Huge Crowdfunding Festival: One Spark Kicks Off In Jacksonville Next Week

OneSpark,Florida startup,startup events,crowdfunding,Elton RivasThe first OneSpark festival will kick off next Wednesday night in Jacksonville Florida, and it’s going to be huge. The festivities kick off at 6pm at Hemming Plaza with an opening ceremony.

The kickoff event will feature party band The Sunbears, free food, drinks and plenty of opportunity to network with creators from all over the world.

Once the event kicks off Jacksonville will turn into one huge in person crowdfunding festival from Wednesday (April 17th) through Sunday (April 21st).

What is a “crowdfunding festival”,

Well think SXSW music and SXSW interactive meet in Jacksonville Florida, where the weather looks to be perfect. Then add creators who’ve created something in either the arts, music, science or technology. Now think Kickstarter and taking those project creators and bringing them into the real world.

This is the first festival of it’s kind. Creators will be staged in venues throughout downtown Jacksonville where attendees will be able to see their creations, ask questions, hear pitches and then decide if they want to crowdfund the creator in person. Talk about eliminating the risks of online crowdfunding.

Event organizer Elton Rivas and the OneSpark committee have wrapped the crowdfunding concept up into a huge event that has three main focus areas:

The creator zone: This is where you can go from venue to venue and see all of the creators and their creations, think gallery hop with some ultra cool new ideas and creativity overflowing like a volcano.

Pitch Decks And Stages: You’ll be able to hear live pitches and keynote speakers throughout the five day festival in these areas.

Entertainment District: here OneSpark will showcase all of what Jacksonville has to offer in the entertainment realm. Party with creators, VIPs, A-listers and jam out to some of the best musical offerings in Jacksonville.

Learn more about OneSpark at

Stay up to date with our OneSpark coverage here.

58% Interested In Startup Equity Investments

Startups,Startup Investing, crowdfunding,funding,seedinvestGuest post by Andrea with

A new study conducted by EarlyIQ, the Crowdfund Professional Association (SeedInvest sits on the Executive Committee) and Crowdfund Capital Advisors has just been released, bringing with it some very encouraging statistics. The first national study of its kind, the study was an online survey of 480 respondents nationwide (with a minimum of $25K annual income), and found that 58% of all respondents indicated a high interest in early stage equity investment.

This figure was obtained by the fact that when asked to indicate their level of interest in equity crowdfunding on a scale of 1 to 10, 58% were in the range of 7 to 10. 22% fell into the 1 to 4 category, which meant little or no intent, 20% chose 5-6, which meant they were unsure. The survey also found that investors were likely to make two to three investments annually, giving on average slightly under $2,000 towards each investment. SeedInvest advisor Jason Best remarked, “The passage of the JOBS Act was a key milestone for democratizing capital in the US. This research demonstrates the broad appeal in middle-America and we believe demonstrates a mandate rollout of equity crowdfunding in the US.”

While we are excited about the public’s enthusiasm towards crowdfunding, perhaps the most important fact to consider from this study is that investment intent quadruples overall when a neutral third party provides review of the management team. When respondents who were likely to invest and had an annual income of over $75,000 were presented with a company of which they had no prior knowledge, 68% said they would invest only with third party information, with a further 16% saying they would invest even if there was third party information of a similar company but none of the target company itself.

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89 Year Old Grandma Reaches Her Kickstarter Goal

Pearl Malkin,Happy Canes, Kickstarter,startups

89 Year Old Pearl Malkin creating one of her “Happy Canes” (photo: CNN)

Kickstarter, the most popular crowdfunding platform in the world, saw $319 million dollars pledged for a wide variety of projects last year. With Kickstarter anyone can get their project funded.

Even 89 year old Pearl Malkin, has successfully had a kickstarter project funded. Her project called “Happy Canes” raised $3,606 from 154 backers, BusinessInsider reported.

While Malkin is a vibrant woman at 89, at one point she was stricken with vertigo which required her to use a cane. She felt that traditional canes were drab and boring and livened her cane up with flowers that she glued to the cane herself.

She decided she would make a go of these canes for others and with the help of her grandson, put on a Kickstarter campaign. “I want to be an example to young and old people that age shouldn’t be a barrier for what you want to do in life,” she said.

Here’s the original video from CNN:

OffBeatr is Kickstarter for Porn, more here

Planning On Crowdfunding Your Startup? DC Startup CrowdCheck Has You Covered [video][sxsw]

Crowdcheck,DC startup,crowdfunding,startup,startup interview,sxsw,sxswiCrowdfunding is about to take the world by storm. With the passage of the JOBSact last year, companies will soon be able to crowdfund early stage investment rounds up to $1 million dollars, from anyone with a pulse and an internet connection.

This will make it really easy for early stage investors to get into some great startups, as well as the person down the street who wants to try out investing in startups.

Crowdfunding will also create a huge market for fraud . Last month we reported on Baltimore startup Asurvest, which will provide insurance to those looking to crowdfund startups.

At SXSW we discovered Washington DC startup CrowdCheck. This company plans to do the due diligence for startups that want to be transparent and offer as much information as possible to potential investors. Startups that utilize CrowdCheck’s services will look more appealing to investors because all of the leg work will have been done already.

CrowdCheck will offer a “badge” or “seal” for startups that use their service. This seal will show that the startup has been through the CrowdCheck process and then link to their CrowdCheck portfolio which will have the information that investors want to know, and that most angel investors look for in traditional angel and seed rounds.

Crowdfunding investors will have a better piece of mind about the startups that use CrowdCheck and they will know they aren’t taking part in a fraudulent transaction.

The team behind CrowdCheck has both legal, and securities backgrounds that make them well versed in all kinds of investment deals. Startups that use CrowdCheck will not only have an advantage while crowdfunding, but should they decide to go for a more traditional angel or seed round, most of the paperwork will have already been done.

Check out our interview video below and for more information visit

Looking for more on Crowdfunding click here

We’ve got more startup coverage from SXSW than any other site, click here

DC Startup CrowdCusp Making The Best Of Things Before SEC Regulations

Crowdcusp,crowdfunding,startup,startup interview, dc startupCrowdfunding is a hot topic these days. Hundreds of crowdfunding startups have surfaced over the last few months, patiently waiting as the Securities and Exchange Commission takes their sweet time figuring out regulations.

While crowdfunding is nothing new, the JOBSAct passed last year which will allow people to crowdfund startups for an equity stake without the normal regulations around venture capital and angel investing. Startups will be able to use this form of crowdfunding as a vehicle for up to $1 million dollars in funding, just as soon as the SEC defines the regulations.

This waiting period has put some crowdfunding startups on ice, while others have found ways around regulations without allowing startups to actually give up equity. In some cases prize packs, swag, and other gifts are donated by the company in exchange for someone’s backing. Other times it’s just about feel good donations.

CrowdCusp is a Washington DC based crowdfunding startup that has already started crowdfunding, sans the equity stake.

We got a chance to talk to the team behind CrowdCusp. Check out the interview below.

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Crowdfunding Insurance Coming By Way Of Baltimore Startup Asurvest

Asurvest, Baltimore startups, startup, crowdfundingClarence Wooten, a Baltimore native,who was the co-founder of ImageCafe, a startup sold during the dot com boom to Network Solutions/Verisign for $23 million, has backed a new startup called Asurvest in Baltimore. While Wooten has moved out west to Silicon Valley, he’s betting on a hometown company that plans on offering insurance to people investing via crowdfunding sites.

Crowdfunding legislation was passed last year, however it’s not expected to fully roll out nationally until early 2014, while the SEC establishes guidelines for the vehicle that will allow anyone to help back startups through their first million.

Asurvest was founded last month. They will provide insurance for private and professional investors using sites like Kickstarter, Fundable and Gofunding, according to bmoremedia

“These groups are highly visible. They attract investors. They have strong business models,” Asurvest CEO Luke Cooper told bmore . “We are in an incremental improvement mode,”.

Asurvest is looking to provide assurance for those investing even $1500 – $2000.

Crowdfunding for startups works much like it does for supporting artists and products on the popular Kickstarter platform which saw $319 million dollars pledged last year.

Federal regulators are still sorting out how crowdfunding will work. After that, it will be turned over to state governments. Cooper is currently working with the state of Maine to draft legislation. After that they will move on to Maryland and expand where they see the most need.

Source: bmoremedia

Be sure to check out the crowdfunding panel at the largest startup conference in the US, The Startup Conference


Jaguars Support First Ever Crowdfunding Festival One Spark April 17-21

Onespark,Florida statups,shad khan,Jacksonville startup,crowdfunding festival

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan (known for his mustache) has pledged up to $1 million dollars at the first crowdfunding festival One Spark (photo:

An amazing thing is happening in Jacksonville, Florida April 12-21 2013. The entire downtown part of the city is being transformed into One Spark, the first ever of it’s kind, gigantic crowdfunding festival.

One of the event’s co-founder and Executive Director Elton Rivas told “Imagine taking crowdfunding offline”.  He went onto describe how venues across the downtown area will be set up to showcase the latest in startups, technology, products and crowdfunding goods. At these showcases the creators and founders can show off their wares and encourage people to crowdfund their project right there in person.

While the concept is great in it’s own right, I mean imagine being able to touch the products on Kickstarter, there’s more to OneSpark than that.

On Tuesday night when we first talked to Rivas there was a minimum fund of $250,000 already in place to help crowdfund some of the project that will be showing off at OneSpark. It was revealed on Wednesday that Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan has pledged up to $1 million dollars through his investment arm STACHE Investments Corp. to help fund these projects.

“One Spark will attract and celebrate creativity in a variety of fields including science, technology, engineering and the arts, all of which are areas of great personal interest,” said Khan. “Jacksonville is the perfect host for this festival and I believe One Spark has the potential to inspire some really big thinking from the brightest minds in the area and beyond.”

“One Spark started with the belief that game-changers emerge from dorm rooms, garages and small studios – where great ideas develop. One Spark 2013 will be the point when creators of all kinds converge in our community, and when people from far and wide join together to decide on the next big thing(s). The heart of our city will be the place to get involved, be inspired, connect and collaborate,” said Rivas.

Some facts about One Spark:

— Open to all: Anyone can be a creator; One Spark venues can be spaces nearly anywhere in the urban core.

— Grassroots and independent: One Spark is built on the premise that the next great creation will likely come from a garage, small studio or dorm room. Creators will pair up with venues, independently, on the One Spark website. The organization does not select any of the creators or venues that make up the event.

— Empowered public: The $250,000 One Spark fund will be distributed based on public vote; the public can also contribute directly to entrants in any amount.

— Five packed days: During the actual event, there will be creator showcases, speakers, culinary experiences, music and what we like to call “spectacles.”

— Win votes and snag a slice of the $250,000 guaranteed crowd-fund. Crowd-fund monies will be distributed by popular vote. For example, if you receive 10 percent of the vote, you would receive 10 percent of the fund, or $25,000.

— STACHE Investments Corp: Formed by Shad Khan in 2012, the investment company has a component that focuses on entrepreneurial ventures in Northeast Florida and will be on the ground looking for investment opportunities during the five days of One Spark.

For more on OneSpark click here

Now that’s four months of great startup events including the biggest startup conference in the U.S. The Startup Conerence next month!

CES 2013: Inventor Jamie Siminoff Creates Christie Street, Crowdfunding For Inventors, VIDEO

ChristieStreet,California startup,startup,startup interview, CES 2013When inventor Jamie Siminoff turned to Kickstarter for his latest invention he started realizing how flawed the Kickstarter model really was for inventors creating great products. Often times he noticed that inventors weren’t thinking the entire process through.

In an interview at CES 2013 with Siminoff told us that inventors sometimes go to Kickstarter with a great idea and a funding goal that barely covers cost. Their ideas get quickly validated by folks who oversubscribe on their project, but at the end of the day they go in the hole by netting down less than it costs to even make a product.

Other inventors may take a prototype product to Kickstarter that they had made at one factory but don’t take into consideration the factories that they may actually use when trying t scale a product up.

That’s why he created ChristieStreet, a crowdfunding site that is about inventors and their products. ChristieStreet uses a familiar crowdsourcing model once projects go live, however the team at ChristieStreet vets out the product answering questions like those above. Siminoff has real discussions with inventors before letting their projects go live, and even offers advice to young entrepreneurs with a great idea, on how to make the idea even greater and less costly.

To that end there are currently just three projects on ChristieStreet and each one has it’s own “cool” and “wow” factor.  Right now there’s a wireless doorbell with camera that allows the user to view who’s at the door on their smartphone. They also have a bluetooth product that’s a headset with cool shapes like a skull and crossbones. The final project right now is a Powerbag type backpack on steroids complete with the capability of charging three devices at once, one of them being a laptop.

Siminoff says anyone with an actual invention can apply to ChristieStreet. In fact, in the video interview below he says how easy it is to get the product submitted and looked at. Siminoff and his team have seen their share of winners but also their share of products that most likely won’t make it out of the lab.

Check out our video interview from CES 2013 below.

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Interview: is the Marketplace for Products Successful in Crowdfunding

Outgrow-me-logo is one of those startups that we came across and I immediately thought to myself.  They are on to something.  What is  Are you familiar with kickstarter or indiegogo – have you heard of projects that have Have you ever wondered what happened to that kickstarter or indiegogo project that you heard about weeks or months ago?  Where did              project end up?  Is it possible to find the High Roller Adult Big Wheel or the Pebble after the hype has died down?  What option follows a successful crowdfunding campaign?

Those questions are finally being answered with  It’s the solution that was just waiting to be created.  We talked to Sam Fellig the founder of outgrow me read below.


What is

“ is an online marketplace for successfully crowdfunded projects.”

In layman’s terms, how does it work?

“ picks up where the crowdfunding platforms leave off. It’s a marketplace for successfully crowdfunded projects from all over the web. offers product designers the ability to further grow their brand by marketing their products to a growing community of shoppers that support innovation, creativity, and small businesses. On the flip side, offers shoppers a unique shopping experience filled with highly innovative and creative products supported by the online community.”

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