One Spark kicks off this week. And while people with far more money, intelligence and business savvy than I are looking to the five-day festival for the next big thing, I am most excited about meeting the people who came up with the ideas in the first place.
By "plugging" these creators, I'm not saying their projects are going to save the world or anything (actually, one of them might) — or if they're even financially viable. I do know that they and their projects will certainly make it a much more interesting world to live in.
To learn more about the creators and their projects, as well as where you can find them, click on the links below.
Instant Beard Cream
Why it gets my vote: I've often wondered what I'd look like with a Shad Khan-style mustache. This colored shaving cream can make that happen.
Angel Ayala Torres
Why it gets my vote: I love discovering new music and supporting independent artists. I also love how one song can completely change your mood or perspective. This app does all that.
1've Got Your "One Spark" Right Here-Baby!!!
Why it gets my vote: Gibson, who was born with only seven fingers, created her own unique form of artistic expression called "deformance art" that is clever, educational and inspiring.
Barry Maurice Givens
Why it gets my vote: A mobile robotic mixologist that lets me order and pay for drinks with my iPhone—and not worry about ignored by a bartender? Cheers to that! Bonus points for having two of the three Bee Gees' names in his own.
The Guardian Project: Sexual Assault Victim Therapy Dogs
Why it gets my vote: Being able to give a survivor of a sexual assault any sense of security and confidence truly is priceless. Which is exactly why they need funding...
Why it gets my vote: Forget that Jackson and Shawn Fisher are way talented songwriters and performers. The pair are seeking to raise funds and awareness of charity: water, a non-profit bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
I AM JAX
Why it gets my vote: Lozano's public/social art project celebrates the people who make up Jacksonville—even goofballs like me.
Kathryn Pearson Peyton, M.D.
Why it gets my vote:Only a boob wouldn't vote for a project that can improve breast cancer detection.
Why it gets my vote: A school (grades 6-12) that integrates action sports with academics and teaches entrepreneurial skills, sustainability and nutrition is, well, totally awesome.
An Honest Day's Work
Why it gets my vote: If this website had been around before I took a job at The Sharper Image, I wouldn't have wasted two years of my life hawking infrared nose hair trimmers, dancing gorillas and leather massage chairs that cost more than my car.