One Spark unveils year two plans

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - One Spark, the world's crowdfunding festival, announced Tuesday that April 9-13 will be the dates for next year's festival in downtown Jacksonville.

One Spark said it 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 Sampson, One Spark's incoming executive director. "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," Rivas said. "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 said it 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 said it 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."

For more information about One Spark, click here.

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