CROWD RES­CUE LIFE-SAV­ING PRO­JECT GIVEN KICK­START

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADES+SERVICES - Laura Tri­este

THE im­pact of so­cial media means the ap­proval of peo­ple in a po­si­tion of power is no longer the only av­enue to make a pas­sion pro­ject into a suc­cess­ful ca­reer.

Crowd-fund­ing has been used to kick­start busi­ness ideas and prod­ucts of all kinds and lets peo­ple vote with their wal­lets.

It was what made Bondi Res­cue life­savers Trent Maxwell and Jesse Polock’s idea to ride 2500km on jet skis from Syd­ney to Cairns pos­si­ble back in 2013.

Inspired by the chance to raise aware­ness of sui­cide preven­tion through youth men­tal health foun­da­tion Headspace, they had to think out­side the box to find a way to fund the event.

“We tried to hit up a few big pro­duc­tion stu­dios and spon­sors but that wasn’t to be so we turned to crowd­fund­ing,” Mr Maxwell said.

With the help of Aus­tralian crowd-fund­ing web­site Poz­i­ble, they went on to raise $110,000 in 40 days.

“At that time we were the big­gest crowd-fund­ing tar­get in Aus­tralian history,” Mr Maxwell said.

While he may have had the ad­van­tage of us­ing his plat­form as the 2013 Cleo Bach­e­lor of Year to help gain at­ten­tion, Mr Maxwell said crowd-fund­ing can be used by any­one with a good cause.

“You’re un­stop­pable if you put your mind to it,” he said.

To­gether with Mr Polock, he will talk about their ex­pe­ri­ence of crowd-fund­ing at Think Ed­u­ca­tion’s Fes­ti­val of Change this Satur­day in Ul­timo for ca­reer seek­ers and bud­ding en­trepreneurs.

“It’s tough. If you don’t get the tar­get in time you don’t get the money,” he said.

Mr Maxwell said hav­ing clear goals and plan­ning con­sis­tent and in­ter­est­ing events, such as char­ity raf­fles and per­son­able videos, are key to rais­ing in­ter­est.

“Keep the con­tent fun and ex­cit­ing lead­ing up to it to keep in­spir­ing to pledge money,” he said.

Pic­ture: JOHN AP­P­LE­YARD

Trent Maxwell (left) and Jesse Pollack start­ing their Jet Ski Odyssey.

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