One Spark Ventures Launches to Propel Festival to New Heights

One Spark Ventures Creates Long-Term, Sustainable Strategy for Success

Jan 11, 2016, 13:35 ET from One Spark

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of One Spark, Inc., announced today the creation of a new social purpose corporation designed to evolve One Spark into a vehicle for long-term success and better connect creators with resources. One Spark Ventures (OSV) is committed to licensing and leveraging the One Spark brand to connect creators, communities and capital.

As a social purpose corporation, OSV is dedicated to making a positive impact on society in the tradition that was first created with the founding of the One Spark crowdfunding festival. OSV will maintain its mission of developing an ecosystem that allows creators and the community to thrive. It will also own, maintain and license the use of the One Spark brand. An evolution of One Spark is necessary to grow a sustainable model that supports creators and demonstrates that Jacksonville is a successful entrepreneurial city.

Peter Rummell, the key patron of One Spark since its premier in Jacksonville in 2013, will serve as the chairman of OSV. Chris Carter has joined the organization and will serve as its president. Carter has served in executive positions of Fortune 500 corporations in the areas of strategic business and corporate development, financial management as well as operations and administration. Following his corporate experience, Carter formed a consulting agency that worked extensively with companies in the interactive media, cable, entertainment, music, technology and consumer electronics industries. In this role, he worked on a number of pioneering initiatives that used emerging technologies to create innovative new ventures, products and services.

"The One Spark festival has created a long-lasting impact on our community, with countless small business owners and the Jacksonville entrepreneurial community as a whole crediting the festival with giving their idea and business life," said One Spark Board Chairman Peter Rummell. "It is time to take our mission one step further, by executing a master plan to ensure that we are an all-encompassing tool that will bring together creators and capital for long-term success."

As a social purpose corporation, OSV is dedicated to the creator networking and support of ideas that was first demonstrated with the founding of the One Spark Crowdfunding Festival. Since its premiere in Jacksonville in 2013 and Berlin in 2014, the One Spark Crowdfunding Festival has hosted more than 1,500 creators, raised nearly $400,000 in crowdfunding, had over 700,000 attendees, seen $7.9 million pledged in venture capital funds, reached nearly 165 million impressions via social media and garnered local, regional and national media attention. 

"Since my initial conversations with the core team developing One Spark Ventures, we have discussed how to expand the One Spark crowdfunding platform, which provides talented creators seeking idea validation and capital, to better connect top creators with investment by local capital sources," said Chris Carter, president of OSV. "It will be the mission of One Spark Ventures to develop additional opportunities for creators to come to Jacksonville in very targeted events, to be exposed to the capital and other resources available to entrepreneurs, and to provide angel, venture capital and other investors a platform to engage with these startup opportunities, furthering One Spark's core vision of connecting creators to the community and capital."

OSV will organize a supporting network of venture capital, private and angel investors and provide them with high-level, pre-screened access opportunities to the top creators who have applied to participate in the One Spark 2016 Festival. 

Elton Rivas, who has served as the CEO of One Spark, Inc., has tendered his resignation at the request of the board. As such, he will no longer serve in this role or serve on the board and will be pursuing other opportunities. Chris Byers, current One Spark, Inc. chief operating officer will continue to manage the day-to-day activities of the organization working closely with Carter as president of OSV.

"We are excited about the future – about creating a sustainable solution and about making sure that One Spark and Jacksonville remain synonymous with ideas and creativity," said Rummell. 

OSV will carry out its mission through key components: core activities, long-term funding vehicles and supporting networks and partners. 

Core activities
Ensuring the continuation of the One Spark Festival and One Spark, Inc. as the licensed operator of the festival will also be a major objective for OSV.  OSV will maintain a close and collaborative working relationship with One Spark, Inc. and offer support, ideas and strategic input.

Long-term funding vehicles
As the program matures, OSV will evaluate the opportunity to create a traditional venture capital fund to invest in the future development or launch of One Spark creator projects.

Supporting networks and partners
OSV will create an ecosystem to assist One Spark creators in the development and implementation of their ideas.  OSV will seek strategic partnerships, alliances and networks for this mission.  OSV will also form both an Investment Advisory Board, as well as a Technical Advisory Group, comprised of higher education leaders, industry experts and entrepreneurs, to provide guidance and expertise to One Spark creators.

About One Spark Ventures
One Spark Ventures (OSV) is a social purpose corporation whose commitment is to license and leverage the One Spark brand to connect Creators + Community + Capital.  OSV is dedicated to creating a positive impact on society through core activities, such as the One Spark festival, community support and local sponsorships, establishing long-term funding vehicles and developing supporting networks and partners to assist Creators in the development of ideas.

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.

SOURCE One Spark