Federico Re shares his intimate thoughts and journey in co-founding ‘The Face of Entrepreneurs’in Melbourne, with a mission of ‘combining entrepreneurship with adventure’.
It is my philosophy that the best way to learn about business and entrepreneurship is through ‘adventure’. This belief is also shared and embraced by Richard Branson, as well as Serial Entrepreneur – Creel Price.
I was very fortunate back in December last year to have spent an amazing week withCreel, participating in his Ultimate Growth Adventure program, learning about entrepreneurship in a safari / boot-camp style environment. The UGA program was an experience of a lifetime; one that I will never forget.
I discovered first-hand the true meaning of team work, decisionship, challenge, working outside of the comfort zone, learning new things, determination, uncertainty, and adventure. I also connected with an amazing group of people who were all entrepreneurially minded and gifted; I was inspired by their stories of success and what they had achieved so far in their lives and with their business ventures. Their positive mindset and zest for life was contagious.
During my 1-week stay in South-Africa, I felt extremely blessed to be immersed in the beautiful flora and fauna of this country, enjoying life and having fun, whilst learning about business and being inspired by the stories of other entrepreneurs at the ‘Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship’.
This experience was a pivotal turning point in my life, and a catalyst in my pursuit and strong desire to establish a similar entrepreneurial / adventure program back at home in Australia.
Upon my return to Melbourne, I was compelled and determined as an entrepreneurial coach to continue this legacy of using ‘adventure’ as a means to educate and encourage entrepreneurship in the business community.
In March this year, I established ‘The Face of Entrepreneurs’ (TFE) program, with my co-founding partners and budding entrepreneurs – Jesse Spezza (Beckon Media), Ranil Rajapaksha (Raedium), and Maja Wolnik (Maja Creative).
Our joint ambition was to create the first program of its kind in Australia that combined entrepreneurship with adventure in a networking style environment; hinging on three core pillars – ‘connect’, ‘inspire’, and ‘escape’.
We all felt that existing networking programs available in the marketplace were all too conventional and lacking adrenalin and zest. They primarily focused on just two common elements – ‘sharing a drink’ and ‘exchanging business cards’ between members. Whilst this method can be healthy for business networking, we all knew that the adventure or ‘escape’element was missing, and so much more could be done to make the networking experience for the participants a lot more memorable and rewarding.
Entrepreneurship and running your own business should be about having fun and sharing those experiences with other like minded people.
“Running a business can be a very lonely journey,” says Ranil Rajapaksha, “and without the ongoing support and inspiration of others, it can be a very challenging and isolating experience.
TFE provides an ideal platform where people can meet and exchange business contacts, as well as become inspired from each other’s stories and triumphs. The program also leverages on the unique ‘escape’ pillar; a unique component of the program that introduces adrenalin into the networking experience, which fuels comradery, competition, excitement, and reward.
In May, TFE launched its ‘Inaugural Event’ with the support of its four founders and the participation of its first 20 members in Melbourne. Participants were informed of the night’s plan just 15 minutes prior to the event! This element of mystery and uncertainty was a definite adrenalin booster, and a core ingredient to TFE’s business model, and credit to Ranil’s ingenuity and innovative idea.
Bowling and laser skirmish was on the menu for the night at the Crown Casino complex. Members were also given the exclusive opportunity to be photographed by Jesse Spezza, and receive a free professional profile image, using a distinct corporate colour scheme developed by Jesse himself.
New events will be planned every 4 to 6 weeks in Melbourne to begin with. Future activities may include painting on canvas, dancing, a master-chef cook-off, a treasure-hunt through the city streets, giving back to the community or engaging in some philanthropy. TFE has no boundaries or a fixed agenda, especially when it comes to learning outside of the comfort zone, and trying new things.
The Founders also envisage the program expanding into other capital cities over the next 12-18 months. Federico’s personal ambition is to also introduce TFE’s first Adventure Retreat within the year, to further challenge and bond people over 2 or 3 consecutive days, similar to the UGA experience. The retreat will also offer members the exclusive opportunity to undertake specialist training and coaching in entrepreneurship and business from experts like Federico and from others around Australia.
Our brand message:
TFE uses an effective branding technique, which incorporates colour and the candid profiles of each individual member. The ‘faces’ tell a story of the individual, their character and their personality. This unique concept was pioneered and implemented by photographer Jesse Spezza and designer Maja Wolnik. Images of all members are taken during their first event and offered to the members as a free gesture of thanks and part of their own personal branding and professional profiles.
The TFE Radio show:
In early June, the four Founders got together for the first time on air to tell their story on a live Google Hangout interview with Stuart Harris. The 1-hour show was a close-up and intimate discussion, where each member shared their personal experiences, values and beliefs, and long term vision of the TFE program.
Ongoing plans are already underway to air the TFE Radio Show on the first Wednesday of each month, forming an integral part to the future structure of the program. Interviewees will include the participating TFE Members as well as guest speakers in the business community. The show will be aired through Google Plus, and made available to the general public. The scope and long term plan for this program, is to offer all members of the entrepreneurial community a further opportunity to stay connected worldwide.
For more information on ‘The Face of Entrepreneurs’, please visit:www.TFEadventure.com.au
This article has been exclusively written by Federico Re for ‘Business First Magazine‘ – August, 2014 Edition.