One Spark, the world’s first crowdfunding festival, is in full swing here in Jacksonville, and the city is abuzz with undeniable energy. Hundreds of entrepreneurs and innovators have taken over the streets of downtown to display their ideas in hopes of receiving funding from One Spark and private investors alike.
I had the pleasure of being there for opening night and plan on going back again this weekend. From ice cream made with collard greens (it was delish!) to 3D printers, local artists and social movements, it was inspiring to see all of the creativity this city has to offer.
Because Reputation Ink is a startup too, we wanted to share some advice with fellow entrepreneurs:
On teambuilding: Shad Khan, owner of our beloved, yet troubled Jacksonville Jaguars, advises, “It’s important to have the right chemistry on any team, whether it’s pro football or auto parts. If you don’t have that, you obviously have a much harder road ahead.” Be selective in who you add to your team. An impressive resume isn’t enough. Passion and personality are also required to go the distance.
On funding: Rogers Towers attorney Stephen Kelly often works with startups in his practice. When it comes to accepting funding, he advises, “Figure out if it’s a good fit for you and if the offer is coming at the right time.” It’s tempting to just take the money no matter where it comes from, but with that money, there are strings that need to be carefully considered before entering into a relationship with investors. If things sound too good to be true, the catch may not be worth the cash.
On staying power: One Spark cofounder Elton Rivas shares the one essential ingredient for success as an entrepreneur: “Commitment.” It’s easy to commit when things are going well, but you have to be mentally prepared for the cyclical nature of the business. There will be storms. How you react to them is THE determining factor of your fate.
On cash flow: Steve Jobs, who needs no introduction, is known for saying, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” But Sara Rotman, founder of ad agency MODCo puts a more practical spin on that same idea. “Only have enough cash on hand to barely survive; never so much that you are comfortable. It's important to stay scared in the beginning.” Comfortable is the antithesis of hungry. This doesn’t mean you have to physically starve, just don’t lose the motivation to move your business to the next level.
We wish the “Creators” at One Spark well, and can’t wait to see how far they take their ideas.
Have you made it out to One Spark yet? Visit beonespark.com to view the all the entries, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your favorites.