Jacksonville’s One Spark

Posted: April 13, 2014 by jennroig in Chronicles, English
Tags: , , , , ,

For those who still haven’t heard, Jacksonville is a city in North Florida. I was there for a couple of days, invited for a job interview, and timing was great because One Spark Festival was taking over the city.

One Spark at Jacksonville, April 2014

One Spark at Jacksonville, April 2014

So One Festival is an initiative originated in Jacksonville, a city that is determined to recover the glory of past days, when Miami hadn’t yet become a big deal. To sum it up, it gathers visionary creators. Whether their ideas may belong to the realm of arts, technology, business, it doesn’t matter. If innovative, they are all a fit for the Festival. Then, next to a business entrepreneur trying to sell his new skateboarding prototype, you go and hear out the team that wants to have your vote to restore a building and start using it as cultural center or community theater.

jacksonville one spark (4)Ideas could range from dreaming with building a wellness center in the middle of downtown to sell politicians a technological platform/tool that kind of resembles tools used by business analysts but with the twist that it would allow room to express and consider what minorities’ minorities think. As if politicians would care for anything other than votes… jacksonville one spark (3)

Moreover, next to still another app for sharing pictures you would find an app like MamaBear, that aims to become a parenting tool available for parents around the globe. You could find some crazy project about reinvigorating the denim industry or an app to prevent getting lost in a crowd.

It is the second time that One Spark takes over the streets of Downtown Jacksonville. Locals argue that the overall quality of the project increased. The founders of the Festival declared their plans to take a One Spark to the streets of Berlin, Germany. I would be curious to see how Germans transform the original idea and create their own version of the festival.

In fact, what it actually impressed me the most was to find out that every speaker was so well prepared when pitching their ideas. One would think public speaking is a granted skill shared among every other guy and gal in USA. I also think it’s a great idea to have a platform where entrepreneurs and creators of all kinds can have access to voice their projects and convince regular folks to contribute with funding. Of course, that’s nothing new -crowdfunding is all about it. But it was cute to see senior citizens listening to young college students about apps and social media platforms, while having to sort out how to cast a vote or donate through their phones or digital devices. Cash contributions were allowed, by the way.

(c)jennroig, April 2014

(c)jennroig, April 2014

The Festival is about to finish while I write this post. Creators, investors, visitor will know who the winners are. For the lucky ones, the challenge will just begin.

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