Leading commerce platform partnered with NFL running back Marshawn Lynch to teach entrepreneurial skills to Bay Area teens
Oakland, CA – July 17, 2017 - Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP)(TSX:SHOP), the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses, today announced winners from its first ever ‘BEASTMODE-A-Business’ competition, in partnership with Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, the Fam 1st Family Foundation, and Hingeto.
Based on the success of his Shopify Plus Beast Mode® apparel store, Marshawn chose to partner with Shopify to create BEASTMODE-A-Business, a one-of-a-kind, entrepreneurial readiness program for Bay Area high school students. Over the course of three days, 30 local students attended workshops and seminars at Oakland Technical High School that covered a cross-section of skills required to start a business, and had the opportunity to build their own online ecommerce stores on the Shopify platform. Content included hearing from special guest speakers on how to create a powerful brand, craft effective messaging, and other educational seminars that supported the idea that with the right tools and mindset, anyone can become an entrepreneur. The program culminated with each student pitching their business ideas in front of family, friends, and a panel of judges which included staff and merchants from Shopify, Marshawn, and Josh Johnson, quarterback for New York Giants.
“Growing up in Oakland taught me a lot about being focused and driven, but my experience didn’t really prepare me for building my business and other aspects of my career,” shared Marshawn. “I wanted to extend what I have been able to teach kids from my neighborhood on the football field and give them more skills that empower them to believe that anything is possible.”
Simone Hufana, 17 from San Leandro high school in San Leandro, and Mathew Galvez, 17 from Abraham Lincoln high school in San Jose, were the overall winners of the ‘BEASTMODE-A-Business’ competition. They both won free Shopify Basic for three years, an opportunity to have their pop-up store hosted by Beast Mode Apparel in Oakland, deskspace at Hingeto, AdWords and Facebook Dynamic Ads credits, design credits with a Shopify Plus expert agency, as well as on-going product design and full marketing setup support. The final eight received free Shopify Basic for two years, KIT basic for a year, AdWords credit, and an exclusive prize package from Bold Commerce that includes unlimited use Bold Apps for a year, a comprehensive site audit and consultation ($1,000 value), and $6,000 in developer design credit. For participating in the program, all 30 students also received free Chromebook laptops preloaded with documentation on building a Shopify store, free Shopify Basic for a year, backpacks filled with school supplies, as well as clothing from Beast Mode apparel.
“I started my first company when I was 13 years old and what I learned from that experience has shaped who I am today - both personally and professionally,” said Harley Finkelstein, COO of Shopify. “I believe that teaching these students the skills and mindset they need to start their own entrepreneurial journey is an experience that will help them throughout their lives and careers.”
Shopify is the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchants can use the software to design, set up, and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces and physical retail locations. The platform also provides merchants with a powerful back-office and a single view of their business. The Shopify platform was engineered for reliability and scale, making enterprise-level technology available to businesses of all sizes. Shopify currently powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in approximately 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Tesla, Nestle, GE, Red Bull, Kylie Cosmetics, and many more.
About Fam 1st Family Foundation
Fam 1st Family Foundation was started in 2006, but made official in March 2011. Fam 1st strives to improve the lives of children by mentoring them on the importance of education, literacy and self-esteem. Fam 1st was founded by Joshua Johnson and Marshawn Lynch who have overcome a significant amount of adversity to become the successful businessmen and community leaders they are today. Fam 1st provides unique opportunities and programs for the youth to help them succeed in life, and has developed programming and camps focusing on computer science, architecture, literacy, entrepreneurship, and more. For more information, please visit http://fam1stfamilyfoundation.org/.
Oakland based company, Hingeto is a Y-combinator backed company helping brands take inventory risk out of retail. They have two key solutions. 1) Working with brands like Marshawn Lynch's Beast Mode to design & sell new on-demand products and 2) powering custom dropship systems for large retailers like PacSun; which they will soon release a Shopify app for. Hingeto is a key solution for any company trying to grow its product assortment without inventory risk; which they believe is the future. Very soon Hingeto will debut their Shopify app to help stores add curated dropship products direct to their Shopify stores. Go to shopify.hingeto.com to join the waitlist.