One Spark merging with Art Walk for shortened event


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  • | 12:00 p.m. February 16, 2016
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One Spark merged with Art Walk, added access to venture capital for a select few exhibitors and will have a day-long seminar for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

That’s the plan for the fourth edition of what began in 2013 as the world’s largest crowdfunding festival.

Details were released Monday at Hemming Park for One Spark 2016 –– essentially a noon-10 p.m. expanded version of Downtown Vision’s April 6 Art Walk, dubbed First Wednesday Spark Walk.

Downtown Vision Inc. CEO Jake Gordon said there will live music and food trucks along Laura Street from Hemming Park to the Jacksonville Landing.

“Keeping the street party atmosphere is crucially important,” Gordon said.

“It will be a high-energy 24 hours instead of a high-energy 72 hours,” said Peter Rummell, One Spark board chair.

Up to 120 exhibits will be set up along Adams Street between Hogan and Main streets and along Laura from Adams to the Landing.

People interested in sharing their ideas at Spark Walk may visit OneSpark.com to apply no later than Feb. 29.

Applicants selected to participate will be notified by March 15, with a $50 registration fee due by March 18.

One Spark spokeswoman Kristen Sell said anyone who already has submitted an application must submit a new application for Spark Walk and registration fees previously collected will be returned.

“We want to make sure everyone is aware of the change,” she said.

Spark Walk will be followed April 7 by One Spark Ventures Spark Tank, during which 10-12 exhibitors with the most promising ideas and products showcased April 6 will be invited for private meetings with investors.

Chris Carter, president of One Spark Ventures, said one idea or product will be selected as Best in Show.

One Spark Ventures is the venture capital consultancy introduced before it was announced the festival would be shortened this year from five days to three days.

The prize will be a 14-week business accelerator program offered by PS27 Ventures, a local firm that helps startup businesses develop products and marketing plans.

Also April 7, One Spark will host Creator Innovation Day at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.

Coordinated by Jax Community of Entrepreneurs (JaxCoE) and One Spark Ventures, it will be open to Spark Walk exhibitors, small business owners and anyone with an idea for a product or business.

Kate Stewart, president of JaxCoE and a previous One Spark exhibitor, said the day will include a keynote address followed by panel discussions and workshops that will cover all phases of entrepreneurship.

“We want to make entrepreneurs aware of the resources available right here in Jacksonville,” she said. “We’re not Silicon Valley and we’re not Austin (Texas), but we’ve gotten a taste of Jacksonville as a hub for innovation.”

The day will end with a networking reception.

Stewart said the keynote speaker and panelists will be announced later at JaxCoE.org and OneSpark.org.

A limited number of $20 tickets for Creator Innovation Day are available for advance purchase at the JaxCoE website. Tickets will be available at the event for $40.

Rummell said the new format for One Spark is intended to be developed into a year-round series of events.

A strategic planning session is planned by One Spark and One Spark Ventures immediately after the April 6-7 events.

While details won’t be available until after the planning session, “there will be a One Spark in 2017,” Rummell said.

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