Shopify and The Huffington Post Announce International Business Competition

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Entrepreneurs will compete for nine $50,000 cash prizes, and a chance to be individually mentored by a famous entrepreneur.

Shopify, the industry-leading commerce platform that allows anyone to easily sell online and in-store, today announced the launch of its fourth annual Build A Business Competition. The company has partnered with The Huffington Post and some of the industry’s most successful entrepreneurs to help new and emerging stores grow their business.

To participate, entrepreneurs must open an online store and start selling products using Shopify. At the end of the competition, the nine stores that sell the most over a two-month period will each receive $50,000 in cash and an exclusive meeting with their competition mentor.

The competition mentors are:

**Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post)
**Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks, Shark Tank)
**Daymond John (FUBU, Shark Tank)
**Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek)
**Chase Jarvis (Photographer, Director)
**Tina Eisenberg (Swissmiss, CreativeMornings)
**Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library, Vaynermedia)
**Selita Ebanks (Victoria’s Secret Angel, Cause Marketer)
**Lil’ Jon (DJ & Producer)
**Amber Mac (TV Host, Author)

The Build A Business competition runs from October 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014, with each of the mentors providing exclusive advice and guidance along the way. In addition to the $50,000 cash prize, the nine competition winners will also receive a VIP trip for 2 to New York City, and a complete Shopify POS package.

“Over the past three years, Shopify’s Build A Business competition has helped create over 15,000 new businesses that have sold over $60 million,” said Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s Chief Platform Officer. “We’re extremely excited about this upcoming competition as we’ve partnered with The Huffington Post, and some incredible mentors like Mark Cuban, Lil’ Jon and Arianna Huffington. I can’t wait to see the thousands of successful new businesses that will be created this year.”    

Arianna Huffington, competition mentor and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post, said: "What I love most about this competition is its focus on mentorship. It’s about building while tapping into the wisdom and experience of others, and telling the stories of the hard work, creativity and collaboration that fuels innovation."

For more details on the Build A Business competition, including how to sign up, visit http://www.shopify.com/build-a-business.

About Shopify
Shopify is a commerce platform that allows anyone to easily sell online, at a retail location, and everywhere in between. Shopify offers a professional online storefront, a payment solution to accept credit cards, and the Shopify POS application to power retail sales. Shopify currently powers over 65,000 retailers in 100 different countries, including: Tesla Motors, Gatorade, Forbes, Amnesty International, Encyclopedia Britannica, Maxim Magazine, CrossFit, and many more. Shopify was founded in 2006 and has received $22 million in Series A and B funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Felicis Ventures, and Georgian Partners.

Shopify contact:
Mark Hayes, Public Relations
mark(dot)hayes(at)shopify(dot)com

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Mark Hayes
Shopify
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