Jacksonville to play host to world’s first crowdfunding festival, One Spark

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Jacksonville could soon reshape its image, and the state’s, when it hosts One Spark 2013, the world’s first crowdfunding festival.

“Think SXSW [Austin] meets ArtPrize [Grand Rapids] meets Kickstarter, live!” said Elton Rivas, executive director of One Spark, a non-profit that’s raised private funds to launch the event.

The festival, which is designed to attract Creators in technology, art, music and science, is schedule for April 17 – 21, 2013, in downtown Jacksonville. Hundreds of Creators will exhibit their work at more than 75 venues and attendees will utilize kiosks and smartphones to vote for their favorite creation. At the end of the festival, winners will split a guaranteed $250,000 crowdfund. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to contribute directly to Creators via smartphones as they tour exhibits.

The event is the first of its kind in Florida and recently attracted the attention of Shad Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and automobile parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate. Khan, a billionaire recently featured on 60 Minutes, pledged $1 million in equity investment opportunities for chosen Creators who register for the event.

“We see this event as transformational for Jacksonville,” said Abel Harding, a Jacksonville banker who serves as the event’s spokesman. “This is a full-court press to afford venture capitalists, political leaders and the general public the opportunity to glimpse first-hand the innovation happening right here in Florida.”

Creator registration is still open and nearly 300 have already signed up from around the United States and 15 foreign countries. More information, including how to participate as a Creator, can be found at here.

Via Abel Harding.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.