Shopify’s Build-A-Business Contest is back – and Canadians can enter this time!

Shopify’s Build-A-Business contest last year was so successful they’ve decided to do it again, only way bigger and way better with over $250K in prizes. But this year Canadians can enter as well.

The concept is the same and it’s easy as pie: Think of something to sell, start an online store, and sign up for the contest. The store with the most revenue for two months (we’ll average your best two) wins the grand prize.

Last year’s contest was responsible for helping create almost 1,400 businesses which accounted for 66,503 total orders and over $3.5 million in revenue. The winner of last year’s contest was San Francisco’s DODOcase – a company that makes stylish iPad cases using traditional book-binding techniques. The founders are now running a multi-million dollar company thanks to help from Shopify.


Since Canadian law doesn’t allow Shopify to give out cash prizes to winners of a skill-based contest like this one, they have created a prize specifically for Canadian entrants.

While the prize package isn’t as impressive as the Grand Prize which includes $100K in cash, at least they’re thinking of us.

The Canadian prize includes $5,000 for anything you want from the Apple Store, a VIP trip for two to New York City (and lunch with Seth Godin there), and a $15K Google AdWords credit.

Need more incentive to sign up?

The first 2,500 eligible contest entrants will get all this for free:

  • Hardcover copy of Seth Godin’s new book Poke the Box
  • Hardcover copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book The Thank You Economy
  • Additional $100 in Google Adwords Credits
  • $100 in MailChimp Credits
  • 50 Co-branded Business Cards printed by Moo

The contest runs from May 1st to December 31st, 2011, but you can sign up any time as long as you’re selling for at least 2 months.

The contest is open to residents of the U.S.A. (excluding residents of Arizona, Maryland, Vermont, and Puerto Rico), the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland), Australia, New Zealand and Canada but everyone can participate in the educational portion.

And remember, you don’t need any experience starting or running an online store. Throughout the contest, Shopify will have a special Build-A-Business website set up that will house a wealth of accumulating knowledge to help you along the way.