Today, we're beyond excited to announce the winners of our Build-A-Business Competition! Over 3,000 entrepreneurs created new online stores that sold over $12 million in products during the eight month competition period. The grand prize is $100,000 cash, along with VIP trips to New York City and San Francisco to meet with Timothy Ferriss, Seth Godin, and Gary Vaynerchuk for high-level business and marketing advice to further grow their business. Without further adieu, Gary Vaynerchuk is going to announce the winner:
In addition to the grand prize, we're awarding a total of $150,000 cash and $60,000 in Google AdWords credits to our industry and Canadian winners. Here is a visual overview of the competition. You can click on the image to view it in full-screen.
We couldn't be happier with the success of all the ecommerce stores competing. We're going to be publishing in-depth articles on all winners within the coming weeks, but for now here's the leaderboard with some background information and description of their product(s):
Dave Jackson and Dave Petrillo (commonly referred to as 'The Daves') are two mechanical engineers from New Jersey. They went on Kickstarter to crowd-source their funding of Coffee Joulies with a goal of $9,500. They ended up raising $306,944 with 4,818 backers. They're one of Kickstarters most successful projects, and they're also one of Shopify's fastest growing online stores. Coffee Joulies are polished stainless steel beans that regulate the temperature of coffee.
Tattly was created by Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka swissmiss) out of her frustrations toward ugly rub-on tattoos. As Tina says, "Life is too short to drink bad wine and wear ugly temporary tattoos, right?" And so Tattly was born: A temporary tattoo online store for design-minded kids and kids-at-heart. Tattly's "tattoo artists" are some of the best designers in the world: Jason Santa Maria, Julia Rothman, Jessica Hische, Frank Chimero, Mark Johns, and many more.
Rob Ward and Chris Peters solved a dilema of epic proportions; having a cold beer but no way of opening it. These two Australians asked themselves, "what's the one thing people have on them at all times?" The answer? Your cell phone. Solution? A sturdy iPhone case beer bottle opener. Confirmation that their idea was a hit came as soon as they listed Opena on Kickstarter. Opena garnered 50% of its target funding in the first week. Although sales for Opena Case are skyrocketing, the dynamic duo isn't resting on their laurels just yet - they've already developed a new product, the Quadlock Case, which allows you to mount your iPhone anywhere you like.
Sophie Kovic was working as a projectionist at a small movie theatre last year. Then she read Timothy Ferriss' book "The 4-Hour Workweek." She followed his step-by-step instructions on how to create a successful online business (with a focus on Google AdWords) and built FlockStocks - a feather hair extension online store that's selling all around the world.
Jesse Phillips was disillusioned with his computer science degree and became determined to save himself from working in a cubicle for the rest of his life. He semi-quit his day job and developed a gorgeous whole year calendar that is big (27" x 39"), and is designed to perfection. NeuYear is printed on premium quality, cream colored, uncoated card stock, and has a beautiful vellum finish. Design is important when it comes to calendars, because as Scott Belsky writes,"the design of your productivity tools will affect how eager you are to use them. Attraction breeds commitment."
Brad Jorgensen used to teach Canadians the intricacies of "Australian rules football" for six years. When he returned to Australia he couldn't believe the price difference in footy boots (soccer cleats) between North America and Australia. He decided to bridge the gap in prices, he found good suppliers, then opened an online store offering fair prices. He has since expanded his offering to include soccer boots, running shoes, and rugby cleats.
Small batch beer makers often have difficulty finding a variety of quality hops available for purchase in small quantities. Especially if they want their hops delivered the next day. Simply Hops is an online store that was created to cater to craft beer brewers that don't want to make expensive bulk purchases.
Remember thinking as a kid that by the time we're adults we would all have our own personal robots? Well, Matthew Randall and four other mechanical engineers from the University of Waterloo decided to do something about that by creating TurtleBot. This fully functional and customizable robot is built on an open-source framework and is developed with the best low-cost hardware. For example, the 3D sensor is actually a Microsoft X-Box Kinect.