Fresh-Tops.com

Spawned by an orgy of glitter, ice cream, and electro pop, Fresh-Tops is a fashion brand created by Nella Chunky, who produces limited-edition tween-friendly clothing and accessories based on requests and suggestions made by Facebook fans. We are all Beliebers!

Fresh-Tops.com

Spawned by an orgy of glitter, ice cream, and electro pop, Fresh-Tops is a fashion brand created by Nella Chunky, who produces limited-edition tween-friendly clothing and accessories based on requests and suggestions made by Facebook fans. We are all Beliebers!

TheGameKlip.com

GameKlip is a precision molded clip that connects Android phones to a Sony DualShock3 controller, allowing for mobile game play with a full-size controller.

TheGameKlip.com

TheGameKlip.com

TheGameKlip.com

TheGameKlip.com

GoldieBlox

Stanford engineer Debbie Sterling raised $285,881 on Kickstarter to create GoldieBlox, a construction toy that encourages young girls to get into engineering, develop spatial skills, and hone problem-solving abilities.

GoldieBlox

GoldieBlox

SkinnyMe Tea

Gretta van Riel created this successful brand of tea in order to help people detoxify and lose weight.

Canadian Icons

Aron Slipacoff's store partners with some of Canada’s most historically significant brands. Maple leaf lovers home and abroad can purchase Canada Goose down parkas, handmade mukluks and moccasins--as well as brush up on their Canadian history.

Canadian Icons

Canadian Icons

Shopify's Build-A-Business Winners Want To Cover You In Glitter, Enhance Mobile Gaming, Make Your Daughters Engineers, Detoxify All

Meet the champions of this year's e-commerce competition.

Building a business from scratch is a perilous...business. From creating a product, to implementing it, to branding and marketing it, there's so much that can go wrong. And often does.

Ask almost any entrepreneur if she'd like a little help getting her company off the ground and, well, this is a family publication so I won't tell you exactly what they'd say. But it rhymes with BUCK, YEAH!

That's where Shopify comes in. For the past three years, the e-commerce platform has run its Build-A-Business competition, offering winners a $50,000 jolt of funding in exchange for a 5% stake in the company.

"A lot of people have a great business idea, they just need a little push to make it a reality," Shopify cofounder and CEO Tobias Lütke said in announcing this year's winners (more on that soon). "This competition helps turn ideas into profitable businesses."

For this year's would-be winners, help also came in the form of four mentors: 4-Hour Workweek pop-guru Timothy Ferriss, Daymond John of Shark Tank and FUBU fame, Swissmiss's Tina Roth Eisenberg, and Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup. The mentors offered entrants sales and marketing pointers.

To underscore how much entrepreneurs love help, consider these numbers: There were over 10,000 contestants in the 2012-13 edition of Build-A-Business. That's some 7,000 more than the last time the competition was held. Those 10,000-plus companies sold more than $55 million worth of goods over the nine months the contest lasted. All of which suggests the winners had one serious fight on their hands.

Speaking of hands, let's all put ours together for this year's winners:

  • In the electronics and gadgets category, GameKlip won for building an Android-powered connection to Sony's DualShock3 controller, making mobile gaming an even greater joy(stick).
  • Fresh-Tops dominated fashion this year with Nella Chunky's bold, glitter-mad creations.
  • Standford engineer Debbie Sterling used considerable Kickstarter cash to create, GoldieBlox, a books and toy company that promotes engineering futures for girls.
  • SkinnyMe Tea won the intriguingly named Everything Else category with a line of natural teas.
  • Finally, in the Canadian biz-off (watch the jokes, hosers, Shopify is a Canadian company), Aron Slipacoff started a site called Canadian Icons to sell "Canadiana" such as down parkas and handmade mukluks and moccasins. It's not clear if poutine is also available.

The winners head to New York City next Tuesday to meet their masters, er, mentors, score $20,000 in digital advertising, and have a media strategy session with editors at Fast Company.

For a fuller, more beautiful look at the competition by the numbers, check out the infographic below.

Now, if you'll excuse me, this poutine ain't gonna eat itself.

[Image: Flickr user D. Sharon Pruitt]

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