Entrepreneur and Shark Tank investor Daymond John started with nothing but hustle. John didn’t have any fancy angels writing him checks when he was launching his successful urban clothing brand FUBU.
In a recent interview, he remembers working a job in the food industry while building his brand from scratch.
John tells the Huffington Post:
I was a waiter at Red Lobster for about 7 years while I was still doing FUBU, and slowly but surely I learned and FUBU started to take over the business and I started to just have shorter hours at Red Lobster and more at FUBU.
John is hoping to help other entrepreneurs get their start the same way with the Shopify Build a Business Contest. The contest is open to anyone interested in starting an ecommerce business. The rules seem simple enough:
- Entrepreneurs must start a business from scratch without prior sales or a recognizable brand.
- Businesses can be under a wide range of categories including fashion and apparel, electronics and gadgets, food and beverages, jewelry, crafts and more.
- Contestants will get help from nationally known mentors including John; fellow Shark Tank regular Mark Cuban, online marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuck, Huffington Post publisher Arianna Huffington, entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss and others.
Contestants have until March 31, 2014 to register, and until May 31, 2014 to build a store and generate their sales. But the official rules state that contestants must operate their stores a minimum of 60 consecutive days to qualify to win. So don’t wait until the entry deadline to sign up.
The contestant with the highest gross sales in each category by the May 31 deadline (or the one with the highest number of transactions in the event of a tie) is the winner.
Prizes include $50,000, a trip to New York City for a face to face meeting with the mentor in your category and a Shopify point of sales package. The package includes an iPad. And it will allow winning entrepreneurs to begin selling to customers in person according to Shopify and the Huffington Post which is also sponsoring the event.