Just over a year ago, Aurora Sky Events raised $14,277 in donations via Start Engine, with a stated goal to throw mid-level shows by the fans, for the fans. Now, the Seattle event company that never threw a single event has deleted its Facebook and Twitter pages, its founder has scuttled his personal social media accounts, and the company’s website now reads:
That “investor portal” the original Start Engine page was hosted on no longer exists either, producing little more than a “Page not found” error.
As for the thousands of dollars that investors gifted the company, well, donors may be out of luck on that front as well. A donation to Aurora Sky during its funding phase came with some… interesting fine print.
“The Company might incur Irregular Use of Proceeds that may include but are not limited to the following over $10,000: Vendor payments and salary made to one’s self, a friend or relative; Any expense labeled ‘Administration Expenses’ that is not strictly for administrative purposes; Any expense labeled ‘Travel and Entertainment’; Any expense that is for the purposes of inter-company debt or back payments.”
Essentially, every penny of that money belonged to Aurora Sky the second it was donated, and legally was allowed to be distributed among themselves, friends, and relatives, for travel, entertainment, or anything under the broad auspices of “administration expenses.”
Generally, this where we’d say something along the lines of “we’ve reached out for a statement and are awaiting a response,” but there currently isn’t an email or social media account to message.
Perhaps investors are at this moment being told the full story, and are getting reimbursed for every penny of the money they donated. If so, more power to the Aurora Sky folks for returning that cash in good faith. If not… well, then in all likelihood, it’s gone for good.