One Spark has extended the Creator application period for April’s First Wednesday Spark Walk Creator Showcase. Those interested in applying to participate now have until end of day Tuesday, March 1 to apply online at OneSpark.com. Additionally, One Spark is excited to offer awards to top Creators through a partnership with Microsoft.
One Spark Ventures has partnered with Microsoft to present three BizSpark awards at One Spark 2016. The program offers three years of Azure Cloud, software, services and technical support from the Microsoft team. Winners will receive up to $750 credit per month for the Azure Cloud Services, valuing this program at more than $27,000. Winners are required to meet the BizSpark program criteria, which include being privately held, having less than $1.0M in revenue and being less than 5 years old.
"We are excited to be able to offer the Microsoft BizSpark program to top Creators at One Spark 2016,” said Chris Carter, president of One Spark Ventures. “This program offers Creators access to services and support to launch their new ventures knowing a team of experts is ready to assist when needed."
The Microsoft BizSpark prizes will be awarded to the top three Creators who participate in the One Spark Ventures Spark Tank event to be held on Thursday, April 7 as judged by the panel of investors.
Spark Walk combines the art and energy of a monthly Art Walk with a one-day One Spark Creator Showcase. The daylong public event will take place Wednesday, April 6 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Downtown. The event is a collaboration between One Spark, Inc. and DVI, the producers of First Wednesday Art Walk. The public event will span 15 blocks, with a Creator Showcase running from Adams Street down Laura Street to the Jacksonville Landing and is designed to celebrate the creative energy of Northeast Florida Creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, and champions of meaningful social and cultural projects. Art Walk artists and performers will be situated in and around Hemming Park and throughout Downtown businesses, with One Spark Creators lining Laura St. and located inside the Landing. Spark Walk will also feature two music stages and a dynamic and eclectic food truck village.
Up to 120 Creators will be selected to participate in the Creator Showcase, where they will receive real market validation and networking opportunities with the Creator community. Creators are encouraged to crowdfund on individual platforms, sell approved wares and collect donations. Creators without a current crowdfund can set one up through One Spark’s Indiegogo partnership at OneSpark.com.
Of the Creators chosen to participate, One Spark Ventures will also pre-select the top projects and invite those Creators to participate in a One Spark Ventures Spark Tank event on April 7. This private event will allow the selected Creators to pitch their ideas in front of capital and angel investors for validation, feedback and guidance. The group of investors may decide, based on the presentation, to award the top Creator with a One Spark Ventures seat in the upcoming PS27 Ventures Academy/Accelerator Program.
Any Creator who previously applied for One Spark must reapply to be considered. Previously collected application fees will be returned in full. Creators will be selected to participate in Spark Walk and notified by March 15, with a $50 registration fee due by March 18.
Creator Innovation Day, a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship on the First Coast, will take place Thursday, April 7 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. This daylong program will include keynote addresses, expert presentations, panels, and breakout sessions offering practical advice about topics that will help entrepreneurs build, manage and lead their businesses. Best practices in crowdfunding, web site development and management, legal formation and IP protection, marketing techniques and lean business canvas are a few of the topics that will be discussed at Creator Innovation Day. Representatives from local organizations and the growing Jacksonville entrepreneurial ecosystem will also provide insight about the services they offer and how entrepreneurs can access these resources.
Curated by Jax Community of Entrepreneurs (JAXCoE) and One Spark Ventures, the intent is to give participants the tools and inspiration they need to take the next step in launching or growing their business in Jacksonville.
Creator Innovation Day Schedule of Events
- Keynote address about entrepreneurship
- Breakout sessions led by experts on topics including crowdfunding best practices, leadership, building and managing your web site as well as legal, governance and IP protection issues
- Two-hour workshop on the lean business canvas model, a one page business model framework that allows entrepreneurs to evaluate their business idea, understand key relationships and pivot quickly to develop and refine the idea while engaging with their target market and starting to build their business
- Hackathon begins
- Teams of students will compete to solve a real-world problem the Jacksonville community is facing, in a short period of time
- Series of panels on entrepreneurship, what investors look for in seed to early stage investments, local resources available in Jacksonville for startups, as well as short presentations by organizations that are part of the growing Jacksonville entrepreneur ecosystem
- The intent is to make every entrepreneur aware of the resources available in Jacksonville to help you grow and nurture your idea right here in your hometown
- Hackathon continues
- Networking reception and announcement of the winning hackathon team
More details about speakers, presenters and updates to the program will be announced closer to the event. A limited number of tickets for Creator Innovation Day are available for purchase online at JaxCoE.org. Advanced-purchase tickets are available for $20, with a student rate of $15.
A long-term strategic planning session is being organized by One Spark Ventures and One Spark, Inc. with community partners and strategic stakeholders to develop a sustainable long-term plan that will include both year-round activities and an annual spring festival. This strategic planning session will take place immediately following the 2016 event and the plan will be presented to the community this summer.