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Coffee for Life? Accountants have never been this innovative â€” or have they?
Monday, 25 November 2013 09:56
Imagine this; an accounting firm setting up its office in a cafÃ© â€” and not just any cafÃ© â€” one thatâ€™s owned and operated by the firm AND one thatâ€™s being crowd-funded right now.
And in Brisbane too!
Ben Walker is the Accountant involved. And you get a clue about Ben when you realise his 10-month old successful firm has an interesting name: INSPIRECA (where the â€˜CAâ€™ stands for â€˜Chartered Accountantâ€™. That naming flows through to the cafÃ© too â€” not surprisingly now, itâ€™s the INSPIRE CafÃ©.
You get to realise pretty quickly that Ben is, to say the least, a little different. Hereâ€™s how he puts it:
â€œEvery week, I get to work with amazing, switched-on people running businesses. Some of them are start-ups, others are established. And it struck me that thereâ€™s got to be a way to bring professionals together. Somewhere you can have informal meetings, get your head down over your computer undisturbed when you need to focus, and hang out with peers. â€˜Networkingâ€™ can feel artificial, but when youâ€™re all in the same environment drinking great coffee itâ€™s what you do naturally.â€
Ben Walkerâ€™s enthusiasm is contagious. The accountantâ€™s vision of a place for professionals to work, rest and play is bearing fruit in the form of the Inspire CafÃ© in Brisbane. The space is ripe for conversion, and Ben has had plans drawn up to give it a convivial vibe that suits your needs, whether youâ€™re looking for a meeting venue, or somewhere to wind down with a beer before the weekend.
Not only is Benâ€™s vision innovative, so is his plan to fund it. The total cost of transforming the building heâ€™s identified is around $200,000 â€“ and heâ€™s looking to raise half of that money in the next month through crowd-funding.
Crowd-funding has been populiarised over the past few years to provide funding for anything from films, political campaigns, musiciansâ€™ albums and a variety of new and innovative inventions. A study from Massolution has found that donation and reward-based funding grew by 85% to well over US$1B in 2012, seeing growth primarily in Europe and the United States.
â€œWhat weâ€™re aiming to do is involve people in the excitement of the Inspire CafÃ© before itâ€™s open. We want to create a buzz. Our audience is business people, and weâ€™re offering them the chance to invest in a place that can make a real difference to the way they do what they do,â€ says Ben.
Indiegogo is the site Ben has chosen for the venture, one thatâ€™s already established a strong reputation for gathering financial support for a wide range of successful projects. Backing the cafÃ© will give supporters dollar-for-dollar credit at Inspire, to spend on world class coffee, and a tempting range of foods from the healthy to the indulgent. Not only this, but Ben has put together a â€œCoffee for Lifeâ€ perk, where the supporter as suggested, receives coffee for the rest of their life; or the â€œNo Brainerâ€ where for $100 the supporter receives $1,000 in value of coffee for the next 10 years.
The team crewing Inspire will include seasoned baristas and waiting staff, and theyâ€™re clear that the professional clientele deserve the very best service. Supporters of the campaign will also contribute to a project providing water for people in Africa needing access to fresh and hygienic supplies â€“ if the funding target is reached, nearly a million people will be helped in this way.
With a CafÃ© Launch Party of 13 December to tie in the with INSPIRECA Christmas party, the team are excited to get things off the ground. Depending on tradesman and council sign offs, the cafÃ© could see a soft launch in early December.
You can find the online campaign for the Inspire CafÃ© here - http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/inspire-cafe--3
Or Shortlink http://insp.ca/19T4k9U
Check it out, and maybe youâ€™ll see Ben and other backers at the launch party.
phone: 1300 852 747
32 Doggett Street, Newstead QLD 4006
PO Box 3230, Newstead QLD 4006