Shopify's 2nd Annual Build-A-Business Contest

Shopify's 2nd Annual Build-A-Business Contest

Shopify's 2nd Annual Build-A-Business Contest

It's that time of the year again. Last year's Build-A-Business contest was so successful we've decided to do it again, only way bigger and way better! How big are we going? In short, we've teamed up with Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk... not to mention $500,000 in prizes and giveaways. 

The concept is straightforward: Think of something to sell, start an online store, then sign up for the contest. Whoever sells the most wins a $100,000 grand prize along with a VIP trip to NYC to have lunch with Seth Godin (he's cooking) and a power session with Gary Vaynerchuk. After New York, fly to Google Headquarters in California to learn from Google's top experts and enjoy a private dinner with Tim Ferriss. 

Check out all the contest details here. (Seriously, check it out... it's pretty amazing)

On top of all the insane prizes, we're giving away a ton of awesome freebies for the first 2,500 people to sign up and stay past the 30-day free trial period. You'll receive a free hardcover copy of Seth Godin's new book Poke The Box, a free hardcover copy of Gary Vaynerchuk's new book The Thank You Economy, and a whole lot more (we even pay the shipping costs). 

The free books and the possibility of winning cash and prizes is only a part of the Shopify Build-A-Business contest. It's really all about providing entrepreneurs with a little incentive to turn their dreams into reality. That's why we teamed up with prominent angel investor Tim Ferriss, marketing guru Seth Godin, and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk who will provide continued support and education throughout the contest by contributing exclusive articles, blog posts, videos and even one-on-one video chats. 

If you're already a Shopify store owner, you will have full access to all the expert advice our partners will be providing; however, only stores opened after March 26th, 2011 will have a chance to win the prizes... we want a level playing field for all the contestants. 


  • Steve  Carney
    Steve Carney
    April 26 2011, 04:56PM

    Great concept. I may not win but why not join.

  • Justin Winter
    Justin Winter
    April 26 2011, 06:03PM

    So not very clear on participation guidelines for a shopify store that has been up for a few months. Only allowed to be in contest if you open your store after today? Of if store started February does that still make a store eligible?

  • @Shopify Mark Hayes
    Mark Hayes
    April 27 2011, 03:26PM

    Justin: Thanks for the comment! To elaborate on my point, only stores opened after March 26th, 2011 may participate in the contest. We want a level playing field and existing stores have a big advantage when competing against brand new stores.

    You will have full access to the tutorials, guides and videos that we are creating and posting over the contest period and will be able to participate in other giveaways and contests that we have in the pipeline.

    You can go to , then scroll to the bottom and submit your e-mail to sign up for all the contest info.

    Hope that helps Justin! Shoot me an e-mail at any time!

  • Nina
    April 27 2011, 04:49PM

    Hi Mark,
    I’ve been building my store for many months now but haven’t gone live yet. Hoping to launch within a few weeks. Does that count? Or not, since I’ve been paying for my shopify services since I started building and it’s been, like, over 6 months now.
    Would love to participate.
    All thanks,

  • Josh McCallen
    Josh McCallen
    April 27 2011, 09:30PM


    We are one of your partners and we could not be happier with the team you put together for this contest. With Tim and Seth as your motivational talent, it is safe to say you have some strong players on the team.

    Currently we have been working with Mathew Paciga to bring several of our clients over to the Shopify Platform. There is no doubt that you have the most appealing e-commerce platform period.

    Keep up the great work!

  • @Shopify Mark Hayes
    Mark Hayes
    April 28 2011, 12:27PM

    Nina: Thanks for the comment! Shoot me an e-mail, so I can send you a proper response.

    Josh: So glad you’re happy. It’s hard to believe we got Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferriss all too participate. It’s definitely an all-star team! I don’t have to tell you these guys are literally the best of the best! If last year’s contest generated almost 1,400 brand new, successful online stores, imagine what this year’s contest is going to do!

    Great to hear you’re happy with Mathew Paciga, he’s awesome. I’m actually aware of BusinessArmory and especially enjoy your blog’s playful tone. Keep it up!

  • Dustin
    May 06 2011, 11:52PM

    To whom it may concern,

    Guidelines are a little confusing, states “think of an idea to sell”, make an online store, and make sales. How does one do that? I have an idea for an exercise apparatus that is going to revolutionize the way people work-out and there is nothing out there that compares to the results that one would seee after his/ her workout… So the question is, does one pitch an “idea” to sell at their online store and see if people will buy that product (idea)? I have a prototype for the basic concept that this apparatus would show to the consumer and have a 3D animated sketch in the works to show to possible investors- if I choose to go that route. I have a multitude of questions that I would like to ask and rather do more privately so all the beans aren’t public….Much appreciated of your time if you take the time to respond, if not so be it and it was never meant to be….haha.

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