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One Spark

Does exploring Italy and its culture or getting the new iPhone for a birthday sound temping? With Bucketwish.com people can make their own personal wish list to share with others.

Co-founded by Raquel Steffens, Bucketwish is a universal wish list being launched this month, where people can create and share their wishes, goals, experiences, achievements and adventures.

People then can share their Bucketwish with family, friends and the Bucketwish community.

“There are so many experiences and things even friends and family don’t know about, because you rarely talk about those things,” Steffens explains, “unless someone specifically ask you about it.”

People can share their wishes on Bucketwish so friends, family or even businesses from the community can grant the wishes. The concept is similar to the crowd-funding that has created One Spark.

“Bucketwish is an online social network, but I would say the difference between Bucketwish when I created it,” Steffens said, “is I wanted to make sure it was a social network that really had a heart to it and a really good purpose.”

After One Spark, Bucketwish will give its crowd funds to the Jacksonville charity Foster Closet. In turn, the nonprofit will use Bucketwish to post both organizational wishes and highlight the wishes of the foster children it helps.

“They help foster kids and families in the foster system with items and support, while they are in the foster system before they grow out of it,” Steffens explained. “What they do is just huge for some of these kids that really have nothing that go from home to home.”

This will be Bucketwish’s first year at One Spark, but it officially opened on March 3.

“Bucketwish is something that goes along with the American dream,” said Steffens.

“Being an American raised in another country, in the United States, you think about the American dream, the …   More

ONE SPARK

Saturday evening, Jacksonville-native Willie Jackson was the last to take the stage for One Spark’s Speaker Series. With his parents sitting in the audience, Jackson addressed the crowd with his talk “Against the Grain: Unconventional lessons for modern artists.”

An artist, engineer, marketer and writer, Jackson runs support for W3 Total Cache, a Wordpress plug-in. He currently lives in New York, but said he’ll soon be relocating to Boston. He’s advised several best-selling authors, entrepreneurs, consumer goods companies and start-ups.

“It starts with you,” Jackson said. “The journey outward and the journey forward is really a journey inward.”

According to Jackson, everyone has greatness inside of him or her. It’s up to the individual to find it and go after their dreams. “There aren’t any shortcuts,” he warned. “You have to learn the difference between important versus urgent. You need to decide what your non-negotiables are.”

Jackson said it’s important for any dream-seeker to have a little bit of delusion and keep an outlandish viewpoint on what they want to get done. You don’t have to necessarily tell anyone what it is. It’s just important to reach so high that it seems like an insane goal.

“For you to win, some people have to lose,” Jackson told the audience. “That’s the nature of winning – someone has to lose.”

More words of wisdom can be found on Jackson’s blog, “Marketing & Gummi Bears,” at williejackson.com.

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ONE SPARK

Jason, Derek and Adam Pratt are Jacksonville natives who share a similar interest: the power of family and love of Jacksonville. But the Pratt Guys are more than just your average brother trio. They are construction craftsmen who build backyard landscapes.

More specifically, the Pratt Guys specialize in building outdoor wood scapes. They started the business in 2004 building everything from pergolas to backyard decks and decorative patios.

Now they’re collaborating on a One Spark entry and pursuing $197,604 in crowd-funding to finish setting up a headquarters for their business. They’re excited not only about the potential for their project, but also One Spark’s potential to infuse the city they love with excitement.

“We are all about the collaborative effort in Jacksonville,” Jason said, who also works as a public affairs specialist at Mayo Clinic.

The brothers began construction on their showroom and storefront office building in September of 2013 but had to stop due to lack of funding. They need the showroom to act as a workspace as well, allowing them to build the foundations for their signature pergola structures.

The 9,000-square-foot showroom located off Philips Highway would act as a destination to illustrate what the Pratt Guys do, build livable backyard landscapes where people “enjoy earth,” which is also their primary hashtag for social media.

Each of the Pratt brothers possesses an important skill that brought Pratt Guys to life. Jason, a brand consultant, markets the business. Derek and Adam are, respectively, the construction management and planning experts who build the landscapes.

“We set the bar so high for not just quality, not just creativity, but customer service,” Jason said.

Pergolas are the signature feature-build of the Pratt Guys. What is a pergola? Pergolas are garden arbors with slanted posts that allow for a mixture of both sunshine and shade. The Pratt Guys feel that pergolas are the best way to …   More

One Spark

The air is crisp and cool as passers-by stroll down the sidewalk. Lights twinkle off the saxophone whose beats have the people dancing and swaying to the rhythm. It’s a live music scene. Jazz from the past has returned and everyone around is loving it.

The setting almost resembles a dream.

A dream, that is, for Erika White and her two partners, Elisha Parris and Robin Williams. The trio of corporate officers for the Jacksonville-based record company, Parriscope Entertainment Inc., is seeking to expand and promote the dying genre of historic jazz music through performance, education and preservation. As if that isn’t enough the group wants to boost awareness and pride in the contributions that African-Americans have made and will continue to make to jazz.

“We just want to put out what we have in our hearts and our passion for music out there for people to embrace,” White said.

White and her partners have taken the chance to make their dream real by signing up for the crowd-funded festival, One Spark. The group attempted to sign up the first year, but missed the deadline and has been eagerly waiting to sign up she explained.

”We have a passion for the realness of music, and love presenting it to the community,” White said. “We want to bring out the live elements.”

The team has named its project “Keeping Live Music Alive”on the One Spark roster is seeking funding of $25,000. With that money, the three said they will preserve and distribute historical jazz. The funds are intended to assist with studio growth and community awareness.

“We want the community to know we are here,” White said.

The trio has already begun establishing its musical credibility with Parriscope Entertainment, which they started in 2006 at Parris’ home. Today the business is located at its third — and hopefully final — location off San Juan Avenue, White said.

The company has signed several musicians in the Jacksonville area. Between the two …   More

ONE SPARK

Most people in Northeast Florida know the name Al Letson. A poet, playwright performer, host of NPR’s “State of the Re:Union” and local celebrity, Letson’s seizing the One Spark opportunity to garner support of The Wall. Also known as entry #491, The Wall is a large-scale, multi-tablet installation aimed at encouraging people to participate, share, create and explore media in a public space.

“This experience has been a bit overwhelming, but I just love the energy that’s around,” admits Bret Lawrence, co-creator of The Wall. “We’ve met a lot of people interested in collaborating with us.”

The Wall is located adjacent to MOCA’s lobby. The display features flat screen TV’s with a video of Letson explaining the project running on a loop. Entry #491 hopes to gather support from One Spark revelers to reach their initial financial goal of $40,000.

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ONE SPARK

Easily the most colorful One Spark entry, Elestial Sound’s mobile stage is located on the outskirts of Hemming Plaza. A structure completely covered in various knit afghans, the stage has proven a main attraction by featuring musical acts like The Dewars, Lady Dug and Levek.

“We had no idea what we were getting into,” admits Davis Hart, co-founder of Elestial Sound, a Gainesville-based record label focused on creativity and sustainability. “We didn’t start preparing for this until two weeks ago.”

The record label's mission is to garner support to purchase and renovate new headquarters to be located in Gainesville. The company’s colorful afghan stage is an extension of the independent record label and has previously traveled to events like SXSW.

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ONE SPARK

For Salvaged Ember founder Jacob Jones, what started as one side project has turned into a side business.

It all began on the patio of Jones’ home in Green Cove Springs when he decided to construct a wooden table. When Jones’ wife, Kimberly, proudly posted a Facebook photo of her new table people began to notice – and call Jones to build them similar tables.

That’s when Salvaged Ember was officially born. Now the business has grown into a one that will be featured in One Spark as a creator in April. While the business was new for Jones, construction wasn’t.

“I grew up around my father and grandfather building stuff,” Jones said of how he decided to start building as a hobby.

After that first table for his wife, Jones began working on pieces for other people. Since the transition to a business last spring, Jones has used salvaged pallets and other salvaged materials to build tables, cabinets, headboards and shelving units, among other things. Customers can share their desires and ideas with Jones and he will design something based on their specifics.

Jones said he tries to use salvaged materials and be as green as possible, as long as he can find the materials he needs. He finds the pallets and other materials through Craigslist and connections the couple have made through networking with business contacts.

With an increasing customer base, Jones has enlisted help from his wife, Kimberly,

to handle the business side, handle orders and help with staining and finishing the projects. There are two other people involved in the project, Josh Puckett and Justin Thompson, who help Jones keep up with orders. Thompson’s wife, Carla, also helps the team to finish projects when needed.

Jones currently spends 15 to 20 hours per week building. He works three or four nights a week after work and on the weekends.

“We have a system now,” said Kimberly. “It is busy but it’s bearable.”

As a creator in the Innovation category …   More

ONE SPARK

Four fledgling startups identified through the One Spark festival have entered KYN, a new accelerator program, for a 16-week crash course in how to take their concepts to a bigger stage.

Stache Investments Corp., started by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Klan, has put in $1 million to help One Spark launch KYN.

The companies involved in KYN are Original Fuzz, which manufactures padded guitar bags and guitar straps modeled on Peruvian belts; Pure Treats, focused on introducing vegetables into foods kids love; Floppy Entertainment, which designs mobile games; and Hatchware, which sets up digitized menus for restaurants to reach diners through computers and mobile devices.

“This is a natural outgrowth of what we hoped to achieve with the inaugural One Spark festival, and the next step in supporting great startups in Jacksonville,” KYN cofounder and One Spark cofounder Elton Rivas said in a statement.   More

ONE SPARK

Wanda Patterson and Octavius Davis hope their positive attitudes bode well for them at this year’s One Spark by winning crowd-funded support for an online radio station that boasts positivity right in its call letters.

They are the Jacksonville co-owners of WPOD.com, an online radio station whose call letters follows those of traditional radio stations by beginning with a “W” and ending with three other letters. The “POD” stands for positivity on demand.

The company originated in 2012 because Patterson and Davis were disappointed with the quality of local radio.

WPOD is an internet radio station that aims to serve Jacksonville with inspirational and contemporary Christian music. The station is different from Pandora and Spotify, which allows users to select the type of music they want to hear. Unlike on-air stations, it has no disc jockeys.

WPOD is attempting to merge the best of traditional radio and the Internet. Patterson said traditional radio is extremely costly, but Internet radio is much more cost efficient. She also said that digital media is the wave of the future.

“We’ve fused contemporary, inspirational, gospel and R&B that’s clean and positive,” Patterson said. “We’re excited for Jacksonville to tune into POD FM so they can experience good music.”

Davis heard about One Spark in 2013, and he knew he had to participate this year as a creator for WPOD. The pair hope to raise $300,000 to help expand their enterprise, which includes funding for several positions.

“One Spark will allow us to position ourselves to receive more capital for the company,” Davis said. “POD FM is one of three stations that we plan to launch. We want to launch a sports radio station that features historically black colleges and universities, a station for teenagers and young adults which will feature positive hip hop, R&B and Christian music.”

Davis said he is hopeful to win at One Spark and have the opportunity to be funded by …   More

ONE SPARK

A Fernandina Beach-based filmmaker and educator, David Montgomery is hoping to drum up support of his One Spark entry, “Propagating.”

“This experience has given me a lot of confidence,” Montgomery admits from his post at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s lobby. “I’ve connected with a few people who have genuine interest in what I’m doing.”

Montgomery’s entry explores the iteration of Internet technology, media landscapes and the filming of patterns occurring in nature. It also expands on a previous work by Montgomery titled “Dandelion Free Culture,” a series of experimental animated loops focused on the structure of the dandelion.   More

 
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