Press Releases

Shopify Launches Build a Business Competition

January 1, 2010

OTTAWA, ONTARIO— Jan. 1, 2010 – Shopify is giving new online business owners the chance to build the business of their dreams and win cold hard cash. The marquee shopping cart provider today announced the kickoff of its Build a Business Competition, which offers a $100,000 grand prize to the new online business launched on the Shopify platform that posts the highest grossing sales in a six month period. The contest begins January 1, but contestants may sign up now at

Shopify has partnered with Timothy Ferriss, author of the #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week best-seller “The 4-Hour Workweek” to launch the contest in conjunction with the release of Ferriss’ new edition of the book that hit store shelves just in time for the holiday season.

Tobi Lütke, CEO of Shopify, says the contest was conceived to encourage those with an entrepreneurial spirit to dust off their dream and get started – no more excuses. “When Tim told me about running his first online business in just a few hours a week while traveling Europe, we realized that Shopify was built exactly for this kind of adventure, and we decided to show people just how easy it really is,” Lütke said. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime – not only do contestants have the chance to pursue their dreams and become their own boss, but they can win cash for doing it.”

The contest runs from January 1 through June 30. The grand prize of $100,000 will be awarded to the businesses with the highest gross sales, based on the best two months for each contestant. Additional prizes will be awarded to the top grossing businesses in four categories: digital goods (including downloadable media), apparel, electronics and miscellaneous. Contestants may enter the contest at any time, but are encouraged to sign up early in order to make the most of the six-month span.

As part of the contest, Ferriss, along with other masters of online retail and industry luminaries, will conduct a series of monthly webinars covering a wide range of topics related to launching and operating a successful online business. Topics will include promotion, design, shipping, financing and other relevant subjects.

“Shopify is exactly the product I wish I could have used when I built my own business originally,” Ferriss said. “It was natural that, once meeting the team behind Shopify, we looked for something to do together that would allow more people to find independence through starting their own businesses, just as I did. This competition is exactly that.” The contest is open to budding entrepreneurs with an idea for a new online business, as well as extensions of existing online businesses. Standard service fees apply, and full support is available to all contestants. The company is expecting thousands of new stores to be launched as a result of the contest.

The Shopify platform is specifically designed to make starting and running an online store quick, easy and successful. By automating many of the more complicated processes, including back-end website management, product sourcing, payment processing and reporting, Shopify is ideal for those striving for the 4-Hour Workweek.

Shopify’s simplicity eliminates the overwhelm and fear of the unknown many prospective online business owners feel. With customizable, contemporary design templates, easy-to-integrate rich feature set and industry-leading security, Shopify allows even a relative novice to get a visually spectacular, well-designed and user-friendly online store up and running in mere minutes.

Shopify sites are exceptionally affordable, typically allowing businesses to recoup the cost of the site with the margins from the first sale of each month. A 30-day risk-free trial can be upgraded quickly and easily to one of five plans that start at just $24 per month, with no setup fees. Elegant, flexible and scalable, Shopify’s platform powers thousands of startups, as well as some of the largest retail brands in fashion, automobiles, entertainment and media, including Tesla Motors, Disney’s Pixar and The Indianapolis Star newspaper.

For more information about the contest or the Shopify platform, visit

Share this story: