Asking for money is never an easy thing to do. It can be especially challenging to ask for money for an idea or business venture. These challenges may be due to lack of financial resources, trust, or unfamiliarity with the concept of investing in a company. When we decided to take the leap and open a brick and mortar coffee shop, we knew we had to get uncomfortable and ask for money. The journey started in August 2020 when we put together our very first pitch deck and began asking our family and friends to invest in us. After 21 pitches and many promises, we received our first investment check for $1,000 in September 2020. Fast forward to July 2023, we have raised over $122,000 from family and friends to help build and create the best coffee shop (Black Coffee Atlanta - 1800 Jonesboro Rd. SE, Atlanta, GA 30315) that not only sells the freshest brewed coffee, tea, specially curated espresso based beverages, but also has become the hub for entrepreneurs, creatives, and the community.
Although we are extremely happy with our success to date, we would like to continue to grow the business and increase our impact to the community. This means we must ask for money again, however this time on a bigger platform with a raise goal of $100,000. Being in the coffee industry for over 5 years, we have learned that quality and convenience are key. As a result, our plan is to acquire a mobile coffee truck for the Atlanta market and build out a coffee roasting facility in Northern Virginia (NOVA).
The timing for raising funding could not have been more perfect. Since 2021, we have participated as a vendor at Earn Your Leisure's Annual Invest Fest in Atlanta. With a vision of expanding into the mobile coffee market and being a vendor at InvestFest, it was only right that we be intentional with advertising and letting the festival attendees know that we are looking for investors. Low and behold, the co-founder of Seed At The Table (Black-Owned Crowdfunding Platform), Mr. Pierre Le Veaux, walked by our vendor booth and took notice of our sign "Invest with Us!" That was all it took, we sparked a conversation, exchanged numbers, and after 2 months of meeting Pierre, we are excited to announce our crowdfunding campaign is live on The Seed At The Table platform.
The road to launching a crowdfunding campaign is a path less traveled by most entrepreneurs within our community because it requires patience and officially filing forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In order to collect investments on a crowdfunding platform (e.g. Seed At The Table, WeFunder, StartEngine, etc.) you must file a Form C (compliance document) with the SEC. The Form C includes:
Company incorporation information (incorporation date, electronic identification number (EIN))
List the name of all the owners, officers, and directors and their work history
Investment offer terms (e.g. offering shares, revenue sharing)
Campaign minimum and maximum funds
Plan on how you will use the funds
Information on prior debt and equity raises
List potential risks you see in your business
Financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, cash flow)
The Form C document will take time to complete so patience is critical. We found it very useful to review the Form C documents for companies that have raised via crowdfunding platform as a guide to completing your Form C. Once you have a solid draft, it is recommended you hire an attorney to review your documents. Note that each crowdfunding platform has their own process and fees. If you have any questions about our experience with raising funding via crowdfunding platform, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com If you are interested in investing in The Black Coffee Company, please visit the crowdfunding campaign page at <https://www.seedatthetable.com/campaign/theblackcoffeecompany>. The campaign ends January 31, 2024. If you are in the Atlanta area, you will want to make sure you stop by Black Coffee Atlanta for the best coffee shop experience in the world!