Thank you jumpnfrek for your help and your vote of confidence! And thanks to everyone else for your comments. While they are negative, they are helpful in letting us know what deters people from contributing to the cause.
To answer your questions:
* 1.2 Million is definitely not enough to build a tunnel. It is only 12% of the total project cost.
* 1.2 Million is the bare minimum fundraising goal. If that goal is not met, not a single credit card is charged and the entrepreneur gets nothing. However, the fundraise is not limited to 1.2 Million. There is no limit to how high it can go before the allotted times runs out.
* The remainder of the money will come from loans and private investments.
* 5 minutes a day for life for a $5000 investment is a fair reward for someone willing to make a substantial investment in a start up business.
* The commitment to refund investments of over $250 was made on the assumption that there would be thousands of smaller investments and fewer large ones. If the 1.2 Million goal is not reached, no one will be charged. But if the goal is reached and the business cannot go forward (for whatever reason) refunds would have to be made manually. It would be a daunting task to refund tens of thousands of small contributions. But perhaps we will drop that threshold down to $100.
* Please understand that even if ultimately the business does not materialize, there will be huge start up expenses regardless. The purpose of this fundraise is to raise start up funds. The way crowd funding works is people contribute money to help a business take off, realizing that it may not, and they risk losing their contribution. That is why the rewards offered are so generous.
* Jumpnfrek is absolutely right in that the bulk of the revenue will come from non-skydivers. Folks who are too afraid to jump out of an airplane, and just want a fun, safe ride. HOWEVER, no one appreciates these tunnels more than skydivers, who crave tunnel time to hone their free fall skills. That is why we're appealing to the skydiver community for contributions and investments. Tunnel time will be hugely discounted for skydivers as opposed to first time flyers. The tunnel size will be geared toward skydivers as opposed to recreational flyers. Large blocks of time will be set aside for skydivers only.
* And to address all concerns of losing money or investing large sums into something that you feel may never materialize, we have created the $10 and $20 dollar levels of contribution. By contributing $10 you risk nothing, yet you're making a huge difference and helping bring a much needed and overdue wind tunnel to the area. If every skydiver in the area contributed as little as $10, we'd be in great shape.
* So please keep the comments coming (both positive and negative). Your criticism will help us improve the campaign. AND PLEASE TAKE A CHANCE AND PITCH IN $10 (or more) AND HELP US SPREAD THE WORD.