Crowd Funding and Angel Investors

For those unfamiliar with the term “Crowd Funding”, the best solution is to search the term in your country.
We use Indiegogo which is based in Australia but also claims to be world-wide.
In most cases, crowd funding portals do not allow us to offer interest or other financial rewards for your investing. The most we can do is to say “thank you” and try to offer you something of personal value called a “perk“.

The idea in a nutshell, is that people like an idea so much that they agree to pledge a sum of money (as little as $10) and when/if the pre-stated minimum capital is raised, the person is then required to honour their pledge and pay the amount.
If the minimum is NOT reached, you do NOT pay anything.
At the time of pledging, your credit card or PayPal account is given to the crowd funding portal.
NOTES
1. You should NEVER give your credit card or bank account details to anyone (even to us). Payments are best made via Paypal
2. If you pay your pledge in a currency other than that of the requested currency, your credit card/bank may charge you  a small fee.

“Angel Investing” is an entirely different story.
This method of raising funds does NOT normally involve the public.
There are people and companies all over the world who take an interest in investing (mostly a few thousand but also sometimes more than $1 million) in a project for commercial gain.
Being entrepreneurs, these investors usually expect to take a part ownership equity in the business and to earn returns on their investment as high as 2 or 3 times the amount of their investment.
This makes it difficult for the Balkan Rendezvous because it is NOT a profit making undertaking and whatever we pay to the angel investor, comes off what would otherwise be used for welfare purposes throughout the Balkans.

The Balkan Rendezvous has made a public appeal for Angel Investors via an Australian based portal known as “Australian Investment Network” which is a part of the world-wide Angel Investment Network.

However, for us, both methods of raising funds are being used.
In our “pitch” at Indiegogo, we describe the purpose of raising funds and also a description of the “perks” that we offer to those who pledge.
Check our Indiegogo campaign here.

In our pitch to the Angel Investment Network, we describe the Vision, Missions and Objectives of our project and the financial return offered to investors.

Anyone interested in supporting us as either a donor or an investor, please go to this page.

Thank you
Greg Barlow
Consultant

Tourism European Cities

Hey, travel and tourism in Europe has been done to death and when we think of tourism European cities, experienced travellers will immediately mention their top 10 cities in western Europe.
Why? I don’t know, except that most people have “done” Paris, Vienna and maybe even Helsinki, long ago.
How many times have you heard people raving about their experiences in Tirana, Sofia, Skopje or Sarajevo?
Seriously folks, for the vast majority of tourists to Europe, tourism European cities means west, not east or even south, but almost never, south-east.

I’ve been all over Europe, north south, east and west and while I just love Paris, Vienna and all the other northern and western cities, the unexplored east and south countries are so different and have so much to offer.
The culture, history, arts and crafts, the food, architecture and most other things are poles apart from what you will find in any western “developed” countries.
And there’s another great thing – it’s not full of tourists.
Don’t be put off by the Balkan war – that was 20 years ago and by now, the region is pretty much stabilised.

So, let’s be specific, name the countries that should be on your holiday list and then, one at a time, I’m going to give a brief intro on each one.
Brief, because there’s nothing that beats doing your own research.
You have your own likes and dislikes and providing you’re not misled by misconceptions, a new region of unexplored beauty awaits you.

Starting with Wikipedia’s definition of “the Balkans” and from west to east, we would begin in the far north western corner in the Comune di Trieste which is a part of Italy; east is Ljubljana, Slovenia; Zagreb, Croatia; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Belgrade, Serbia; then Sofia, Bulgaria.
From Sofia we would return westerly through Skopje, Macedonia; Prishtine, Kosovo; Podgorica, Montenegro.
Finally, south via Tirane, Albania to Athens, Greece. There’s your 11.

Now that you’ve got the picture of the inverted triangle that comprises the Balkan Peninsula, you might understand that this entire area is relatively unexplored and for tourism, and largely undeveloped.
In fact, the World Bank lists every one of those countries below the average GDP/PPP (which roughly means “standard of living”) which means that the cost of living and touring is cheaper than anywhere else in Europe. Of the 11 countries, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Greece are the most expensive while Albania and Bosnia would be the cheapest.
4 star hotels for less than $100 a night, some times as low as $50 a night?? Yep.

Go to our Links page to find out about getting there by train and to visit the official web sites of all countries.
Get you Passports ready folks, it’s time to find something different.

Do me a favour and come back here later. With help from our friends there, we’re going to create a small page for each country on what’s what and where.
BTW, remember than we DO earn commissions if you buy anything through us – BUT – all our earning go to our Arasi Foundation for welfare projects.

cheers

Greg

Lose Weight Skating

Strange that this subject hasn’t been discussed more.
Really, lots has been said about jogging and walking, and the fitness centres, gyms, diet gurus etc are all making a b…y bomb charging an arm and a leg to spend 30 to 60 minutes of your day, following some totally boring regime to help you lose weight.
The fact is that with the possible exception of walking and jogging, there is no way cheaper, more healthy and more fun than to lose weight skating.

The cost of decking yourself out in the minimal equipment needed is probably about 1% of the cost of joining a gym and the gear will last you years.
The leg and lower body muscles required to skate will be better trimmed skating that by walking or jogging and while the gym will use more muscles, (if you use all the many apparatus that are available), it’s never been my favourite activity.

Once you’ve got up a bit of speed, you can just stand upright and glide for a while until you catch your breath but just getting up some speed will burn more calories over a short time than most other activities.
Then you start uphill. Now that can be hard work. Heavy breathing is good for you, sweating is good for you, pushing the leg muscles up a steep road will achieve all those and burn the calories real quick.
Livestrong.com says that according to “Fitness Magazine”, a 150-lb. person burns 482 calories an hour by using the traditional quad skate, but 827 calories per hour by inline skating.

There has been much research all concluding that skating will improve your fitness levels, especially cardiovascular development, muscle strength and lung capacity. Livestrong says that one hour of inline skating will burn about “as many calories as running while strengthening your leg muscles and connecting tissues”.
It seems clear that a semi-regular time spent on inlines and even quads will help you lose weight skating better than most other sports, particularly if you mix it up with flat and inclined surfaces.

But the sport is not just for losing weight. It can be a group, a family activity, a lot of fun and certainly MUCH better than spending a few hours in front of the idiot box.

Enjoy

Road Skating

If you’re up at the top of the sport, don’t waste your time here, go straight to our page on the biggest and richest skating event in the world.

Let’s begin by separating road skating from ice skating and track skating.
Road skating means “skating on roads“. WOW!! Big revelation there.!!
OK, well some people could be confused.

Then there is “quad skating” with skates that have 4 wheels and “inline skating where there are 4 to 6 wheels in a line.
Quad skates where basically the early form of skating and are still used by many young people who want to start skating.
Quad skates also happen to be much better than inlines for figure and artistic skating because some say that they are easier to manoeuvre in short distances and complicated moves.

Inline skates are almost exclusively used for speed skating, road skating, competitions, or just gliding down the esplanade.
For speed skating, they are much faster and more stable although it can take some time to get your balance.
Once you’ve got your balance on quad skates, the transition to inline can be fairly quick.

There are so many articles around about road skating that you can find out where to go, what competitions are on, what public roads etc are available for skating. and a host of other information.
Here, i am just making some general comments for the benefit of those not entirely familiar with the sport.

Apart from jogging, walking and cycling, i can’t think of any other pastime that is healthy, cheap, enjoyable (hey, i didn’t say walking and jogging was enjoyable, now did i?).
Wherever you live, the chances are that you can start skating right outside your door. On the footpath, in the cycling lane, even on the road.

A cheap pair of inline skates will cost you between $100 and $600 dollars. A Helmet will set you back anything from $20 to $150 and that’s about all you need.
A pair of knee guards and elbow guards would be a good idea for an extra $20 or so. You’re on the road.

Uphill skating requires a lot more effort (obviously) and different muscle movements so best to stick with flat roads until you’ve mastered the stroke patterns.
Downhill is easy, you can even squat until you’ve got the balance but there’s one problem – after you’ve been downhill, you’ve got to go back. – Aint this guy smart!!

The pro skaters can reach speeds up to 35 kph on a smooth flat surface and up to 60 kph on a downhill. Now that’s exhilarating.
The major competitions for road skating usually cover 21 km although many events are only 10 km and even short distance speed skating from 100 metres to about 1 km although the shorter distances are normally restricted to skating rinks or tracks.

So, here’s a great activity where the whole family can be involved, join a few friends or just wander around on your own. Join a club, take part in a short distance even; so much to decide on.
You’ll enjoy it, get fit, lose some weight, have a ball.

Cheers

The Balkan Rendezvous #1

Over the past few weeks we’ve created a host of pages with informal descriptions of what we are all about.
This blog has a long way to go.
At this time, we are collecting a few links ready to create opportunities for us to earn income.

Every penny/cent that we earn from commissions and the same of products goes directly, 100% to our Arasi Foundation for eventual disbursement to welfare projects throughout the region.
Therefore, if you see a link to “Commission Junction” or to “Amazon”, you’ll know that if you buy from us, the commission (from 4% up) that we earn from your purchase goes to welfare.
We do NOT use any of that income for administration purposes.
Our admin costs are covered by sponsorships and the sale of media rights for this incredible event.

Please bookmark, follow and subscribe to this bog so that you can keep up with all the news over the next 20- months.
We also have a Facebook group which will also be launched within the next few weeks, another way of keeping track of all this madness.

This is going to be fun and our team of totally insane men and women throughout the Balkans are dedicated to making this the event of the century.

You will soon learn why we use our tagline – “LET’S MAKE HISTORY

Cheers

Not for profit

As you view our pages, you will see us advertising products and linking to external sites where we earn commissions and profit from your purchasing.

Please use those links when you are considering purchasing anything.

EVERY cent that we earn goes directly towards genuine welfare projects to be conducted by local NGOs under the watchful eye of our own welfare foundation.
We do NOT give charity.

Our welfare ONLY creates long term sustainable improvements to the lifestyles and living standards of the less fortunate members throughout the Balkans.
Our administration costs are covered entirely by the contracts with sponsors and the sale of international media rights.

ALL other income from all other sources is directed to the Arasi Foundation which is responsible for approving and supervising projects recommended by those NGOs who have zero administration costs

Please help us to achieve our target of raising the necessary funds to undertake these monumental projects.

Thank you.
Greg Barlow
Operations Consultant

Pro Skaters

For this little story, you need to know that i’m talking about inline or roller skating, not ice skating, so if you need info on ice skating, you’ve got the wrong place.

The first question that most people might want to know is “do pro skaters make good money”?

I’m sorry to say that until now, the answer has been a resounding “NO!”.

There are thousands of events around the world of about 1 hour or less where the preferred distance for road or track skating is around 21 kilometres which in other languages is about equal to a half marathon.

Pro skaters or those who aspire to be, will search endlessly for prize money on offer that will at least earn them enough to cover their travel and accommodation costs.

In America and western Europe for example, most towns have annual skating events and even skating circuits where the best pro skaters can be fairly confident of regularly picking up prize money for the top 3 positions.

You could spend ages trying to find out what prize money is on offer for pro skaters so i’ll save you some time and tell you that even the European Cup for inline speed skating, possibly the most prestigious skating event in the world, offers first prize overall of only €1,000 and goes down 5 places to €100.

There are 15 stages in that event, each held in a different town and male and female skaters compete equally. Hardly an opportunity for pro skaters to earn a living

For cash however, prize money seldom filters past 3rd place and the remaining competitors have to be satisfied with “goodie bags” containing a T-shirt, a bar of chocolate and a colouring book for their young kids.

No, it’s not that bad but i couldn’t resist taking a dig at the organisers and sponsors and later, you will see why I’m so cynical.

Then there’s the other issue – road and rink events don’t differ – females and males mostly compete for the same prizes, and prize money seldom exceeds a few hundred dollar.

So why do people take up inline skating?

The answers are simple – It’s a cheap sport, you can skate almost anywhere, equipment costs are not much more than jogging, and there are a heck of a lot of people who will join you down at the esplanade or just up and down your street.
But if you think you can join the ranks of the world’s pro skaters and make a living from the sport, you could be better buying a bag of marbles.

OK, now it’s my turn to get in a free plug for our event.

Free accommodation, free food, European capital cities, medals, certificates and the usual goodie bags and merchandise BUT, cash prize money of US$7,500 down to 5th place for each of the 11 stages, $92,500 total prize money for overall winners of the 11 stages down to 10th place, AND best of all, female and male do NOT compete for the prizes. How does that sound?

Find out more from the official web site of the 11 stage Balkan Burning inline skating event.

Now, that could also prompt a few people to read more about inline skating so for those who do, here’s a link to a few books available at Amazon.com

And no matter where you live, Amazon.com is also a good place to buy new and used skates.