by JACK TWATCHMAN
This April, Downtown Jacksonville will be overrun by Creators in art, music, science, technology and more from around the world. For five days, they will showcase their projects and ideas in order to collect public votes that translate into funding to take their ideas to the next level.
One Spark 2013 is the world’s crowdfunding festival and the first of its kind. Think of a mix between SXSW and a real-life version of Kickstarter. The concept for this ambitious, game-changing event was conceived here locally as a means to connect people with ideas to the resources required to get them off the ground. From there it developed into a festival that not only showcases the wealth of undiscovered local talent but also establishes Jacksonville as a progressive, forward-thinking city that provides a fertile breeding ground for ideas to bloom.
Attendees at One Spark will witness some of the brightest ideas and innovative concepts the world has to offer. By casting their vote for the projects they want to see receive funding, they also control the allotment of a guaranteed $250,000 crowdfund. Whatever percentage of the vote a project receives, they receive that percentage of the cash. Additionally the public can contribute directly to projects in any dollar amount. In late January, Jaguars owner, Shad Khan, announced that his venture capital firm, STACHE Investments, would have $1 Million on the ground to invest in promising business ideas.
One Spark will also feature an impressive lineup of guest speakers, ranging from Tom Murphy, the former mayor of Pittsburgh who helped transform an abandoned industrial part of the city, to former Nine Inch Nails drummer, Martin Atkins, who speaks on how to make it in the cutthroat music industry.
At night, the One Spark Entertainment District comes alive to showcase performers and to host VIP parties.
One Spark 2013 is your chance to engage and interact with “the next big thing.” Projects include everything from blended learning schools, to music discovery apps, to epic art installations and more. If you’re of the mind that Jacksonville is a sleepy, boring town where nothing ever happens, attend One Spark 2013 and allow it to change your mind.
by JACK TWATCHMAN