The second annual One Spark crowd funding festival in downtown Jacksonville, FL, drew a mass of more than 260,000 attendees April 9-13, 2014. Over 600 creators pitched products and projects to the crowds during the five-day event.
“It’s kind of like a Bonnaroo for entrepreneurs,” says Tampa Bay WaVe marketing manager Gracie Stemmer.
Startup Weekend Tampa Bay
2013 winner Wazinit
, an app for scanning food labels and comparing ingredients, took the second place finish as a Top Tech creator at One Spark
. The beta-stage startup received a check for $980.79.
Local clothier Black & Denim
was also selected from more than 20,000 applicants to present at One Spark. The clothing company
received over $7,000 in funds directly through contributions from attendees, says founder Roberto Torres.
“Something remarkable is happening in our state,” says Torres, “and we got to represent Tampa and show them what we are all about!”
The space hosted 40 creators from Tampa and Jacksonville, making it the largest venue at the festival. Public attendees visited venues to see creator pitches, enticed by DJs, food, free beer, games, and other events to drive traffic to the creators.
Pitches and projects ranged from apps to stores to art galleries to summer learning camps. By using the One Spark mobile application, attendees voted for the startups that they liked best. Based on the popular vote, $310,000 in crowd funding and cash awards was divvied up amongst winners in the juried categories of Art, Innovation, Science, Technology and Music.
“WaVe has a great relationship with OneSpark,” says Stemmer. “We’re really trying to facilitate entrepreneurship in all of Florida.”
Sources: Gracie Stemmer, Tampa Bay WaVe marketing manager; Roberto Torres, Black & Denim founder