolutionizing brand success in the retail industry. Unlike traditional incubators or accelerators, RRA offers targeted sprints designed to address key challenges for emerging Black brands entering retail. Led by notable entrepreneurs who have dominated the retail space, industry leaders, and national and global brands, RRA equips participants with essential skills, knowledge, and strategies for navigating the retail sector covering everything from understanding the retail environment and supply chain, to storytelling, funding and brand pitching.

WHAT IS THE
RICE RETAIL ACADEMY

The RICE Retail Readiness Academy (RRA) is an experiential learning program revolutionizing brand success in the retail industry. Unlike traditional incubators or accelerators, RRA offers targeted sprints designed to address key challenges for emerging Black brands entering retail. Led by notable entrepreneurs who have dominated the retail space, industry leaders, and national and global brands, RRA equips participants with essential skills, knowledge, and strategies for navigating the retail sector covering everything from understanding the retail environment and supply chain, to storytelling, funding and brand pitching.

WHAT IS THE
SUPPLY CHAIN ACCELERATOR?

The Supply Chain Accelerator at RICE is designed for Black entrepreneurs who are ready to take the next step of doing business with Fortune 500 companies or government agencies. The program focuses on contract readiness and goes beyond education to equity, presenting participants with exponential contracting opportunities. The program has reverse-engineered the contract acquisition process and works directly with corporations to create more access and equity in purchasing and procurement for Black entrepreneurs. The program is immersive and expert-driven, facilitated by key partners who provide industry insights and tailored technical assistance to growth-stage Stakeholder businesses addressing their specific needs. 

WHO IS IT FOR?

The Supply Chain Accelerator program is designed for companies offering products and services, aiming to enhance their comprehension and expertise in supply chain management.

WHEN DOES IT START?

The Supply Chain Accelerator program starts on May 16, 2024.

The Supply Chain Accelerator Program spans over 20 weeks with intermittent breaks incorporated throughout the duration of the program.

HOW ARE COMPANIES SELECTED?

The selection committee evaluates the distinctiveness of each applicant’s company, their proficiency in supplier management, and their dedication to learning and development.

Our objective is to assemble a cohort of dynamic and diverse entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic about utilizing the program’s resources and seizing its opportunities.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

As a RICE Stakeholder, joining our Supply Chain Accelerator program means unlocking unparalleled opportunities for your business. Benefit from tailored mentorship, invaluable industry insights, and strategic networking connections that pave the way for unprecedented success in the dynamic realm of supply chain management. Our accelerator is not just a program; it’s a collaborative ecosystem fostering innovation, sustainability, and accelerated growth. Seize the chance to elevate your business to new heights by becoming part of a vibrant community that propels startups into the forefront of the supply chain landscape.

 The  goal of the Supply Chain Accelerator program’s goals are to establish long-term sustainable partnerships with corporations, meet stakeholders where they are and take them to the next level of their business growth, utilize a customized development approach that addresses each Stakeholder’s specific business and capacity-building needs, mentor and coach stakeholders to build organizational capacity, assist stakeholders to strategically position their companies to acquire corporate and government contracts, and create certified businesses. 

Join us at RICE, where your supply chain success story begins! 

Training & support from industry leaders and experts. ​​

Secure direct funding for certifications .

Contract opportunities with the RICE Marketplace and e-Commerce Platform.

Showcase services or products directly Fortune 100 companies.​

WHAT WILL BUSINESSES GET OUT OF IT?

The Supply Chain Accelerator program provides businesses with a comprehensive range of education and training opportunities tailored to enhance operational excellence and drive revenue growth. Participants receive hands-on guidance and support directly from industry leaders, gaining valuable insights into growth strategies, procurement practices, and CEO leadership skills. They also benefit from personalized technical assistance, corporate mentorship, and financial support for certifications and assessments.

Opportunities for revenue expansion abound, including securing contracts through the RICE Marketplace, networking with Fortune 100 companies, exclusive access to private events, and participation in the Fortune 500 Company Opportunity Matching Program. Moreover, participants can build connections with other high-performing businesses, fostering collaboration and continuous learning.

What are companies are guaranteed to get after participating in the Supply Chain Accelerator Program?

The Supply Chain Accelerator program provides companies with vital skills and knowledge, but we do not promise immediate corporate or government contracts. Success depends on market conditions, competition, and the participant’s business execution.

While immediate success cannot be guaranteed, SCA will greatly enhance readiness, positioning participants for contracting opportunities.

WHO YOU WILL BE ENGAGING WITH IN THE SCA PROGRAM?

The faculty for this unique opportunity includes supply chain experts and decision-makers from key partners such as:

  • Amazon
  • Walt Disney Company
  • Clorox
  • UPS
  • Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative
  • Jabian Consulting
  • King & Spalding
  • Target
  • Chase
  • Wells Fargo
  • US Bank
  • Bank of America
  • Truist
  • Mastercard
  • Village Micro Fund

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BUILD YOUR BUSINESS AND UPLIFT THE COMMUNITY WITH 'RETAIL INNOVATORS, COMMUNITY BUILDERS'.

Terri-Nichelle Bradley

Terri-Nichelle Bradley is the Founder and CEO of Play at Brown Toy Box. Bradley believes that Black children should see themselves positively represented in every space the experience regularly, starting with their toybox and the toy aisle. Bradley, an equity in play advocate, is on a mission to disrupt the $27B toy industry by creating a brand that reflects the world we live in today. Launched in 2017 as a STEAM kit, Brown Toy Box evolved into a full-scale educational toy company producing and curating STEAM toys, media, and experiences for centering and celebrating Black children in a manner all children can enjoy, learn, and have fun. Prior to starting Brown Toy Box, Bradley led a communications consultancy working with Fortune 500 companies in campaigns designed to connect with the African American community. Prior to that, Bradley served as the VP of Corporate, Crisis, and Public Affairs for the world’s largest global PR agency. Bradley has been awarded the Civic Impact Award, was recognized as a 2019 Atlanta’s Top 100 Businesswomen of Influence by the Atlanta Business League, acknowledged on the 2020 Who’s Who in Black Atlanta list of influential leaders and most recently named to Inc. Magazine’s 2020 Female Founders 100 list. Brown Toy Box is sold in Target stores nationwide, with Amazon, over 30 museums including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, as well as other independent specialty toy stores and retailers. Learn more at browntoybox.com

Stefan Miller

Stefan Miller is the Co-Founder and CMO for Young King Hair Care, which launched in December 2019. Young King Hair Care is a multicultural grooming and lifestyle brand company with tailored offerings catering to specific needs of young men of color. Stefan is a marketing professional with 15+ years of experience across marketing, sales and consulting in the CPG and tech industries. At Young King, Stefan has been featured in over 75+ national publications, was recognized by Mintel as one of the top US brand innovations of 2021, partnered with Disney and Marvel Studios for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and was a participant on Season 13 of ABC’s Shark Tank. Currently Young King Hair Care is available in multiple retail partners, including Target, Walmart, and CVS, selling in over 3,000 stores across the US. Prior to founding Young King Hair Care, he led business strategy and marketing communications, while launching innovations across multiple billion-dollar brands and categories at IBM, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Coca-Cola, and Red Bull. Stefan L. Miller Bio Stefan holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with concentrations in Brand Marketing, Media Management and Management in Organizations, and is a proud HBCU alum of Morehouse College with a BA in Business Administration. He currently lives with his wife and co-founder Cora and 2 kids, Kade and Cree in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more at youngkinghaircare.com

Ceata E. Lash

Ceata E. Lash, CEO and founder of PuffCuff has emerged as a pioneering figure in the natural hair accessory industry, holding the distinction of being the first African-American woman to secure four US patents in this domain. Her journey to entrepreneurship was built upon a 30-year career as a graphic designer, which laid the foundation for launching PuffCuff in 2013. Ceata’s innovative leadership has earned her prestigious accolades, including the President’s Innovation Award from Sally Beauty and the New Voices + Barefoot Wine Beauty Business Grant. These achievements have placed her among the top female founders featured in Inc. Magazine. Committed to lifelong learning and growth, Ceata has completed the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses National Cohort and was part of the inaugural Amazon Black Business Accelerator Cohort. Her recent completion of the “Building a Successful Diverse Business” program at Tuck Executive Education, Dartmouth, further underscores her dedication to continuous improvement and leadership in the business world. Learn more at thepuffcuff.com