Shopify’s Flagship Competition

Build a Business is one of the world’s biggest entrepreneurial contests. Since the launch of the program in 2010, we’ve seen thousands of companies start and grow successful businesses using Shopify under the tutelage of the world’s best business minds.

Watch the intro video

Previous winners

Find out who won, what they created, and their best advice for new business owners.

Arts, Jewelry & Crafts


Utah, USA

Photo of the founders of Carbon6

Benchmark demand and fair pricing by looking on sites like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, in addition to what’s sold in more conventional outlets. The internet has liberated startups from the need of brick and mortar stores. Now, the whole world is your audience. If you find something you’re passionate about, you no longer have to be in a location with a concentrated community of people interested in your product. With seven billion people in the world, even if only 0.1% of people are interested in the things you like, that’s a community of seven million people.

Electronics & Gadgets


Ontario, Canada

Photo of the founders of Nora

Forget the romantic notion of suddenly quitting your day job and starting a business. Every business starts as a project. Take your ideas seriously, foster them, and be your own toughest critic. Ask yourself if your idea is really worth all the effort it will take to get off the ground. The only way to know is to start with small steps, and let the success of your project convince you. You will know when it’s time.

Fashion & Apparel

Happy Trunk Apparel

B.C., Canada

Photo of the founders of Happy Trunk Apparel

Get ready for a wild ride! The path that takes you to success might be completely different than what you had in mind. Be ready to adapt. The freedom you get from running your own business is worth any amount of struggle it will take to become successful. Keep modifying your approach and measuring your results until you find success. The only way you can lose is if you stop trying.

Everything Else


Lancashire, England

Photo of the founders of iSwegway

To anyone thinking about starting their own business, I would say to absolutely go for it. When starting out with iSwegway, we faced a lot of doubt and discouragement—not only from people we knew, but because of the media’s perception of the board. So go with your gut!

People’s Choice

Best Self

New York, USA

Photo of the founders of Best Self

Cathryn and Allen found that what differentiated outstanding performers was their ability to plan, effectively execute, and track progress.

Past winners

2013 Winners

Polar Pen, MVMT Watches, and more

2012 Winners

Goldieblox, Fresh-Tops, and more

2011 Winners

Coffee Joulies, Tattly, and more

2010 Winners

DODOcase and more

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