Entrepreneur Ed Baldwin, representing a community of entrepreneurs in Downtown Jacksonville, formally unveiled the Spark District as the name of Downtown Jacksonville’s innovation district yesterday. In addition to promoting art and artists in Downtown, the innovation district will now spotlight resources for entrepreneurs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Capitalizing on programs such as the Cultural Council’s SPARK Grants and One Spark, which have established a “spark” in the consciousness of Jacksonville and the region, the district will cement Downtown Jacksonville as the destination for Northeast Florida innovators. Walkable and compact, the district is set in the Northbank core of Downtown Jacksonville along the St. John’s River.
“The Spark District will attract entrepreneurs, artists and startups to Downtown, creating a central point of focus in Jacksonville for innovation,” said Ed Baldwin, founder of the Jacksonville tech startup Profile Gorilla. “With the gracious support of the Cultural Council and One Spark, designating a true innovation district under the Spark name expands their vision and allows us to create a community here, to provide a network of resources, and to encourage investment in Downtown.”
Managed by a team of volunteers, the new website www.sparkdistrict.com will allow users to navigate to arts and culture content or start-up and entrepreneurial content, and spotlights the existing startup community and organizations that serve them. Resources include:
- Bunker Labs Jax
- Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
- Downtown Investment Authority (DIA)
- Downtown Vision, Inc. (DVI)
- North Florida Inventors Group
- One Spark
“The urban core is a natural fit for entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Jake Gordon, CEO of Downtown Vision, Inc. “Districts like these are a proven model for job creation and economic development in cities across the country. Similar to the grassroots start of The Elbow, we’re lucky to see this collaboration form organically. It’s going to create another great, authentic offering in Downtown Jacksonville.”
About the Spark District
The Spark District is Northeast Florida’s innovation district dedicated to promoting innovation through the arts, entrepreneurship and the startup community. The district is set in the Northbank core of Downtown Jacksonville, FL. For more information, visit sparkdistrict.com.