Ottawa eCommerce platform Shopify is teaming with the New York Stock Exchange to launch Shopify’s sixth Build a Business Competition, which challenges entrepreneurs to make their business idea real.
Five entrepreneurs will be selected to go on an entrepreneurial adventure that starts with the ringing of the NYSE opening bell, followed by an interview with CNBC and then a five day retreat at Oheka Castle, which served as partial inspiration to F. Scott Fitzgerald for Jay Gatsby’s estate in The Great Gatsby.
As Gatsby said admiringly of Daisy to Nick Carraway, “Her voice is full of money.”
Hunkering down in the same mansion purported to be the setting for probably the single greatest novel about the role of money in the American psyche, it remains to be seen whether Shopify’s competition will teach its contestants to put a little money where their mouth is, in the style of Gatsby’s remorseless heroine.
“This year we’re going back to our roots and focusing on what Shopify is all about: entrepreneurship,” said Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke. “Shopify was built for entrepreneurs. We want to help anyone with a great idea turn it into a million dollar company in a really short time. It’s never been easier to start a business than it is today; we hope this competition is the kick in the pants that any aspiring entrepreneur needs to go get started.”
“The NYSE recognizes that entrepreneurs are a driving force in the economy,” said NYSE Group President Tom Farley. “We look forward to one day welcoming the competition winners back to the NYSE as they continue on their path to success and take their companies public.”
The finalists will be joined by a group of high-profile mentors during their retreat, including:
Tony Robbins (Author, Philanthropist)
Russell Simmons (Media Mogul, Philanthropist)
Troy Carter (CEO of Atom Factory)
Daymond John (FUBU, Shark Tank)
Tobi Lütke (CEO and Founder of Shopify)
Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek)
Marie Forleo (MarieTV)
Tom Farley (President of NYSE Group)
Mark Hoffman (President of CNBC)
Prospective contestants can be elegible for the competition by starting a new business using Shopify to sell their product.
The five finalists will be selected from the top sellers using the Shopify platform.
Shopify claims that the previous five “Build a Business” competitions have resulted in the creation of 90,000 new businesses and half a billion dollars in sales.
Past winners include DODOcase, GoldieBlox, Coffee Joulies, Bolder Band and MVMT Watches.
The competition opens October 1 and runs until May 31, 2016.