Shopify announces its annual Build A Business competition, brings on Sir Richard Branson as a mentor


Shopify is one of Canada’s most successful businesses and the e-commerce giant is back again for its annual Build A Business competition. Now in its 5th year, the Build A Business competition encourages entrepreneurs to open an online store and start selling products.

Last years Build A Business competition, which is dubbed as “the world’s biggest entrepreneurial contest,” reportedly created 21,000 businesses that amassed sales of $120 million in just eight months. Previous winners of the competition include DODOcase, GoldieBlox, Coffee Joulies, and Bolder Band.

For the competition this year, Shopify has once again brought on some industry heavyweights to guide, encourage and inspire entrepreneurs to achieve success:

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

“Since this is the fifth year of the competition, we wanted to make it the best one yet,” said Tobias Lütke, CEO, Shopify. “So, we went back to our winners from the past four years and asked them what they found most valuable and rewarding about the competition. The resounding answer was mentorship, so that’s where we’re focusing our efforts and that’s why we’ve created Entrepreneur’s Island. It won’t be just one day of mentorship but a full five days of learning.”

The Build A Business competition starts October 1st, 2014 until May 31st, 2014. To join, entrepreneurs must open a store and start selling products using Shopify. Upon completion, the top four stores that sell the most will be flown to Sir Richard Branson’s private Necker Island where they will spend five days in workshops and meetings with each of the five mentors.

Check it out here at Shopify


Ian Hardy

Ian is publisher at MobileSyrup. He's been quietly creating and building things for years and is completely addicted to Tim Hortons.

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