CROWD RESCUE LIFE-SAVING PROJECT GIVEN KICKSTART
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.
Trent Maxwell (left) and Jesse Pollack starting their Jet Ski Odyssey.