Everyone's heard of Kickstarter...right? If you haven't, crawl out from that rock you've been hiding under and I'll explain it to you. Essentially, there are a ton of really cool ideas out there that need capital (...and not to honk our own horn, but GrassLands is itchin' to say "beep beep!"). There are several sites like Kickstarter that allow people to get the word out on their idea and the chance for their project to succeed in a creative way through others', sometimes perfect strangers, donations to the cause. The technical term for this concept is Crowd Funding.
Since its launch in 2009, Kickstarter has made it possible for over 39,000 projects to get funded. Over 3.8 million people have pledged over $563 million since then. Wacky, right? Crowd funding allows the project creator to interact directly with donors through an established reward program. The idea is that it's much easier to raise $100 from a bunch of people than it is to raise $100 from one person. Oh and you make it so much more personalized in the process through a rewards-based system. The donor has an attachment to your innovative idea.
So say you found a cool project and want to help it along to its completion because you're a totally awesome person - but your ability to give is limited to $20. Well, as I've stated numerous times, every penny counts when you're raising capital - so what a project will do is offer you some sort of reward based on the level of donation you provide to kick-start the project. I've seen everything from virtual high-fives to shirts to interactive experiences offered as rewards for helping a project reach its completion. If the project doesn't hit a certain percentage of funds raised within a specified timeframe, it's cancelled and the pledges are not realized...nor are the rewards.
However, if a project does hit its goal before the end of the campaign time period, people can continue to fund the cause and still reap the rewards. I've seen crazy figures like a project that was funded at 345% of its original goal! Very cool program to say the least. We love the concept of crowd funding as both Saralyn & I have participated in that kind of philanthropy many times. It just feels good to at least help someone else's vision become a reality.
So we get the gist, right? I say all that to introduce two things: CraftFund and our plans for two upcoming projects. We'll start with CraftFund. CraftFund, as it sounds, is like a Kickstarter program geared specifically for the craft beer industry. I can seriously dig that.
CraftFund is actually pushing forward with plans to launch an investment form of crowd funding. Realizing that the country is gradually transitioning into a huge craft beer boom, they understand that people not only want to be the recipients of a philanthropic rewards program, they also would be interested in investment/ownership. Now, this isn't allowed just yet as CraftFund is lobbying to get the SEC (no, not that SEC, Wade F.) to make it possible, but all signs point to it potentially becoming a reality...and soon. In the meantime, CraftFund also has a rewards-based program geared specifically for those who want to help breweries' projects get off the ground, no matter how large or small.
That said, GrassLands will be working on the launch of two crowd funding campaigns in the rapidly-approaching future, regardless of what happens in the investment-crowdfunding world. We'll have a wide range of rewards associated with certain levels of donations, but I'll drop the hint on what one of the campaign themes will be: Launching a dedicated pilot brewing system designed specifically for taproom visitors. One of our favorite things about visiting breweries (aka: market research) is the lone unique beers they'll have on tap that we've not been able to access anywhere else. That's what I want for GrassLands' Taproom - several taps offering unique, exclusive and innovative brews - dedicated specifically for our awesome visitors! Sours? Sure. Off-the-wall recipes? Yup. GrassHopper club brews? Certainly. I love the idea and I'm hoping you will too.
The second campaign will come down the road a bit and it'll be focused on the larger brewery, but I think you'll dig it! Really, there's so much in the pipeline over the next several months that I have to check myself before getting too overwhelmed. Everything is freakin' exciting nowadays! We'll keep rockin' & rollin' our way toward legitimacy. I say it week in & week out - this process is hectic & terrifying, yet 100% gratifying. We're so stoked at making this idea a possibility and your uncompromising encouragement & enthusiasm just adds more fuel to the fire!
With that, we'll let you get to it for now. Have a freakin' blast of a weekend, my dear readers, because you most definitely deserve it. Oh - and find a crowd funding project that speaks to you! They're out there...literally thousands of 'em!