One Spark

The World's Crowdfunding Festival
One Spark is the world's crowdfunding festival.

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  • September 12, 2013 5:45 pm

    New Blog

    If you’ve been following this blog, you’re probably wondering why we haven’t posted in a while. Well, we have a shiny new website with its own blog so head on over to the One Spark website to stay up to date on The World’s Crowdfunding Festival.


  • July 9, 2013 10:30 am

    One Spark 2014 Press Release

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             

    One Spark Unveils Year Two Plans

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla., July 9, 2013 — One Spark, the world’s crowdfunding festival, announced today that April 9-13, 2014 will be the dates for next year’s festival in downtown Jacksonville. One Spark will build upon the momentum and success of the inaugural festival and utilize feedback from attendee, creator and venue surveys to further enhance the festival for One Spark 2014. Enhancements include:

    • Art, innovation, music, science and technology will be the updated creator categories.
    • Prize structure now includes a $200,000 guaranteed crowdfund distributed solely on public vote, five $10,000 bonuses awarded to the top-voted creator in each category, five $10,000 juried prizes and immediate individual contributions from attendees. 
    • Millions in capital investments will be available for One Spark creators from private investors and equity firms.
    • More walkable, concentrated event footprint that will include 20 square blocks and additional programming throughout. 
    • Significant number of additional voting and information kiosk locations. 

    Also new for 2014, Elton Rivas, co-founder and executive director of One Spark, will turn the day-to-day management of One Spark over to Joe Sampson, director of field operations for the inaugural 2013 festival. Rivas will provide continued support in an advisory capacity while serving as president of One Spark’s board of directors.

    "Elton has been and will continue to be an inspiring leader for One Spark and for the local startup community,” said One Spark’s incoming Executive Director Joe Sampson. “It’s humbling to be given the opportunity to serve in his footsteps. We have an incredible team and it’s with them that I look forward to carrying out the vision that three friends had in 2011. We’ve laid the foundation for One Spark and now we’re working diligently to build an even bigger, better One Spark 2014.”

    Rivas will be working on multiple new Jacksonville-based ventures to help provide access to capital for early stage companies. 

    “Thanks to the great support received from Jacksonville, One Spark is positioned to be an annual, signature event for our city, our region and someday will provide much further reach than that. One Spark is part of the fabric of our community, through and through,” said Elton Rivas. “When Joe joined the One Spark team, the consensus was that we’d found the missing piece of the One Spark 2013 puzzle. What he was able to accomplish in such a short period of time proved to me, the board and the team that he was the one to carry the torch. Joe knows events, he understands business and I have full confidence in his ability to successfully lead One Spark forward.”

    One Spark is also setting ambitious organizational goals. These include hosting year-round events and working with the creative community throughout the year and leading up to the five-day festival in April and working to increase the number of out-of-town Creator projects and attendees. One Spark plans to continue building on the support experienced during One Spark 2013 by partnering with many great organizations who are expressing interest in supporting One Spark.

    “It’s very exciting to think that the next big thing could be born Downtown, right in the heart of our city,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “One Spark has elevated that potential by building opportunities for innovators to refine ideas and compete for capital. I applaud the organizers, creators and donors for their growing enthusiasm setting the stage for economic development in Jacksonville.”

    Background Information:

    Joe Sampson has been an active member of the local business community since relocating to Jacksonville and becoming a downtown resident in 2009. He’s since been selected as one of Jacksonville Business Journal’s 40 under 40 while facilitating the rapid growth of Jacksonville-based Sight & Sound Productions. With over 13 years of successful marketing, event production and business leadership experience, Joe is passionate about producing amazing events, helping others find success and the rebirth of downtown Jacksonville.


    About One Spark:

    One Spark, the world’s crowdfunding festival, is committed to fostering environments of creativity and innovation by showcasing artists, entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world for five days every spring in downtown Jacksonville, Fla. Creators are provided a platform to connect their ideas with resources to make it happen. The festival is an interactive experience that allows attendees to support ideas and projects that inspire them and decide on the next big thing. One Spark 2014 will be held April 9-13, 2014. To learn more or sign up to be a creator or volunteer, visit

    Media Contact:

    Meredith O’Malley Johnson

    P: (904) 322-9233

  • July 8, 2013 3:16 pm

    One Spark 2013 Retrospective

    One Spark 2013 was a massively successful event! From April 17-21, over 130,000 people swarmed downtown Jacksonville while viewing hundreds of innovative projects in art, music, science, technology and more. It was an exciting thing to experience as crowds of people took in the energy and creativity that spilled onto the streets from Pitch Decks, Music Stages, and various Venues throughout the Creator Zone and Entertainment District. The spirit of One Spark was palpable then and continues to echo across every corner of Jacksonville and the region, reminding us of what was and what can be.

    We here at One Spark HQ are proud to present this One Spark 2013 Retrospective as we look back and reflect on the first ever world’s crowdfunding festival. As we continue to plan for next year and work on ways to make One Spark 2014 an even bigger success, we pause to remind ourselves why we’ve taken on this mission and relive the highlights of this game-changing event.

    One Spark 2013 Retrospective from One Spark on Vimeo.

    Be sure to check out all the amazing photos in our One Spark 2013 Collection on Flickr as well.

    We want to hear from you as well. If you have photos, stories, videos or other media chronicling your personal One Spark experience, please share them on your social media channels using the hashtag #myonespark.

    As we strive to connect great ideas with the resources they need to be realized and share success stories and lessons learned with those who might benefit, One Spark has and always will be about the Creators. We will continue to listen to and support the innovative community not just here in Jacksonville, but around the world.

    One Spark returns in 2014 but rest assured there will be plenty of action between now and then. Stay tuned to learn more regarding specific changes to next year’s program and how you can participate. If you missed showcasing your idea at One Spark 2013, you can pre-register now to receive more info in the coming months on becoming a Creator.

    We couldn’t be more excited about the future and what it means for Jacksonville and Creators around the world. Until next time, please enjoy these memories from the first ever world’s crowdfunding festival.

  • July 1, 2013 3:38 pm

    One Spark Volunteers Reunite for International Surfing Day Beaches Cleanup

    One Spark volunteers kept the positive energy from the festival going last weekend by participating in the International Surfing Day Beaches Cleanup. Around 80 enthusiastic volunteers came out on Sunday to help cleanup the beach around 16th Avenue S in Jacksonville Beach.    About 50 out of the 80 volunteers that helped clean the beach were from One Spark and coral One Spark volunteer t-shirts could be seen all over the area!

    It was amazing (and disgusting) to see all the gross stuff we found on the beach. Cigarette butts and balloon ribbon were the most common items we found, and we filled bucket after bucket with them and other waste. The weirdest find of the day, you ask? An IV bag! Seriously.

    Florida Times-Union reporter David Crumpler joined us to interview some of the volunteers. Read the story with quotes from One Spark volunteers Honor Parrish and Lottie Descallar here.

    It was definitely a fun and rewarding experience. And it was great to reconnect with our great volunteers. After a hot day at the beach, it was also great to relax with some frozen beverages and the other volunteers at a local watering hole.

    Volunteering with One Spark is a fun and rewarding experience that lasts long after the festival ends. If you’re interested in joining the One Spark Volunteer Team ranks, please email Meredith at

  • June 19, 2013 5:03 pm

    One Spark wins Excellence in Innovation Award from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association

    By Aschelle Morgan, One Spark Community Outreach & Engagement Manager

    Looky Looky! We won an award y’all! About two weeks ago, Joe and I made the trip down to beautiful Daytona Beach to attend the Florida Planning and Zoning Association’s annual conference. That day marked not only the first statewide award One Spark has received, but also the first time anyone has ever called me a good driver (thanks Joe!). Upon arrival, we were fortunate to have lunch with a room full of Florida’s best planners representing everything from urban and rural logistical extraordinaires to inspired citizens who executed the construction of their own local park.  As event planners with a thing for crowdfunding, getting to rub elbows with these types was truly an amazing experience. Pretty crazy to think our year-old, 5-day event was thrust into the ranks of projects that take years to plan and have impacts that physically last lifetimes. 

    Even more amazing was that we were able to take home the coveted Excellence in Innovation Award. The rights to this honor go to a project that is considered not only original and effective, but ahead of its time. A huge thanks from the One Spark team goes to the FPZA for this incredible recognition. Also a special shout out to Jacksonville’s very own Lara Diettrich, a member of FPZA’s Board of Directors(and fabulous One Spark volunteer), for being a fantastic emcee and incredible host! We look forward to making our city, and state, proud again next year!

  • June 5, 2013 1:01 pm

    Rethreaded Shop for Freedom: One Spark Celebration [EVENT]

    One Spark 2013’s top Creator, Rethreaded is hosting a big event this Saturday to celebrate their success at this year’s festival.

    Rethreaded’s mission is to love those affected by the sex trade by fostering relationships and providing them with a holistic vocational training program. Rethreaded helps these women recover from lives of addiction, violence, human trafficking and prostitution.

    In April, Rethreaded scored the highest percentage of the $250,000 crowdfund and made a giant splash in the community.


    To celebrate their success, the folks at Rethreaded are throwing an open house community party at their New Town warehouse just west of Downtown. The event features several activities including a kids’ zone, an edible garden, tours, food trucks and performances from other One Spark Creators.

    In fact, the list of former One Spark Creators participating is pretty epic. It’s going to be like a reunion! Check out:

    • Al Letson
    • Chopp
    • Food Park Project
    • Kona School
    • Forge 3D Printing
    • Mikey’s Imaginary Friends
    • Fathom Atom
    • The One Spark Team

    Also in attendance are:

    • Intuition Ale Works
    • Atomic Sketch Group
    • Four Families
    • Corner Taco
    • Overstreet
    • Wiki Wiki
    • Monroe’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Q & Catering
    • Jesse Wilson
    • Tala
    • Juicy Love
    • New Strangers

    The event starts at 2pm and lasts until 9pm. For more information head over to the Facebook Event Page. Check the map below for directions.

    View Larger Map

  • May 23, 2013 1:15 pm

    Would You Like to Take a Survey?


    Anyone remember that Animaniacs episode - “Survey Ladies”? 

    By now we hope you’ve had time to fully digest and process your One Spark 2013 experience, weigh the good against the bad, and consider what worked and what didn’t. Now, we want to hear from you! 

    It is our mission to make One Spark 2014 the best possible event using the lesson we learned from year one and the public’s feedback. That’s where you come in.

    We’ve recently released our attendee survey to solicit your feedback as we continue to brainstorm and plan ways to improve the world’s crowdfunding festival. Please take a moment to complete the short questionnaire and let us know what we can do to make One Spark better for everyone.

    Please note that this survey is designed to capture short answers so that we can process the high volume of data and determine which areas deserve the most focus. If you have feedback or suggestions, please input them into the additional feedback box.

    Please also note that there are separate surveys for Creators, Venues and Sponsors that have been sent to the email address you used to register.

    It only takes a few minutes so click here and tell us what you think!

    And here’s a clip from that Animaniacs episode, it’s a classic! We like to think our Attendee Survey is a bit more relevant and impactful than one of those annoying mall intercepts. 

  • May 22, 2013 12:10 pm

    Work with us - Director of Sponsorship & Development

    Join the team and help us bring in the big bucks to make One Spark 2014 an even bigger success. Read on to learn more or head over to the LInkedIn job posting.

    Job Description

    One Spark, Inc. is hiring an experienced, self-motivated professional as a full-time director of sponsorship and development.

    This role is critical to the continued growth and success of our rapidly growing and ambitious organization. A successful candidate will be a self-starter that’s comfortable working with a small team in a startup environment but also successful in working with sponsors in a corporate setting. Strong presentation and communication skills are a must. This position will report to the executive director.


    As the director of sponsorship and development for One Spark, Inc. you will be a key member of a growing team that is leading the charge to grow the World’s Crowdfunding Festival. One Spark is dedicated to showcasing creators, innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs.  

    More specifically, you will oversee and lead the planning, coordination and implementation of One Spark’s sponsorship sales and fundraising while working with the executive director and other functional leaders. The ideal candidate will be a talented leader with a strong history of creating and selling packaged sponsorships to national brands. Selling in an event-based environment is preferred, but not required. The ideal candidate will also exude a deep knowledge of revenue generation & fundraising in a non-profit setting; high levels of creativity and the ability to effectively work in a startup environment. Also, they must give great high-fives… we like to have fun while we do great work.


    Include the following - Other duties may be assigned as they relate to the needs of the business.

    • Sell in a consultative manner to local, regional, national and global brands. This role is expected to meet or exceed assigned revenue and fundraising goals for the company.

    • Responsible for leading the company’s efforts in sales calls, presentations, demonstrations, and proposals related to One Spark and One Spark related events.

    • Create, prepare and share accurate and timely sales/pipeline reports utilizing One Spark’s CRM/Sales management system.

    • Work with the One Spark team and current sponsors/customers to identify and implement new revenue opportunities.

    • Maintain brand focus and One Spark’s vision and mission when selecting sponsors to work with.

    • Identify and participate in discussion and decision-making about strategies, opportunities, potential conflicts, and other issues related to the successful production of One Spark events.

    • Develop long-term fundraising/sponsorship strategy that includes the continued evolution of events, including the primary annual One Spark event; leverage multi-year opportunities with key sponsors.

    • Create and sustain effective collaborative partnerships with key Channel Partners


    This position may or may not have direct reporting personnel but requires a high degree of collaboration and communication with other departments and key stakeholders (internal and external).

    Desired Skills & Experience


    To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


    Bachelors degree with five to seven years experience in conference/event planning, or non-profit management demonstrating increasing responsibility and successful execution of mission-driven events; demonstration of strong collaboration skills, and leadership; innovative programming. High levels of project management skills are preferred.


    Experience calling on Major Accounts and National Accounts selling sponsorships. Collaboration ability, organizational skills, strong interpersonal skills, a belief in teamwork are critical to the success of this position. This position requires the ability to build positive relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Strong verbal and written communication is critical, as are excellent negotiation skills with a positive attitude.


    Nearly all of the tasks required in this position require highly competent computer skills, including but not limited to: Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Prezi, Basecamp, Highrise, and more.


    Excellent sales skills with a history of success are required for this role.


    This role may require traveling up to 30% of the time.


    Sound business reasoning and the ability to use facts to make profitable decisions is required. Strong problem solving and creative thinking are essential.


    This is primarily an office based position with some in the field work as well; some lifting of objects up to 50lbs (or more) may be required. Proper ergonomic furniture and equipment is supplied. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    To apply, please send your resume, cover letter and salary requirements to

    Company Description

    One Spark is the world’s crowdfunding festival located in Jacksonville, Florida.
    Come Support Inspiration: Art. Music. Science. Technology. 

    The fastest way for people to launch ideas is to have all of the resources they need in one place and at one time. One Spark is an event that brings those people (artists, technologists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and the public) together for 5 days. During One Spark each of these folks will share their prototypes, experiments and projects in a really cool way by using downtown Jacksonville as a platform. Any place can be a venue (parking lots, businesses, restaurants, parks, etc.) Anyone can be an entrant.


    One Spark, Inc. works in an open office environment focused on collaboration. It’s a pretty great place to work!

    Benefits include:

    • Competitive compensation

    • Free employee parking

    • Cell phone stipend

    • A flexible, startup culture

    • Vacation and personal time

    One Spark, Inc. is a non-profit founded in 2011 as an effort to assist entrepreneurs, artists and innovators in connecting to capital and resources for their ideas and projects.

    Additional Information

    Posted:May 22, 2013Type:Full-timeExperience:Mid-Senior levelFunctions:Business Development, Sales Industries:Civic & Social Organization Job ID:5804067

  • May 13, 2013 12:47 pm

    Creator Success Stories

    As we close out One Spark 2013 and prepare for One Spark 2014 (yes, it’s definitely happening!), we have two major items left on our list. The first, is obviously getting checks out to Creators (more info coming VERY soon) and the other is sharing success stories from the Creators who participated in the event.

    We’ve seen and heard many comments on the connections, exposure, feedback, validation and many other positive results that our Creators took away from One Spark above and beyond the financial rewards. These are the stories we want to share and we want to hear them in your own words.

    Starting next week, we’re bringing back our One Spark Hangouts hosted by our resident Social Media Viking. We know there are a ton of you who want to share your experiences and continue to extend your reach so we simply ask that you pitch us your story by emailing We’ll follow up with you to schedule a time to Hangout, time permitting.

    In case you missed them, here’s our Hangout Playlist that includes all of them (except that one about Volunteers in which Jack played with his beard the whole time). Be sure to add One Spark to your Circles on Google+.

  • April 23, 2013 5:22 pm

    Preliminary Results Are IN!


    It’s time! We know you’ve all been anxious to find out the results so without further ado, here ya go…

    (from the Creator email that just went out)

    As mentioned yesterday, we are pleased to share the results for One Spark 2013 on our website. We’re posting these now and you can check them out by clicking here. Note: these do not include any individual contributions; only the distribution of the $250,000 from One Spark.

    Keep in mind that all results are preliminary at this time. Results will be final once our 3rd party CPA and auditing firm verifies the votes and contributions. We will post the contributions from the crowdfund at that time. This process is expected to be complete within approximately 5-7 days following the close of One Spark 2013 and is necessary to ensure that your votes are verified and the funds are distributed accordingly. So, feel good about it! :-)
    Here’s the Top 10 overall (no categories, this time):
    1. Rethreaded
    2. Beyond the Facade
    3. Tiger Trail
    4. 20 Murals in a Year
    5. The Wall
    6. Food Park Project
    7. Kona School
    8. Fresh
    9. Live For Today Foundation
    10. Fathom Sphere

    Other Items:
    • Crowdfund contributions will be shared after the audit.
    • To receive your funds, you will need to submit a W9 form. 
    • Here’s the process (PDF Link) for how distribution of funds will work.
    • Deadline for W-9 forms is now Friday May 3, 2013.

    Questions? Direct them to