Sir Richard Branson Throws Support Behind Shopify’s Build a Business Competition

Shopify announced this morning its fifth annual Build-A-Business competition, the world’s biggest entrepreneurial contest encouraging anyone with a great business idea to start selling.

To participate entrepreneurs must open a store and start selling products using Shopify.

Last year alone the competition created 21,000 businesses that sold more than $120 million worth of products in just eight months of existence.

Past winners of hte competition include DODOcase, GoldieBlox, Coffee Joulies, and Bolder Band, have graduated to multi-million dollar businesses.

This year again Shopify has partnered the industry’s most successful entrepreneurs to help new and emerging stores launch and grow their businesses.

At the end of the competition, the top five stores that sell the most over a two-month period will be flown to Entrepreneur’s Island, Sir Richard Branson’s private Necker Island. They will spend five days in workshops and meetings with each of the five mentors.

Joining Branson on this years list of all-star mentors are Daymond John (FUBU, Shark Tank), Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek), Marie Forleo (MarieTV), and 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 runs from October 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015, with each of the mentors providing exclusive advice and guidance along the way.