Don’t you hate it when you find a fantastic business competition and then you read the fine print. Usually it says: “Only open to US residents”. Dammit. Always the way.
When I heard about this competition from Shopify, I figured it would have the usual US-centric terms and conditions. But it is, in fact, open to Australians.
Unlike many business competitions around these days, the prize is … well … massive. You might be used to comps where you get to win some newspaper advertising, or a coaching package or some software. Sometimes, there’s even cash involved. Other times, you simply get the fame, glory and a nice trophy.
Shopify’s “Build-a-Business” competition encourages people to set up an online store. So if you’re hanging to sell widgets, dog food, handbags or anything in between, use this as an incentive to get online and get selling. There is a $500,000 prize pool.
Let’s just look at first prize. You get:
* US$100,000 cash (Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, I repeat that Aussies can enter the comp.)
* A VIP trip for two to New York including round-trip airfare, hotel and spending money.
* While in New York, have lunch with Seth Godin. (He’s cooking it himself.) Seth is author of Tribes, Purple Cow and countless business bibles.
* One-hour business advice session with Gary Vaynerchuk, best-selling author of Crush It and The Thank-you Economy.
* VIP trip to California where you have dinner with Tim Ferriss, visit the Googleplex and receive a personal AdWords consultation. Tim is the best-selling author of The 4-Hour Work Week, The 4-Hour Body and, soon, The 4-Hour Chef.
Seriously, I’m tempted to start a business just to have a chance to do all this.
Even though the competition started on 1 May 2011 and goes to 31 December 2011, the good news is that winners will be determined from the two highest months of revenue. So you still have time to make a splash, especially during the Christmas shopping period.
I wanted to find out if Aussies were REALLY in with a chance. And, according to my spies, it appears we are! If an Aussie wins, Shopify will indeed fly you over to the other side of the world for this mother of all prizes.
This inspired my Enterprise blog post this week:
Fancy a cool $100,000 cash to kickstart your business? Or how about lunch with entrepreneur and best-selling author Seth Godin? Or a one-hour mentoring session with wine impresario and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy.
That’s exactly what Melbourne-based business owner Alon Tamir is hoping for as he competes in Shopify’s “Build-a-Business” competition. Tamir manufactures guitar picks and drumsticks to use with the Garageband (music creation) application on the iPad. If he wins, he also gets return tickets for two to New York and a visit to the Googleplex. Not a bad reward for starting a business.
Competitions with prizes of this magnitude are often accompanied with fine print that says “open to US residents only”. However, this competition is open to Australians and there are already 260 Aussie businesses in the running.
Picks and sticks
A former drummer and guitar player, Tamir thought of the idea of picks and sticks for the iPad about five months ago. This coincided with Shopify’s competition, which launched on May 1. Buoyed by the hefty prize pool, Tamir launched www.pixandstix.com. He says he is seeing seeing as much as 50 per cent growth month on month.
“The prize is incredibly valuable to us. We could win mentoring with some of the biggest entrepreneurial names in the world,” says Tamir. “My business is a start-up so access to those minds is invaluable.”
You can read the full article here.
View Gary Vaynerchuk’s video about the competition here: