JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The stage is set. Downtown is decorated. And Jacksonville's One Spark Festival is looking for the next big thing.
"One Spark is an opportunity for creators to come to Jacksonville and put their ideas on display," said Joe Sampson, Director of Field Operations.
Creators can come from four different categories: art, music, science, and technology. Spectators and potential investors come Downtown [List of Venues
], see the talents and ideas presented, then vote on their favorites.
Sampson said, "They can do that through an app
. They can do it on the website
. They can do it at one of the many voting and information kiosks throughout the festival."
Festival-goers decide how a $250,000 crowd fund will be distributed. "And then, you also have the Shad Khan money," he said.
Don't forget about that. Jaguars owner, Shad Khan, is getting into the mix by offering an additional investment of up to one million dollars to the creator who takes the top prize.
The City of Jacksonville has ponied up about $84,000 to make sure the five day festival goes off without a hitch.
"We're definitely providing the operations, providing the manpower, because we put on a lot of big events," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "So, we're supporting them. But they're literally running the show." He went on to say, "I think over time, it could be very successful. They did it in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I think we can do it here."
One Spark covers 26 square blocks of Downtown, about one square mile. And Sampson says this could be the place where the next big idea is born. "You could see the next Facebook or Twitter."
The festival runs Wednesday through Sunday. It's free and open to the public.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has created a map of road closures
for the event, which begins tomorrow, and runs through Sunday.