As it continues its bid to conquer the world of e-commerce, Shopify is preparing to make its debut in another industry: TV production.
The Ottawa-based software giant said Tuesday the first network production from Shopify Studios, its TV and film content development and production arm, will premiere on the Discovery Channel on Aug. 18. The company says the series, called I Quit, “will spotlight entrepreneurs with a behind-the-scenes look at the moment they decide to leave the security of their day jobs and go all in on their entrepreneurial endeavors.”
According to a news release, among the business owners who will be showcased on the series are newlyweds who’ve launched a dress shirt company; a pair of dads launching an outdoor cooler business with their families in tow; a “couple taking big risks to follow their dream of owning a sports team”; and the daughter of a Brazilian immigrant who leaves her Wall Street job to build a business making the “beloved Brazilian truffle ‘brigaderios.’”
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Shopify chief operating officer Harley Finkelstein will be one of three entrepreneurs who help mentor the fledgling business owners, along with Debbie Sterling, CEO of Los Angeles-based multimedia toy company GoldieBlox, and Tricia Clarke-Stone, chief executive of New York creative and tech agency WP Narrative_.
“We launched Shopify Studios with a mission to highlight the ups and downs of starting a business in a way that’s honest and unfiltered, showcasing the diverse voices in entrepreneurship,” Finkelstein said in a statement. “The world needs more entrepreneurs, and we hope that I Quit inspires more people to take that leap.”
Launched in early 2019, Shopify Studios is headquartered in Toronto and also operates in New York and Los Angeles.
The company has signed deals with production companies Anonymous Content, Spoke Studios and Saville Productions to create entrepreneur-focused documentaries as part of Shopify’s bid to boost small businesses and develop a new generation of client merchants.
The new series is a collaboration with Spoke Studios and is produced by the two companies along with ITV America.
Shopify, which is set to announce its second-quarter earnings Wednesday morning, has seen its share price nearly triple over the past four months as a growing number of consumers turn to online shopping during the COVID-19 crisis. The company recently surpassed RBC as Canada’s most valuable publicly traded firm.