There are many reasons to love Austin aside from the live music, the fact that it's a pet friendly city, and jobs in technology seem to be plentiful. Recently, two new reasons to love Austin have emerged: Austin has a booming culinary scene, and this is a great place to start a business.
Austin has become a major hub for food and beverage start-ups in the last decade. In a town that previously could only boast about its music scene, Austin is leading the way in exciting and unique food concepts, and the community is embracing them.
Whether you're an über foodie or a typical family, Austinites are eating out more and more, and they're rallying around new and sometimes more adventurous places to eat. But they're also doing more than just eating out to show their appreciation, they're financially contributing to these start-ups, and a new hospitality crowd-funding portal is helping them do so.
Several years ago, three Austinites who had an affinity for food and a passion for start-ups got together and created Greenman, a food and beverage consultancy and management company. Michael Shefman, Shane Boasberg and Brian Stubbs wanted to create a company that provided access to necessary resources such as branding and marketing, legal services, program development and public relations, and combine those resources with management of day-to-day operations such as accounting.
“We've built a model that supports our unique, Austin culinary community at any stage,” says co-founder, Michael Shefman, “And we believe in the growth, innovation and potential profitability of Austin’s rising culinary stars.”
Greenman also wanted to provide support in the daunting area of fundraising, so they created a dedicated online crowd-funding portal, the Greenman Perks Portal. Unlike other crowd-funding sites, the Greenman Perks Portal only raises money for food and beverage concepts, charges a much lower fee than standard crowd-funding portals, and allows the brands to keep all the money they raised; even if they don't meet their fundraising goal.
Greenman launched its first crowd-funding event on January 16, 2014, with Austin start-up, Yard Bar. Yard Bar is a membership-based dog park, restaurant and bar and provides unique amenities other dog parks don't. “As the founder of Yard Bar, I was seeking a unique way to raise money for my business,” says Yard Bar owner, Kristen Heaney. “The Greenman Perks Portal is an ideal platform for raising the funds needed to make my dreams of opening a better dog park for Austin – one that provides great food and drinks – come true. Additionally, the support provided by Greenman and their numerous resources has really helped define the Yard Bar concept. I'm delighted to see our fan base grow as word about Yard Bar spreads through Austin and surrounding communities.”
To date, Heaney has raised over $31,000 toward her goal of $75,000. And although Yard Bar isn't a Greenman client, Heaney has enjoyed the benefits of the Greenman Perks Portal; open to any concept in the category of hospitality.
Greenman plans to launch its next fundraising event in several weeks. Be sure to visit: www.greenman-group.com to see which concept fundraises next.