Press Releases

Shopify Launches 5th Build a Business Competition

September 22, 2014

Five Winners Flown by Private Jet to Sir Richard Branson’s Private Retreat, Necker Island

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — Sept. 22, 2014 – Shopify, the industry leading commerce platform that allows anyone to sell online, in-store and everywhere in between, announced today the fifth annual Build a Business Competition, the world’s biggest entrepreneurial contest encouraging anyone with a great business idea to start selling.

This year again, the company has partnered with the industry’s most successful entrepreneurs to help new and emerging stores launch and grow their businesses. Over the past four years, the Build a Business Competition has helped create over 21,000 new businesses that have sold over $120 million in products. Past winners including: DODOcase, GoldieBlox, Coffee Joulies, Bolder Band, among many others, have gone on to create multi-million dollar companies.

To participate, entrepreneurs must open a store and start selling products using Shopify. At the end of the competition, the top five stores that sell the most over a two-month period will be flying on a private jet to Richard Branson’s Necker Island for a five-day adventure full of mentorship, exploration, and professional growth.

This year’s mentors include names that every entrepreneur will recognize:

  • Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group)
  • Daymond John (FUBU, Shark Tank)
  • Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek)
  • Marie Forleo (MarieTV)
  • Seth Godin (Best selling author)

“Over the years, I have witnessed thousands of people start and grow successful businesses using Shopify,” said Tobias Lütke, CEO, Shopify. “Becoming an entrepreneur is a dream for many people and Build a Business provides the platform needed to kickstart business ideas into a reality. Providing mentorship along the way has proven to be an invaluable tool and this year, we’ve brought together an all-star team to provide the guidance needed for these businesses to succeed.”

The Build a Business Competition runs from October 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015, with each of the mentors providing exclusive advice and guidance along the way.

For more details on the Build a Business Competition, including how to sign up, visit

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