Two of Jacksonville’s prized assets are joining forces with the World’s Largest Crowdfunding Festival to enhance One Spark 2016. The One Spark team announced today that Florida Coastal School of Law (Coastal Law) and the JAX Chamber will be co-title sponsors of the One Spark Academy, an educational asset to the festival, which takes place April 7-9, 2016 in Downtown Jacksonville.
One Spark Academy is entering its second year as a formal program. The academy offers educational programming and support to Creators following the festival, so that they can best capitalize on their One Spark experience. One Spark Academy originated in 2013, then called “Campfire Chats,” and has since expanded into a full curriculum program. Offered courses will allow experts to share their inside knowledge on topics such as market validation, marketing and public relations, and crowdfunding.
“This is really about doing all we can to help make sure the Creators with great ideas are armed with the tools needed to succeed,” said One Spark CEO Elton Rivas. “We are thrilled to have great community partners in the JAX Chamber and Florida Coastal School of Law to help expand the One Spark Academy in 2016.”
“Thanks to these organizations, we are able to offer post-festival courses to our Creators for free or at a reduced rate,” said One Spark Board Chairman Peter Rummell. “Since day one, One Spark has prided itself on being a strong community asset that helps take our city to new heights in terms of entrepreneurship, innovation and start-ups. Partnership is key in this effort, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have Coastal Law and the Chamber on our team.”
The academy will feature a mix of both online and in-person courses, to reach both Jacksonville and out-of-market Creators alike. Many offerings will be free of charge. Thanks to the new partnerships, individual paid courses will be only $20 in 2016. Local branding specialist Al Emerick will once again lead many of the courses, with additional instructors participating from the region and outside of the Jacksonville market.
“Small business is the driving force behind most local economies, but not all business owners properly establish their enterprises successfully. One Spark Academy is a perfect way to equip business owners participating in One Spark for the momentum the festival provides,” said Katharine Hartland, director of the Business & Entrepreneurial Law Clinic at Coastal Law. “At Florida Coastal School of Law, we have helped over 50 small business owners and entrepreneurs with their legal startup needs through our Business & Entrepreneurial Law Clinic. The program is both beneficial to our students, as the work they do in the clinic prepares them to ‘hit the ground running’ upon graduation, while simultaneously contributing to Jacksonville’s small-business-friendly climate. We are excited about the future of our partnership with One Spark and the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce; with programs like the One Spark Academy, we all win.”
“The Chamber is committed to creating an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive and this partnership with One Spark to support and educate Creators is a natural fit,” said Carlton Robinson, senior director of Entrepreneurial Growth for JAX Chamber. “We look forward to partnering with One Spark to help provide more access for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into successful businesses.”
One Spark will hold a formal kick-off to the academy with its first free course, “Creator Foundations,” in mid-January. That course will take place at the Jessie Ball duPont Center in Downtown Jacksonville. A weekend-long One Spark Bootcamp will also be offered, which will serve as a recap of key highlights from many of the individual courses.
Full course dates will be available in January 2016 on One Spark’s website onespark.com/creatoracademy. Pre-registration is now open and Creators that pre-register will receive a 10 percent discount on all paid courses.
The Creator application period for One Spark 2016 is still open, and runs through Jan. 29, 2016. This year’s festival features a streamlined footprint, with Creators grouped by category in Creator Districts. The Districts include Arts & Culture, Education, Lifestyle, Health & Wellness, Social Good, and Technology & Engineering. Each District will host up to 50 expert-curated projects.
About One Spark
One Spark is a nonprofit committed to fostering environments of creativity and innovation through crowdfunding. The company does this by connecting artists, entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world with the human and capital resources they need to move their ideas forward. The One Spark festival is one of the most efficient ways for individuals, teams and large companies to receive market validation. The event is the world’s largest crowdfunding festival that brings together hundreds of thousands of people to support ideas and projects that inspire them via rewards-based crowdfunding. One Spark Jacksonville 2016 takes place April 7 – 9, 2016 in Downtown Jacksonville, Fla.
About Florida Coastal School of Law
Florida Coastal School of Law has a unique skills-based program that is student-centered. Its programs are designed to advance students’ success in law school, on the bar exam, and in their careers. Named one of The National Jurist’s best law schools for providing students practical training in 2015 with a grade of A+, it also received an A- in diversity from the national publication. The school’s curriculum focuses on experiential education: the hands-on learning needed to equip graduates with the leadership, management, and interpersonal skills that are necessary for career success.
About JAX Chamber
The JAX Chamber is the business membership organization dedicated to driving quality economic growth in Northeast Florida to make this region the best place to live, work and play. Membership provides the opportunity to connect with and buy from other Chamber members. The connections result in business growth and a more prosperous economy.