College Professor Incorporates Shopify Into His Curriculum

College Professor Incorporates Shopify Into His Curriculum
College Professor Incorporates Shopify Into His CurriculumDid you open a lemonade stand or try to sell your neighbours rocks as a kid? Well I did! Back then I wanted money to rent a movie or buy candy from the corner store, the goal never was to be a business owner. Looking back, I think many former lemonade stand owners probably went on to start successful businesses. The world of business is always changing and one teacher is teaching his students that they too can be business owners and that you do in fact, do practical things in school!

Matt Hill is a CEGEP business professor at John Abbott College in Montreal, Canada, and he's using Shopify in a very unique way. He and many others would argue that you learn the most about running a business by actually doing it. Textbooks and case studies can teach you great lessons about startups, marketing, and accounting, but nothing can prepare you for the real world like taking a chance and turning your great idea into reality.  

When Matt heard about Shopify, it sparked his entrepreneurial spirit. After doing some research he was convinced that his students could learn from Shopify, so he decided to try something new. His students were assigned a semester long project where they had to start an online store using Shopify. 

After Matt found some products from suppliers, his students were off and running. They set up their store and had the opportunity to advertise and market their products to real consumers!

They wrote and sent out newsletters using different tools, got creative with the look and feel of their shops, and learnt about the tools for analytics and SEO. Everyone wanted their shops to be successful and some of the students even opened their own Shopify stores after the course was over. Matt is looking to get other professors on board to expand the projects to last longer and over a few different courses. He’s also looking to introduce similar projects to his McGill University students.

Matt is one of those teachers that you always remember after you leave school. He has a real passion for business and education and it comes across in the way his students get to learn. 

If you're interested in using Shopify as a part of your curriculum, drop us a line! :-)



  • Francine
    July 06 2011, 08:55PM

    Congratulations to Matt and Shoppify this idea has to be the best one in a very long time. What a way to try out being a business owner without all the high overhead. Two thumbs up.

  • Archie
    July 06 2011, 09:40PM

    Great idea & story.Learn about real life by actually doing it

  • Denise
    July 07 2011, 08:05AM

    Current, hands-on learning for would-be business owners. Fantastic! There is a place for book learning and case studies, but kudos to Matt for getting his students immersed in the real world of a small business owner while they have the best opportunity to learn from their mistakes. No doubt his course will be tough to get into!

  • Tristan
    July 08 2011, 01:51AM

    This is great. Good job shopify and it’s great to see professors taking a very practical approach. =)

  • Lindsey Baker
    Lindsey Baker
    July 10 2011, 12:35AM

    I am a Professor at the Art Institute of California in San Diego and I have done similar projects in my classes – having students create an online brand for a client. We used Wix last time but since I opened my own store on shopify to sell my handcrafted jewelry, I am going to introduce my students to Shopify. I think there are some great business models for them to observe and learn from. Great job Professor!

  • sharon
    November 25 2014, 02:23PM

    I would love more information. I have about 4 class sessions left. We meet once a week and I could assign projects for during the week. Do you have a suggestion of what we could accomplish in that short time? Would love to have had them open a store!

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