Announcing the Shopify Unite Fund 2018

Announcing the Shopify Unite Fund 2018

Submissions for the 2018 Unite Fund are now closed!

We received a tidal wave of amazing applications to the 2018 Unite Fund, but the submission period is now closed. The selected recipients will be notified by the end of March. If you’re still interested in Unite, Shopify’s third annual Partner and Developer Conference, sign up for updates on how you can participate remotely.

Sign up for updates

Shopify Unite is our annual opportunity to spend time with the community that’s helping us build a brighter future of commerce.

And while we’re thrilled to welcome partners and developers from around the world for this three-day conference, we realize that not everyone has the same means or opportunity to attend.

Last year, in an effort to increase the diversity of the voices in our community, we launched a program called the Shopify Unite Fund, which helped underrepresented members of the tech community attend Unite.

We’re thrilled to announce that the Unite Fund is not only back, but bigger than ever!

If you identify as a member of an underrepresented group within the tech community (woman, person of color, LGBTQ, or any way in which you identify as underrepresented), we want to hear your voice.

The Shopify Unite Fund 2018 will give 10 recipients airfare, accommodations, and a ticket to attend Unite, happening in Toronto from May 7-9, 2018.

The details

We want to give you the chance to grow your network with Shopify.

We'll be awarding 10 Shopify Partners and Developers from anywhere in the world airfare, accommodations, and a ticket to Shopify Unite 2018.

This year, we’ll also be working closely with recipients to ensure they get the most out of their Unite experience before, during, and after the conference.

We're accepting entries until March 15, 2018. Selected attendees will be contacted via email by the third week of March.

You might also like: Announcing Unite 2018: Shopify’s Partner and Developer Conference.

What we’re looking for

If you’re interested in applying to the Shopify Unite Fund, be ready to answer the following question:

What would attending Shopify Unite mean to you as an entrepreneur?

Get creative. Links to videos, GIFs, Google documents, and blog posts are welcomed and encouraged. Keep in mind that we're much more interested in your ideas than your production budget or word count.

Applicant selection will be based on creativity, passion for commerce, and entrepreneurial spirit.

We’ll email the winners by the third week of March, 2018.

We can’t wait to build the future of commerce with all of you.

Last year’s Unite Fund recipients

We read so many inspiring stories from the Unite Fund applicants last year that it was a challenge to select only two. Despite this, last year’s selected recipients demonstrated true entrepreneurial grit and a passion for commerce.

It was an honor to help them deepen their relationship with Shopify and to witness how being selected for the Unite Fund helped their businesses grow in 2017. To help inspire you, here’s a little insight into who last year’s recipients are and how the Unite Fund impacted them.

Elle McCann

shopify unite fund 2018: elle

As soon as Elle McCann, founder of Curious Themes, got the news that she’d been selected for last year’s Unite Fund, she did a little dance of joy, called her mom, and quickly turned her attention to the important task of buying business cards.

As the sole breadwinner for a growing family, we selected Elle as a recipient to help her scale and grow her network within the Shopify community. It’s no wonder that one of Elle’s biggest takeaways from attending Unite were the connections she made. Not only did they allow her to accelerate progress on building a theme she’d been working on, but her newfound connections made her even closer with the Shopify community in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.

I think the biggest issue I have with being an entrepreneur is that it can get lonely, so coming to Unite, making these connections, and sharing ideas was huge for me.

Elle McCann

“I think the biggest issue I have with being an entrepreneur is that it can get lonely, so coming to Unite, making these connections, and sharing ideas was huge for me. It left me feeling so inspired that I came home and instantly started working on some new projects that will help even more entrepreneurs start their own online business with Shopify.”

Saba Mohebpour

shopify unite fund 2018: saba

Saba Mohebpour is the co-founder of Spocket, an app that allows merchants to discover and sell thousands of unique items. Saba moved to Canada from Iran six years ago to pursue medicine, and quickly discovered a passion for code and entrepreneurship. From there, there was no stopping him.

Saba stood out to us for the 2017 Unite Fund because of his passion for commerce, as well as his grit in the face of the challenges he faced as a Canadian immigrant and struggling student.

Being selected for the Unite Fund made me feel more close to Shopify.

Saba Mohebpour

“Being selected for the Unite Fund made me feel more close to Shopify,” he explains. “It helped us focus on making our product great for Shopify.”

For Saba, the Unite Fund showed him the importance of not hesitating when an opportunity arises and to always being willing to take a chance (his favourite saying is the classic Nike slogan, “Just do it”).

“More than 95 percent of the opportunities we pursued as an app company didn't work out, but the five percent that did work out, like the Unite Fund, have made all the difference to our growth. This lack of hesitation has helped us to grow 10 times faster.”

Submissions for the 2018 Unite Fund are now closed!

We received a tidal wave of amazing applications to the 2018 Unite Fund, but the submission period is now closed. The selected recipients will be notified by the end of March. If you’re still interested in Unite, Shopify’s third annual Partner and Developer Conference, sign up for updates on how you can participate remotely.

Sign up for updates

About the Author

Sarah-Jane is the Developer Community Lead on the Apps team at Shopify. She’s passionate about enabling diverse developer communities to create life-changing technologies.

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