It was 11 years ago that I first had a vague idea of crowdfunding buying a private island. It was then that I purchased the domain www.letsbuyanisland.com and made a website. The initial plan was to get 50,000 people to pay 50 bucks each. The plan pretty much ran out of steam very quickly, but the idea did not! Nor did the domain, which I kept, empty for the next 10 years.
At the end of 2017, I found that a friend of mine was selling Nici Island in the Philippines. A few of us got chatting, and we decided that maybe we should crowdfund buying either Nici Island or, well any island.
People do like a good idea, and who would not love the concept of owning an island. We started to promote the project! And things started to move very quickly, investors joined, and we started to look at the islands. I was lucky enough to be on trips to the Philippines, to see Malaipo Island, Ireland to look at Mannion, and Belize where we discovered Coffee Island.
Eventually, we moved to a state of being able to vote on our final island, a vote that yielded Coffee Island as the one we wished to purchase. We thus started a long road of negotiations, negotiations that yielded us a very favorable price, way within our budget.
Of course, nothing in this world is simple, and our company IBG Inc. started the process of legally purchasing Coffee Island. This process has taken literally months, but as of today, December 18th, 2019, we have purchased Coffee Island. Islandia now has an island, and our dream is now a reality!
And that really is the exciting bit, where do we go from here? What do we do with our island? Well, whatever it is, I’ll definitely be cooking up some Street Food. See you Islandia!
Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.