Early Crowdfunding Success for Breakwater Chicago Complex

Crowdfunding Goal Exceeded in 36 Hours

chicago breakwater Crowdfunding has helped fuel the dreams of many entrepreneurs with radical or unconventional ideas. In fact, crowdfunding may be the only source of capital for these free-thinking visionaries because traditional angel investors won’t give them the time of day.

Beau D’Arcy is a perfect example. A Plainfield, IL native who now resides in Lincoln Park, D’Arcy holds a mechanical engineering degree from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and a graduate degree from Harvard Business School. While both degrees are worthy of esteem in their respected fields, D’Arcy has quickly become known for his most recent professional title: Founder and Project Manager of Breakwater Chicago.

Billed as a “floating luxury entertainment venue”, Breakwater Chicago is a 300×100 ft. vessel that plans to host pools, restaurants and lounges. It would be anchored about 1.25 miles offshore with breathtaking city views and offer docks for boaters and a ferry for the public. Breakwater would be used for a variety of entertainment purposes throughout the warmer months and anchored by the shore underneath a clear dome during winter to offer tropical fun in sub-zero temperatures.

Revolutionary ideas such as Breakwater are prone to cynical outrage and this particular project has certainly endured a ruthless onslaught in recent weeks. But no matter how dark or ominous the cynicism became, it has all been outshined by the most important key to success – money. Breakwater’s Kickstarter campaign was originally set for $30,000 and they managed to raise $38,160 in just 36 hours. If you need a model for early crowdfunding success – Breakwater Chicago is surely worthy of mention.

However, it is important to know this first campaign is a far cry from the projected $23 million the completed project will cost. The first round will be used to create a “3D video experience that will show everybody what a visit to (the) vessel will be like.” The next round is planned to be used to create a 1:100 scale model to accompany the 3D video.

Rockstar Team + Professional Proposal + Exposure = Crowdfunding Success

The voyage to complete funding may have just begun for Breakwater Chicago,  but their early crowdfunding success does prove that even the most radical ideas can take off. All you need is a team of intelligent and ambitious people, a clear and concise proposal of your goals and enough exposure so the right people (i.e. those who will invest) know your idea is out there. D’Arcy offered this statement about his crowdfunding experience so far: “The uniqueness of the project really (has) drawn people to it…..we’ve been completely blown away by the support.”

crowdfunding success breakwaterCrowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter are reward-based crowdfunding. For example, on the Breakwater Chicago campaign, if you pledge $500 or more you “receive a lifetime VIP card for Breakwater, good for cutting in line, free admissions and other cool perks.” Pledging $100 or more will get you “a VIP invite to our exclusive Kickstarter pre-launch party at Breakwater.”

But what if you want a piece of the company instead of a VIP pass or one night of partying? Some investors may be attracted to the short-term perks of reward-based crowdfunding, but seasoned investors want a real piece of the action – and that’s what equity crowdfunding will soon offer you.

Equity Crowdfunding > Reward-based Crowdfunding

Equity crowdfunding offers you shares in the company instead of souvenirs and promises. Although investors are free to pledge their money wherever they choose, and entrepreneurs do make some rewards quite attractive, owning a piece of the company will always be worth more than memories or memorabilia. 100% of the time.

Title III of the JOBS Act is rumored to pass next month, July 2014, and once it does the doors to equity crowdfunding will be flung open. Non-accredited investors will soon have the chance to fund brilliant and developing projects such as Breakwater Chicago and own shares in the company. Entrepreneurs will also benefit from equity crowdfunding in many ways and at truCrowd we are well prepared to answer questions from all interested parties.

The early crowdfunding success of Breakwater is proof that with the right approach and preparation, entrepreneurs can gather the capital they need to get their idea afloat and out to sea.

But as an investor – wouldn’t you rather be aboard the vessel (equity) rather than waving from the shore (reward-based) as it heads toward the Promised Land?

Leave your comments and ideas below!

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