Art Challenge: Disrupting the Arts in 24 hours

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Friday Night: Preparing for the pitches. Image Credit to Andrew Crowe at Brainfloat

This weekend I organised Art Challenge – the ART x TECH hackathon, which saw art professionals, entrepreneurs, designers and developers join forces to build an arttech business from scratch in 24 hours.

The event kicked off with an inspirational talk by Theodora Clarke from Russian Art and Culture, who gave budding entrepreneurs tips on how to get taken seriously when it’s just you, your laptop and a one-month old blog. Next, participants had 60 seconds to pitch their business ideas, responding to one of the partner challenges or looking at improving how we fund, make, share and enjoy art and culture. Teams then formed around the most popular ideas.

Ideas finding teams. Image Credit: Andrew Crowe at Brainfloat

Saturday morning saw the teams receive coaching from art entrepreneurs including Annika Erikson from Articheck, Marzia Niccolai from Google Cultural Institute, Jenny Judova from ArtMapLondon, Theodora Clarke from Russian Art and Culture and Conrad Carvalho from Oaktree & Tiger Gallery.

Jenny Judova coaching Creative Legacy

After a few more hours of frantic customer validation, powerpoint wizardry and business plan juggling the teams were ready to present their projects to the judges at 5pm. The judging panel consisted of Jonas Almgren from Artfinder, Bernadine Brocker from Vastari, Ashley Wong from Sedition, David Zokhrabyan from Gitoon, Mark Westall from FAD Magazine and Katy Beale from Caper.

In total, there were 8 teams that pitched in the hope of winning one of three prizes: giftcards for Sedition artworks, tickets to BigBangData exhibition and a consultation with Vincent Dignan’s growth hacking agency Magnific.

Enough text, let’s get to the winners:

Bernadine Brocker with Benefactr. Image Credit: Daniel Morgan

Winner of Magnific growth hacking consultation: Benefactr

Benfactr’s flavour of crowd funding allows you to become a Benefactor to an artist who you admire. The app encourages users to part with a small monthly subscription £1-£5 in return for benefits. These could include exclusive access to private Instagram, Twitter and other social feeds; digital content produced by the artist (wallpapers etc.) and prioritised access to artwork for sale or loan. More details in DanLand’s post.

Winner of BigBangData exhibition tickets: Eyetopia

Eyetopia aims to use mobile gaming to engage the public with hidden treasures in museums. Art lovers can fill virtual spaces with their favourite artworks and invite other gamers to visit and rate them.

Winner of Sedition digital artworks: Artbox

Artbox offers a monthly subscription service for art lovers. Each subscriber will receive a monthly artbox with an artwork and will be part of an exclusive community with access to special events and workshops.

Team Artbox with Ashley Wong from Sedition. Image Credit: Daniel Morgan

Below is a recap of the other presentations.

Art Drifters

Art Drifters curates a multilingual programme of talks, tours and events in South London with the aim of offering an alternative way to experience London through art as well as supporting artists and independent trade.


ArtSpot is a new way of introducing people to art. The app provides an intuitive art browsing experience, tailoring your feed according to your taste and allowing you to connect with artists and galleries directly. It aims to encourage new art buyers who may be intimidated by traditional art galleries and the impersonal online websites.

AnySpace: Art

AnySpace: Art aims to connect artists with interesting spaces to showcase their work. An ‘AirBnB for artists at large’, this project offers a platform to connect emerging and mid-tier artists with empty or under-utilized real estate within a pricing model that works for all parties.


Vizai is an app that creates an accessible, fast and interactive way of helping people to learn more about modern and contemporary art exhibited in London.

Creative Legacy

Creative Legacy is a cloud based catalog and archival system for individual artists interested in passing on their legacy after they die.

Thanks to all who came, pitched and participated. Another shoutout to our sponsors Artfinder, Sedition, Magnific and VitaCoco without whom this would not have been possible.

Stay tuned for future events around the intersection of art, technology and entrepreneurship. If you want to suggest a speaker/event or just to say hello drop me a line at hello at culturate dot io.

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