Accelerating Culture

The Burrows

The Burrows, run by Good Knights Entertainment Ltd., is a glamping operation in Three Hills, Alberta offering private, deluxe medieval accommodations built into the hillside. Currently, Good Knights Entertainment is in the process of building and finalizing their Burrows for public use. Each ‘burrow’ will have a bedroom, a bathroom, and a sitting room featuring a fireplace. The first burrow is set to open in Spring 2019.

Not only are the Burrows a fantastical place to stay, but the owners also provide on-site activities such as archery, craft classes, yard games, a class on sword fighting, and medieval feasts. The Burrows was boosted to $17,065 from their original goal of $10,000 during their ATB BoostR campaign period, which ran from October 6, 2017 to November 20, 2017.

Daniel Smith, President and CEO of Good Knights Entertainment Ltd., shared with us his thoughts and experience with ATB Boostr:

What is your number one tip for a business who is hoping to be accepted onto a crowdfunding platform?

Daniel Smith (DS): “It’s really important that people understand what they’re doing and what their business is. Sometimes people try to figure out what their business is in the beginning of the process. Early on in the ATB campaign we found out that we weren’t really in the accommodation business but in the experience business. The live pitches – ranging from twenty minutes to twenty seconds – really help to hone in ideas.”

Did you have any apprehensions about crowdfunding? Why did you choose crowdfunding to fund your business?

DS: “We were trying to raise money for something we hadn’t built yet. We were very clear with that we were selling nights to something we hadn’t built yet, and that was a risk. We were receiving money from people and holding it in trust that we were going to return on it. Invariably, once we did the detail engineering and designs, we learned that it was going to cost a lot more than we thought. We were up front. We wanted to be very honest with the time frame.”

What was the most important thing your company did throughout the campaign that lead to your ultimate success?

DS: “Just putting ourselves out there and doing the pitches. Doing the couple of live pitches they had really helped us put ourselves out there in our campaign. We were able to build a lot of profile and we used our social media to bring people to our ATB pitches. We also hired someone to do our social media marketing because we realized that social media is such a big part in today’s world. That was another learning coming out of this. Any crowdfunding requires a lot of work to be put into it.”

What do you think are the most important things to do during a crowdfunding campaign in order to be successful?

DS: “You have to have a good video. That’s absolutely important. You’ve got to put the time into it. It doesn’t have to be professionally done; we did ours ourselves but we had a professional editor. A good video that talks about you – the people trying to sell it – and what the campaign is. People are trusting you, they’re supporting you, so they need to know who it is they’re giving their money to. Having some cool rewards – try to get them linked to what you’re doing. We worked really hard to make sure our rewards were linked to what we were doing.”

What lessons did you learn throughout the campaign that are still used today in your business?

DS: “Being clear about what you’re offering and get out there and basically promote yourself, promote what you’re doing. Since this campaign we have constantly been on the road at markets and shows engaging people to get behind our project and support it. The lessons from the pitch training, focusing in on what is important and what we are selling really helped us move forward.”

Since being boosted, how has your company evolved and grown? Were you able to do exactly what you hoped with the money from ATB?

DS: “We certainly appreciated the money and used it towards the engineering costs for the project. We brought in about $17,000 which was amazing. Even more amazing was the profile we got from local, regional, and international levels. We have grown our product offerings and we realized we need to have more of the Burrows. We found out they are way more costly and difficult to build than we thought. We often have people ask us if we can do things we don’t yet offer and we usually answer yes. It’s kind of like consulting – we rarely turn down business. We have such a unique facility and we realized that this was such a unique opportunity for us to provide an encampment. We don’t like to call it an amusement park because it really is more of a theme park.”

Martin Bekerman