The Founders of These 6 Startups Just Won a Trip to Hang With Richard Branson on His Private Island The winners of Shopify's Build a Business contest will also be joined by Shark Tank's Daymond John, Seth Godin and Tim Ferris.

By Laura Entis

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Pavlok Website

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, Marie Forleo, Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss.

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."

Related: Have an Extra $117,000 to Spare? This Private Jet Company Wants to Take You on a Trip Around the World.

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.

Related: Richard Branson on How to Take an Inspiration Vacation

Laura Entis is a reporter for's Venture section.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics


The Coolest Way to Commute Is Less Expensive Than Ever

Gift yourself a better commute with $1,500 off this eBike.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2023

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2023.

Growing a Business

How an Executive Coach Can Help You Set Better Goals — And Transform Your Business

Ways to enhance your competitive advantage — and psychological wellbeing — with the assistance of a seasoned, results-focused professional.


How to Start a 'Million Dollar' Morning Routine

Restructure your morning with a few simple steps that may help to amplify your energy.

Side Hustle

Anyone Can Start a Passive Income Side Hustle For Easy Money — But Only If You Know These 5 Essential Tips First.

The rise of digital automation technology has made starting a passive income side hustle easier and more accessible than ever before.