How's this for a prize: a five-day business workshop held on Richard Branson's private Necker Island, taught by Branson himself with help from mentors including Shark Tank's Daymond John, Seth Godin and Tim Ferris.
That's what a group of lucky entrepreneurs just won, courtesy of Shopify's fifth annual Build a Business contest, in which contestants built an online store on the ecommerce platform; sales were tracked from October 2014, to May 2015, and the six startups with the highest sales over a two-month period were selected to fly, via private jet, to Branson's Necker island.
“We knew that for our fifth year, we had to go bigger and better, which is why we chose to work with Sir Richard Branson, one of the most accomplished and inspirational entrepreneurs in the world,” Harley Finkelstein, Shopify's chief platform officer, said in a statement. “We knew that the grand prize of spending a week on a private island, getting advice and mentoring from the likes Sir Richard, Seth Godin, and Tim Ferriss, would motivate people to kickstart their ideas into actual businesses and I’m amazed at this year’s group of entrepreneurs, businesses and products.”
Here's the complete list of the six winning startups:
Leesa: A mattress startup that ships high-end mattresses, all under $1,000, directly to consumers.
Trunkster: Initially launched on Kickstarter, Trunkster is a high-tech suitcase, equipped with a GPS, scale and mobile charger.
Shore Projects: A line of simple, affordable, well-crafted watches that takes its design inspiration from the British seaside.
PAVLOK: A wearable device that taps into conditioning strategies (pioneered by psychologist Ivan Pavlov) to break bad behaviors, such as smoking, overeating and drinking.
Little Letter Lights Co.: A line of funky children's lights – designs include letters, the ampersand sign, and a moustache -- which retail for $99.
Coco White: This all-natural teeth coconut oil-based product comes in individual packets, which consumers swirl in their mouths to whiten their teeth.