One Spark accepting ‘creator' applications for 2016


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One Spark, the world's largest crowdfunding festival, is now accepting applications for "creators" interested in sharing their ideas at the April 7-9 festival in Jacksonville.

Artists, educators, makers, entrepreneurs, inventors, musicians, scientists and anyone with great ideas looking to connect with the resources needed to make them a reality are invited to apply for One Spark 2016.

"For three years, the festival has blossomed into one of the Top 300 festivals in the world, allowed hundreds of creators to market test their ideas and serves as a springboard for dozens of companies and organizations to find success far beyond the festival," said Elton Rivas, One Spark's chief executive officer.

New for 2016, One Spark creators will be selected by a jury including local experts, industry idea leaders, district sponsors and investors. The jury selection process is designed to improve the quality and likelihood of success for creator projects. The jury will select the top 50 creator applicants to showcase in each district, which will be announced on Feb. 24.

Districts, which will each house up to 50 creators, are a key element of the One Spark experience and allow attendees, contributors and investors to easily identify and interact with projects.

"The creator selection process has been enhanced for One Spark 2016 with the inclusion of a juried panel of experts for each category that will select the projects to showcase in the festival," said Rivas. "For those selected for participation, the smaller number of creators in each area allows attendees to more easily become contributors and form personal relationships with their favorite creators."

Creators will be grouped into categories and co-located in unique districts: Art & Culture, Education, Lifestyle & Sports, Health & Wellness, Social Good, and Tech & Engineering. Also, creators will be given the opportunity to display and demonstrate their projects and invite attendees to support their crowdfunding campaigns.

True to the nature of crowdfunding, creator support is based on attendee financial contributions. One Spark creators will begin crowdfunding campaigns March 28, helping them to gain momentum before the actual One Spark festival.

"A successful crowdfunding campaign can be considered an early indicator of success for venture capitalists and angel investors," said Rivas. "One Spark is continuing talks with a number of venture groups that are eager to learn more about creator projects."

Persons interested in sharing their ideas at One Spark 2016 should visit OneSpark.com and complete the creator application process no later than Jan. 29. Applicants must be at least 18 years old or apply only with the consent and accompaniment of a parent or legal guardian. Ideas and projects may be in any stage of development, however, must contain an operating budget of less than $1 million to qualify for entry.