The Atlantic’s CityLab blog has a great write-up on this creative fundraising method.
People who invested $1,000 receive free in-house beer for the rest of their lives, or as long as the place stays open. People could also receive 0.1 percent nonvoting equity in the company for every $1,000 invested. Or for $5,000, investors get 0.5 percent equity and free in-house beer for life. The brewpub, now a registered LLC, hit its goal of $220,000 through the 46 people who chose the first option, 42 who picked the second, and 30 who took the third, all finding out about the opportunity by word of mouth.
That’s a hell of a way to launch a neighborhood restaurant. I’m fascinated by this model and wondering if it could work in other areas. In my own neighborhood, I’ve seen revitalization and business-creation support come pouring down in unbelievable amounts, but this takes that to the next level.
I would probably do it. I would do it in a heartbeat if I knew I was going to be living somewhere a long time and was assured that the beer would be pretty good.
The model is also working for another business–a local coffee shop one town over.
Groundswell went from making $200 a day last year to now making $2,400 a day. And that was during Minnesota’s colder months. Since people are leaving hibernation, the coffee shop is opening up its patio, which offers more space, and with it more business.
That’s pretty exciting stuff if you ask me. Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding seem to find new modes and applications every day and the end result is better options for start-ups and consumers. Fund on.