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Early Registration For 2014 One Spark Fest Up 142 Percent, 500 Projects Expected

One Spark

The “World’s Crowdfunding Festival” will return to downtown Jacksonville this April with more participants and more projects.The five-day 2014 One Spark Festival festival (April 9-13) will host creators from all over the world seeking to market their ideas in music, art, science, education and technology.

Last year’s inaugural festival displayed 406 projects, with $250,000 awarded and 900 active participants.  

The objective of the creators  is to make their innovation a reality. One Spark offers resources needed for creators to be successful and provides brand awareness, immediate market feedback, and early-stage funding. 

Seventy-five projects were registered in the first 48 hours for the 2nd annual event, a 142 percent increase from last year. More than 500 projects are expected.

Mark Patterson is among the new entrants, with his gluten-free, high protein sweet known as the “Smart Dessert."

Patterson, who worked in the restaurant industry for decades, wasn’t impressed with distasteful desserts and the amount of artificial ingredients in their sweeteners. He then began researching dairy products with a dream of founding Smart Dessert in Jacksonville.

“We were trying to create a Jacksonville company but we wanted to be put on national stage,” said Patterson.

"With all the amazing things going on in Jacksonville, we want to be part of it, and what better place to do that honestly than to incorporate it into the One Spark Festival?”

Overall funding reached over $1 million by private investors in 2013.

Doug Eng, an installation artist and fine arts photographer, was one of the top designers last year, raising several thousands of dollars.

“We had a great time and talked to thousands of people,” said Eng. “It was fantastic; it was good exposure.”

Eng’s project, "Beyond the Façade," was the demonstration of how art could transform a space. 

Taking the Old Barnett and Marble Bank Buildings in downtown Jacksonville, he formulated a way to make the infrastructures aesthetically pleasing.

Both buildings being abandoned, Eng painted murals of local Jacksonville nature scenes as well as building reflections on boarded windows.

“I was able to cover any costs, the lift and the building permits,” Eng said.

Participants interested in registering for One Spark have until the Jan. 31.

The festival will also hold a speaker series from April 10-11. Speakers will discuss innovative ideas in entrepreneurship, design, marketing and music. 

The list of speakers, released today, includes Brian Meece, CEO of Brooklyn-based Rockethub, James White, founder of Signalnoise Studio in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and Wil Reynolds, Founder of SEER Interactive in Philadelphia, Penn. 

More info on the One Spark Festival and the speaker series can be found online at

You can follow WJCT on Twitter @WJCTJax.

WJCT News Intern Scott Harrison is a Journalism Major at Flagler College. He also reports for the college's campus news website, The Gargoyle.