Crowdfunding Conundrum

It turns out, the internet can be a place where weird things happen. Who knew? A pointed example is Zack Brown’s foray into crowdfunding. Mr. Brown began his campaign on a popular platform, kickstarter. This is a place many innovators turn to when they have a brilliant idea, but are short on financial support. Such innovations made possible by kickstarter include an affordable 3-D printer, wireless headphones, and an ingenious gaming console. Mr. Brown, an innovator among innovators, had a novel idea himself. He aspired to make potato salad. Looking for funding, he took to kickstarter with an initial goal of $10. In 30 days, Mr. Brown raised a whopping $55,492 – all to make potato salad. A campaign such as this must be a one-time thing, many level headed persons would agree. However, Mr. Brown is not alone. There are numerous examples of these crazy crowdfunding campaigns, and people love them! But why?

To answer this question, academic heavy weights from prestigious, ivy covered institutions have focused their brain power on uncovering the answer, and the results are intriguing. Here’s the rundown:

  • Crowdfunding gives people a sense of belonging
  • Odd things attract people’s attention, particularly when humor is involved
  • For many, the enjoyment of supporting silliness is worth the $1 it takes to contribute, and perhaps more
  • Being generous makes people feel good
  • People enjoy being part of something larger than themselves

 

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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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