During One Spark 2014, the streets of downtown Jacksonville were alive, like we’ve never seen them before! If you were one of the estimated 260,000+ who attended during the five-day crowd fund festival, then you don’t need to read about it to know that. The results are in and the numbers are astounding!
- More than 600 creator projects competed for funding and investment opportunities in the categories of art, innovation, music, science and technology. 2015 will introduce a new category – health.
- Over a quarter of a million attendees came out to support the creators.
- From the One Spark’s blog: “Attendance at One Spark 2014 exceeded our expectations by over 110,000 people. We could not have done it without the unbelievable support of everyone who participated this year. Over the course of five days, something that started as murmurs of excitement in Jacksonville, Florida ended up sparking a very loud global conversation!”
- Proof can be found in the 15.5 million impressions of #OneSpark across social media channels and in articles appearing in major publications like Forbes and Fortune Magazine.
- Over 90,000 attendees also rode the Skyway, nearly matching the Super Bowl’s ridership in 2005 over a six-day period compared to One Spark’s five-day period.
- Private investment opportunities for creators grew from $1 million in 2013 to $3.25 million in 2014.
- Since the inaugural One Spark festival in April 2013, numerous international markets have contacted festival organizers expressing interest in partnering with One Spark in order to host festivals in their cities across the globe. One Spark has put Jacksonville on the map and the world has noticed! (One Spark Berlin is happening this September!)
Our firm is proud to have strong ties with some of the sponsors that were the heartbeat of this festival (Intuition Ale Works, Jax Chamber, UNF and DIA). Their generous funding provided the platform to connect creators’ ideas with the resources to make them happen.
In only its second year, we are seeing the ideas from One Spark 2013 become a reality. The impact is bringing development to Downtown (which equal new contracts, new construction, jobs, among others) as some of our long vacant historic buildings will soon be transformed into magnificent spaces. The Barnett Bank Tower was open to the public during One Spark and plans for its redevelopment were unveiled during the festival! The $30 million restoration project includes plans for office space (home to the new headquarters of One Spark, KYN and CoWork Jax-all of Elton Rivas’ companies), UNF classrooms, 80 apartment units and two bottom level retail floors. The 16-month project will begin this summer with the Laura Street Trio (plans include a Courtyard by Marriot, restaurants and retail) to follow soon after.
Like the idea of grassroots funding but don’t want to wait for One Spark 2015? Then take a moment to research what you are passionate about and help someone local fulfil their dream on a crowd funding site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. If you don’t think anyone funds these, think again!
Want to support local on a more frequent basis? Then invest in Jacksonville: frequent your local farmer’s market, pass on a chain restaurant and pick a local café, enjoy local microbrews versus domestics, shop at boutiques and local merchants when possible, support performing arts by attending community theatre or the symphony, visit one of our many art museums, attend a Suns or Jaguars game…the list goes on and on.
Now that One Spark 2014 has created so much momentum, Jimerson Birr encourages everyone in our community to help keep the “spark” in downtown lit. Below are some cool events that can help fuel that spark with your participation:
Community First Saturdays (1st Sat afternoon of each month-Downtown Riverwalk)
Ride the Riverside Night Trolley (First Fri and Sat evening each month-5 Points, Avondale, King Street District)
ArtWalk (First Wednesday each month-Downtown)
Riverside Arts Market (Every Saturday afternoon-Riverside)