One of the winning projects of this year’s GreenTecLab competition in Crete, THE GROVE CRETE, has started a Crowdfunding campaign. “We want to offer everybody the opportunity to get involved. The whole idea behind THE GROVE CRETE is to establish a ‘green community economy’ with a hotel at its centre that connects guests and local producers. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to involve the community from the outset and raise funding through the crowd”, says Serhat Ünaldi, co-owner of the startup. According to him, another benefit of crowdfunding is that it lowers the repayment obligations to a bank or an investor, allowing for lower room prices. “The more we can raise, the more affordable we can make our services – and that has always been our goal, in spite of the high initial investment costs for sustainable buildings”, Ünaldi explains.
THE GROVE CRETE will be a green boutique hotel on the South coast of Crete, producing all the energy it needs off-grid through renewables. It will use innovative technologies and building techniques and create new tourism concepts to contribute to a sustainable turn in Mediterranean tourism. “Our goal is to create something new, but also to use what is already there.
If the crowdfunding campaign reaches its goal, the funds will be used as security for a bank loan to finance the construction of the hotel. “We are grateful for every single Euro, and also for every social media share or media report that draws attention to the campaign”, says Ünaldi. To make the campaign accessible to everyone, the lowest amount supporters can donate is one Euro, which will give them a chance to win ten years of free holidays at THE GROVE CRETE once the hotel is up and running. Other rewards include dinners, a mixology course, olive tree adoption, overnight stays at the hotel or a one-month rental of the entire premises. “If we don’t reach the goal, every donor will receive their money back, so there’s no risk. But if we are successful, we can start constructing THE GROVE CRETE very soon and everyone shares in that success. So if you donate for an overnight stay now, it’s as if you make an early booking for a stay with us”, says Ünaldi.
The crowdfunding campaign can be found here.