Ideas to Doors is the only conference of its kind, and a meaningful source of inspiration and information in a world where the retail landscape is changing more rapidly than it ever has. It is as entertaining as it is informative. Top tier speakers on the most current topics and business models relevant to commerce and retail today make this an outsized opportunity for any student or entrepreneur or business person—not to be missed.

 Shawn Nelson, Founder/CEO, Lovesac

The Story of the Retail Entrepreneur

2019 – Phoenix and Tucson

This event is about the stories of retail entrepreneurs and innovators.  It is about the passion, the determination, the belief that they could take their ideas – as crazy as they may have seemed at the start – and get them into the doors of their retail stores and of their customers.

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So, if I go, what will I get out of attending Ideas to Doors?

You will get a great deal whether you are a young student or professional or an industry veteran.  This conference is about getting an intimate peek into some amazing retail stories and innovations that are beginning to build their own legacy like many of the household names of retailing did in the decades and centuries past.  This is about feeling the energy and passion of entrepreneurs who don’t just go along but are finding their niche in the market and charging through it.

Ideas to Doors is not your typical industry conference.  It isn’t about listening to speakers but about sitting in on a conversation.  It is about hearing the oftentimes gut-wrenching but always inspiring and head-shaking stories of real innovators as they navigate the startup challenge.  It is about feeling the pain and glory of putting it all on the line for an idea that they believe – deep in their soul – is a great one.  It is about seeing the passion in the eyes of people just like you that said “I know this will work, damn it!”  So, slide on a comfortable pair of jeans, slip into your coolest t-shirt, grab a cup of dark roast or Earl Grey, plop down in a comfy seat and join us in the conversation.

Ideas to Doors’ sponsors include:

Conference Details

What should I expect at the conference?

— What will the day look like?  —

Ideas to Doors is a one-day, conversation-style conference. You will meet amazing retail innovators and entrepreneurs who will tell their story as they hold a conversation with a select group of individuals from the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing.  In these conversations, you will hear how they came up with their original idea, how they designed their first product or service, how they got their first sale and then continued to grow, what mistakes they have made and what successes they have enjoyed and a whole host of other lessons learned.  But, you will be able to take part too.  You will have a chance to become a part of that conversation by asking your own questions too.

— What do I wear?  —

This is NOT a business professional zone so don’t you dare wear a suit!  This is about jeans, t-shirts, and flip flops.  So come and relax.

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Have you heard enough? Are you ready to register?

Are you interested in sponsoring?


I2D will help to awaken the innovator in all of us.  To make one see the opportunity that entrepreneurship has to offer by sharing in the stories of the conference speakers.


While many have an inkling to start one’s own company, the successful entrepreneurs who will take the stage will inspire many to take that first step.


The innovators behind the startup successes will be able to shine a light on the process that they took – and that others can take – from their idea to become a market success.


I2D will show that if one awakens their passion for entrepreneurship, is inspired to take on the challenge, and is enlightened about the path in front of oneself, that they will have the belief that their success is possible too.

Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing and the Ideas to Doors Conference

The Ideas to Doors (I2D) conference is the brainchild of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing (TJLC) GCCR_TJLC_logoat the University of Arizona and a few other individuals who see the value and importance of an innovative spirit in retailing.  We believe that there was a place where the hard fought lessons of entrepreneurship in the retail space could be heard and shared.  Where these challenges could awaken, inspire, enlighten and make others believe.

Ideas to Doors is a one-day, interactive conversation – not a series of one-way presentations – that will bring to the stage retail and brand entrepreneurs who have battled the odds and found success.  It will give participants a chance to even come up on the stage and take part in the conversation;  not just watch it from the seats.  What it won’t be is boring and predictable.

Who We Are

The TJLC brings together emerging talent in the University of Arizona’s retailing degree, faculty, and industry to enhance retailing enterprises – new and old – worldwide.

Join us for this amazing opportunity to learn from the “doers” in retail and brand entrepreneurship