The journey of a startup begins with a vision, but very quickly, that needs to convert into the first money in and finding the first believers who back the vision of the founders, by rolling up their sleeves and/or putting the money where their mouth is. It is a rare individual, who with no history with the founders does both! Meet Rebecca Colefax.
On the 15th of May 2019, we reached out to Bec to simply connect with Kite Surfers and to help rally a tribe of passionate eco-minded entrepreneurs globally for an event we wanted to hold on MakePeace Island in Noosa, Australia.
Within 20 minutes of our first call, she was in. I don’t know exactly what clicked in her mind and heart, but within a month, she joined us as ‘General Manager’ for the NextGen Challenge, and then committed to it via her extensive personal and professional networks both locally and Internationally (I guess that network comes from being Australia’s first and only Woman’s World Kite Boarding Champion, andhaving studied in and being passionate about the environment). This was such a statement of belief, and both the founders agreed that this was a substantial step in the ability for EarthTech to manifest.
It wasn’t long after this bold move that the networks indeed started opening, but so too did Bec’s personal investment that came directly from her children’s Trust Fund. It was this unwavering commitment to the potential impact of EarthTech that enabled the first chapter of the EarthTech journey to be successfully completed.
There are almost no photos of Bec at work, executing the extensive projects that were thrown her way. Mostly because she likes to take a behind the scenes approach and was regularly the one documenting the genesis story of EarthTech.
When the Movie2040 was released, it was thrown around that we could host a public screening whilst simultaneously launching a crowd funding campaign to build awareness of the EarthTech brand and engage our local community. Bec was fundamental in the productionof our video, launch event and finding and engaging our Youth Ambassadors. She also offered tofund a prize to help support the campaign.
It was clear by September 2019 that we could throw anything her way, and she had the capacity to execute, deliver and exceed expectations on all levels, and that she continued to do!
The next mission impossible deadline that had been set some years ago was ‘20/02/2020’. Little did she know that date would trigger a tsunami of challenges , but also, be so significant in the EarthTech journey and in the future vision we have set out to achieve.
Rebecca helped change the lives of every young changemaker in this photo. The moment captured here would not have been possible without the dedication, blood, sweat and tears that she poured into the EarthTech Challenge and Summit.
Within a period of 3 weeks, Bec and a very small team pulled together the extensive, highly complex and near impossible logistics to get these 20 finalists to Australia. As an example of the level of execution and detail she went to, they all arrived at Brisbane International Airport within hours of each other – from nine different countries! The kindness and assurance she gave these remarkable changemakers as they battled their culture shock and understandable nerves speaks volumes to her emotional intelligence and ability to drive action with compassion.
And then COVID-19 struck the globe, instantaneously shutting down the world, the investment promised to one of our finalists CUBO and the fundraising round for EarthTech. There were many months at the start of 2020 that felt aimless and futile, but a consistent rhythm of weekly meetings with Bec and the team , as well as advisory board meetings every second Tuesday night helped us navigate most of 2020, until cash all but dried up.
Bec applied for a Research & Development Grant for EarthTech, and thanks again to her attention to detail and methodical articulation of our unique hypothesis, we were successfully granted a substantial refund, landing into our bank account the exact day we were going to run out of funds in November 2020. Without the countless hours behind the screen and deep within many spreadsheets, EarthTech would not have survived to the yearend.
This money enabled us to execute on our second global search for innovators, investors and organisations who not only desired to solve for the SDGs, but had the ideas, resources and connections to do it. We called this initiative “Together In Action”. As a response to COVID-19, the summit was delivered virtually and together Bec, our small team, partners, investment and impact committees, volunteers, an impressive list of global speakers delivered an epic global production.
The journey of EarthTech continues to this day thanks to our first true believer – Rebecca Colefax, her husband Mat, their eldest son Matias, daughter Rivalee & youngest son Stryder.