Synergy it’s the one “startupy” word I absolutely hate to use but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) it continued to come up all last week in Jacksonville Florida for OneSpark, the World’s Crowdfunding Festival. The crazy event, which ran from Wednesday through Sunday,saw over 235,000 attendees. Let’s let that soak in for a second, a sophomore event that spurred because three entrepreneurs just had an idea over beers, saw 235,000 attendees. Yes it’s a must attend event for 2015.
OneSpark has spurred some interesting partnerships. For instance, the way I ended up here at Techfaster from my previous new media exit all happened as a result of a chance meeting between Charleston’s now Innolabs Executive Director, Rob Street, my managing editor Drew Thompson and myself. What started as a mentoring relationship ended up with me becoming the majority equity holder and the Executive Editor six months later.
FlipOurClass and WeVue
Another great partnership is in the works involving a local Jacksonville edtech, crowdsourcing company and a Tampa Bay video startup, that’s already seen some great traction.
Flipourclass has a new approach to helping teachers get what otherwise would be capital projects involving technology funded,by vote. Flipourclass has donors on board and they are releasing $1000 microgrants to teachers who need technology in the classroom, all done by crowd vote, not crowdfund. Founder DeWitt Robinson, a hard nosed, athletic history teacher at one of Jacksonville’s, hardest high schools, often broke down when telling his story. Robinson had performed a basketball free throw challenge back in September to raise awareness for his technology needs in the classroom. By the end of the 10 hour free throw marathon, Robinson had forged a partnership and now friendship with a Jacksonville business man and his wife, who donated over 20 chromebooks and an interactive projector to Robinson’s class.
Taylor Wallace, the co-founder of WeVue, a Tampa Bay Wave accelerator company, told us on Thursday “We wanted to come out to Jax from Tampa and see what OneSpark was all about and how we could help each other across the state”. That wasn’t just lip service.
Tampa Bay serial entrepreneur and angel investor Joy Randels, who also serves as a tech juror with me during OneSpark, found out that Robinson really needed some help on the tech side. He wanted to get some help developing his app, and perhaps even helping teach some of his high school students how to build the app themselves. This was on Saturday.
Randels immediately went to Wallace and his team at WeVue who offered to not just help Robinson with the technical aspects of FlipOurClass, but they agreed to come from Tampa and spend a weekend giving Robinson and some of his students workshops on design, coding and building an app. They also said they were going to do this all on their own dime.
Wallace saw how passionate and serious Robinson was about Flipourclass,when he pitched in the technology juror finals on Sunday afternoon.
LineVent and Yubixi
Yubixi founder Scott Hooks and LineVent founder Joe Ryan noticed something about each other throughout the OneSpark festival. They were both out in the crowd, talking, meeting people and hustling for their companies.
LineVent is a new app that gives discounts to patrons at bars, restaurants and nightclubs through a crowdsourced like model. When XX people say yes they’ll use the special, the special is activated and redemption is recorded at the venue.
Yubixi is the personal, interest network helping to create new friendships by finding nearby people using a self curated interest graph rather than relying on another social network.
Both apps have been released in the app store. Both companies are looking to spur user acquisition. After becoming friends, Hooks and Ryan decided that they were going to co-sponsor events on college campuses encouraging people to download and use both apps. Yubixi will function as a great ice breaker in environments like that while LineVent will get people engaged with their discounts.
Were you a OneSpark Creator, do you have a partnership story to tell, send us an email at email@example.com