One Spark is back! April 9-13, 2014

Creativity and inspiration are the fuel of One Spark. The concept of assisting creative individuals and organizations in Jacksonville with seed money came together last year and showcased over 400 contributors to more than 100,000 attendees. One Spark is a crowdfunding festival that brings many facets of the community to downtown Jacksonville and has gathered worldwide recognition–so much so that another chapter is opening up in Berlin. One Spark 2014 has also been selected for A&E’s Project Startup.

This year, One Spark has 632 registered and placed creator projects to showcase at One Spark 2014, a 56-percent increase over One Spark 2013. There are also designated areas for a Food Village, Beer Village, educational contributors, and entertainment stages.

“Our goal for One Spark 2014 was 500-plus creator projects registered and matched with venues, and we greatly exceeded that goal,” says One Spark Executive Director Joe Sampson. “We’re very pleased to see not only a large year-over-year increase in the number of overall projects, but also an increase in investable and out of market projects. With these increases, Jacksonville continues to grow as a hub for entrepreneurs seeking early stage funding and launch resources.”

Still wondering what One Spark is all about? Then come Downtown from April 9-13. You’ll be there for the next big thing, and more than that, your vote can make these ideas a reality.

Attendees of the festival will vote on the creator projects to determine how much funding they receive. Every vote counts the same amount, and you can’t vote for the same project twice. Free votes cost you nothing, but they do determine the distribution of the $200,000 crowd-fund. You can learn about projects by walking the festival in the 20-block footprint of Downtown, or you can head to Hemming Plaza and Main Street Park to watch creators pitch their ideas on stage. (See the schedule for pitch times). Before you head to the fest, you can bookmark creators you are interested in and want to vote for by going to If you want to use your phone or mobile device to vote, download the One Spark app.

Because your votes (which are free to cast) are so vital to creators’ funding, and are such a big part of the One Spark experience, it’s important that you learn the various ways that you can vote. The easiest way to learn about how to vote is by going to Remember, you can vote for as many projects as you want.
You also have the option to contribute money yourself. Meredith O’Malley Johnson, One Spark Public Relations and Volunteer Services Manager, says, “since One Spark is free to attend, we ask that instead of paying an admission fee, you put that money toward helping the Creators. A contribution of $5 or $10 may not seem significant, but when hundreds or even thousands of people believe in an idea and support it, the power of crowdfunding can be the difference between a good idea sitting on a shelf or becoming the next big thing.”

As a cherry on top, the project with the most cash contributions will receive an award of $10,000. The award is part of a $110,000 fund for the top vote-getters and juried awards. In addition, $3.25 million in potential capital investment dollars will be on the table, with private investors on the ground at One Spark 2014. The five chosen through juried selection in each category are also guaranteed a plane ticket and participation in One Spark Berlin.


The breakdown of creator projects by category is: Art, 21 percent; Innovation, 48 percent; Music, 11 percent; Science, 6 percent; and Technology, 14 percent. This year, 77 percent of projects are based in Duval County and 23 percent are from outside Duval County. Three projects are from outside the United States and come from Italy, Senegal, and North Korea.

One Spark Calendar
Wed April 9 Creator Display from 11 am-6 pm. Creator Pitches from noon-6 pm on the Main Street Park Stage and Hemming Plaza Stage. Opening Ceremony 6 pm-8 pm. After-Party from 8 pm-Midnight!

Thurs April 10 Creator Display from 11 am-10 pm. Creator Pitches from noon-9 pm on the Main Street Park Stage and Hemming Plaza Stage. One Spark After Dark with Void Magazine, 9 pm-midnight at the Jax Chamber at Bay & Ocean.

Friday April 11 Creator Display from 11 am-10 pm. Creator Pitches from noon-9 pm. One Spark After Dark with Brumos Motor Cars and Mercedes-Benz of Orange Park, 9 pm-midnight, Jax Chamber at Bay & Ocean.

Saturday April 12 Creator Display from 11 am-10 pm. Creator Pitches noon-9 pm. One Spark After Dark Party 9 pm-midnight Jax Chamber at Bay & Ocean.

Sunday April 13 Creator Display from 11 am-3 pm. Finalists for the $10,000 Juried Awards will present their projects at the Hemming Plaza Stage from 1:30 pm-4 pm. Closing Ceremonies: watch as One Spark presents $310,000 in crowd funds and prize money to Creators from 5 pm-7 pm.
For the fully detailed calendar, including speakers, go to and click the schedule tab.
How to Register to Vote & Contribute
REGISTER: Set up your account at any time online at, or in-person during the festival at a Voting & Information Kiosk (valid photo ID required).
CHECK IN: From April 9, at 11 am through April 13, at 3 pm, check in within event boundaries to validate your account. Use your smartphone (One Spark App or Mobile Site) or check in at a Voting & Information Kiosk.
VOTE & CONTRIBUTE: Increase your favorite Creator Projects’ shares of the $200,000 crowdfund, or contribute to any Project that inspires you. The top-voted Project in each category will receive an additional $10,000 bonus award and the top-contributed Project overall will receive an additional $10,000. Your votes and contributions matter!

About Erin Thursby