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Idea to .Store Contest Winners Ready to  Open Online Businesses with Cash and Mentoring Earned in Radix Event

In late October we told you about a new contest from Radix's .store domain registry, sponsored by Shopify, that gave entrepreneurs who dreamed of operating their own business online a chance to get the cash and professional advice they needed to make their dreams come true. Entrants in the Idea to .Store contest were invited to share their ideas for an online store, and nearly 5,000 people signed up. That contest has now closed with the winners walking away with cash prizes of up to $30,000 along with exclusive Q&A and mentoring from the judges. The grand prize winner will also be featured on David Meltzer’s 2 Minute Drill; aired on Bloomberg TV and Amazon Prime.

The winner and runner-up, Indira Andrewin and Erika Warner respectively, were both given the chance to pitch their ideas to a highly accomplished panel of judges along with four other finalists. Judges for the contest included Seth Godin, Entrepreneur, Best-selling Author, & Speaker; Natalie Ellis, CEO & Co-founder, BossBabe; Danielle Canty, President & Co-founder, BossBabe; John Lee Dumas (JLD), Founder & Host, Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast; and Neha Naik, Senior Director of Channel Partnerships at Radix.

Judge Danielle Canty said, “I absolutely loved the contest. I think it's really allowed so many people to take that first step in their business."  Finalist Luanettee Colebrooke said, “There were so many women (and aspiring entrepreneurs in general) that .Store Domains encouraged. I just want to thank .Store Domains so much for being a place where our voices can be heard and validated.”

It was good to see the contest turned out to be a model of gender and race diversity across participants, just as you would hope given that women are responsible for more than half of online microbusinesses started in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic. According to the 2021 Microbusiness National Survey by GoDaddy, women-owned microbusinesses comprised 57% of new micro-businesses, up from 48% before March 2020. The help the winners and finalists received also went where it was needed most. The statistics shows microbusiness owners struggle the most with digital marketing (63%), access to capital (36%) and technical help in getting online (28%).

Suman Das
Sr. Director, Brand Operations at Radix

Suman Das, Sr Director, Brand Operations at Radix, said, “Through this contest, .Store Domains intended to make it easier for to-be entrepreneurs to put out their idea; the very first step in building a business. The prizes were planned in such a way that it sets the winners up for a good run with their ventures. The seed money, guidance from the judges around marketing and scaling, and the visibility that the contest has provided to the winners will go a long way in turning their ideas to stores, and hopefully successful ones at that.” This was .Store’s first such campaign but almost certainly not the last. Suman Das noted, “We plan to continue taking more such initiatives to encourage aspiring business owners to embark on their entrepreneurial journey.”  

Since the beginning of 2021, Radix has put out multiple end-customer campaigns that have focused on providing a platform for new ideas to come forth. From .Tech’s StartIn.Tech and  Pitch.Tech, to .Online Business Academy and .Store’s  IdeaTo.Store - all of which were designed to enable the formation of new businesses.

(Posted December 13, 2021)   

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