One Spark

Sweet Kitty has officially been accepted to One Spark!  I am so excited!!  What is One Spark, you ask? One Spark is the largest crowd funding festival in the world, basically, a live version of Kickstarter.  The first One Spark festival was three years ago in Jacksonville, FL.  It is still hosted in Jacksonville, and there is an additional yearly festival in Berlin, Germany.  It is this amazing place where creative people come together, show their ideas and projects, receive immediate market feedback and potentially equity funding, partnerships, and fantastic exposure. 

In order to participate in One Spark, you fill out an online profile.  Check out the Sweet Kitty Profile.  The selection process is based on being chosen by a Venue.  Venues are locations around downtown Jacksonville in the festival area.  Sweet Kitty was lucky enough to be chosen by The Barnett Bank Building.  It is this super cool building built in the 1920’s.  It has been vacant for years, but is slated for an amazing rebirth starting as soon as One Spark is complete.  The space is so perfect, I cannot even tell you.  I’m giddy just thinking about it.

The Barnett Bank Building

The Barnett Bank Building

There are three ways to receive money at One Spark. 

  • Crowd Funding - There is a pot of $350,000 to be divided in a couple ways:
    • A $150,000 crowdfund distributed to creators by attendees’ votes.  Regular people who attend One Spark can vote on projects they personally think are awesome.  It will be my goal to get as many people intrigued by the Sweet Kitty Brand as possible.  For example, if Sweet Kitty receives 5% of the vote, I will get $7,500.  Creator Projects must receive a minimum of 0.1% of the overall vote to qualify for distribution of payment.
    • If you receive the most overall crowd votes, you will receive an additional $15,000 prize for being number one!
    • In addition to the straight percent distribution above there is a winner in each category for the most popular votes.  For every category the top-voted project cash award is $15,000.
    •  Then, there is a special panel of jurors that will vote on the best product in each category.  I do not know who these special mystery people are, but I intend to find out and charm the pants off of them!  The juried award in each category is $15,000.
    • A brand new award this year of $5,000 will be awarded to a creator project based in Jacksonville that is judged to have the biggest potential impact on Jacksonville.  While I do believe that convenient, all natural hair removal will have a big impact on any city I am not putting too much hope in this particular category.  
  • There is also a Top-Contribution Award of $15,000.  Creators can receive contributions from attendees and backers anywhere in the world through a rewards-based system in their One Spark profile. The Creator Project that receives the most individual contributions during the festival through the One Spark site/app wins $15,000.
  • Creators seeking angel investment or venture capital to scale their business can connect with millions in potential capital investments through official One Spark partners and independent investors. $3,500,000 has been pledges by vetted investors.  This program allows for one on one meetings with top tier investors. 

I like money as much as the next guy, but for me One Spark is about the experience.  If I win, I will be so excited, and if I don’t I will still be happy I went on this adventure.  As far as the venture capital money, I have yet to decide to apply.  I think it will be a great experience, but I am still formulating exactly what I will use the money for.  I want to open a production facility, but I am not sure if I am ready for that.  There will be more posts on this as we go along. 

Then there is Shark Tank.  I want to go on Shark Tank.  It is my goal.  It is huge and ridiculous and awesome.  I cannot think of a better way to prepare for Shark Tank than One Spark.  After 5 days of pitching Sweet Kitty to thousands of people, I will be ready for whatever the Sharks throw at me!!

There is so much to do to prepare for One Spark – massive product production, label design, bottle choosing, showcase booth design, uniforms for the Sweet Kitty Kittens, business cards, and 1,000 other things.  I will be documenting the whole process here.  I am excited and stressed and nervous and motivated and happy.  Keep checking the blog for updates!