The Art of Disruption – A Case Study with MyiArts
MyiArts is an online art exhibition marketplace that matches rising artists to art enthusiasts’ tastes. Τhe team joined The Accelerator 2015 cycle to solidify their strategic plan, attract investment, grow their network, and build a sound global business. Let us paint the picture of how MyiArts evolved in the past few months!
What do Modigliani, Wilde, and Schubert have in common? Yes, the obvious answer is that they were all artists; the hidden truth is that they all died penniless. Generally, when we think of artists, we tend to imagine them as free-spirited, creative, and solitary geniuses. Being business-savvy is usually not a part of that mix. So, while artists have the talent to bring their conceptualized visions to life, they usually lack the aptness to fit into a business-oriented mindset. Contradiction alert: As far as aspirations go, apart from rave reviews, artists also want to make a living by selling their creations!
In reality, artists need to think more like entrepreneurs and follow a business strategy that will allow them to market and sell their work effectively. To make it happen, artists should first find ways to bring their work to light and, then, share their creations with the rest of the world.
Recently, Carne Griffiths, a successful English painter, in an interview in The Guardian, described how he managed to become an entrepreneur without losing his artistic edge. “The way I saw it, I could either get a part-time job and paint freely or create a business model that had a more commercial outlook, making some concessions, but allowing me to channel my energy full time into what I love.”
Bridging the gap between creation and profit is exactly what MyiArts, a startup in The Accelerator 2015, aspires to turn into a fine art.
Art entrepreneurs, this one is for you
With MyiArts, artists now have a platform to showcase their creations, connect with other artists, get inspired by art enthusiasts, and be matched to the art enthusiasts most likely to buy their work. Art lovers can speak their creative minds through their own art gallery, reach out to artists, stay informed about relevant events, and acquire art pieces.
“Through MyiArts we’re enabling the right art to end in the hands of the right person”, states co-Founder Dulce Guarda.
Getting down to growing a business
MyiArts is based on a freemium business model. From there, Artists can choose to upgrade to a premium paid account and do targeted advertising. The platform shall also offer analytics in order to help Artists decide on the optimal price to sell their work, find out about the biggest trends on the market, and improve their engagement with their audience.
MyiArts is enhancing the experience and opportunities of art lovers too with a marketplace, through which anyone, from enthusiasts to collectors, may invest in art and take home their favorite pieces. “We aim to have the first tryouts with users by April 2016”, comments Guarda.
Milestones and Achievements: Life is short, but MyiArts is fast
The team at MyiArts is now more confident than ever. As Guarda explains, “We are now getting feedback from our users, so we can improve our Beta Version. We will be adding new features and implementing valuable tools that will engage our users. Soon, we will release our mobile app for iOS, and within one month, we expect to add the Android version.”
The initial founders, artists themselves for whom MyiArts is both a personal passion and an inspiring business venture, have been working intensively on forging partnerships with leading cultural organizations. They have already gained the support and collaboration of the Arte Institute of New York and the mobile art marketplace Art Attack.
Turning points: Drawing Investors, Orchestrating Success
Like all startups, the team at MyiArts is trying to overcome unexpected difficulties that arise along the way.
Asked about the most critical moments on their way to success, Guarda comments “Securing investment can be both a critical moment and a turning point for a startup. For us, the support of the art community has been overwhelming from the very beginning. Investors, on the other hand, were rather different to engage. There is little technology-related innovation in the arts industry, little precedent and know-how around creative startups, and it was a challenge to make investors believe in this as much as we did. The tipping point was showing that “we” were in fact a massive part of the arts community.”
MyiArts is now closing their seed round, having arts-savvy investors on board and finalizing influential partnerships across the globe.
Overcoming Obstacles and Getting to Grow-up with Metavallon
Having joined The Accelerator 2015, the team at MyiArts has managed to overcome specific issues. Ivan Braz, Founder of this art-loving startup, gets very specific on this. “Metavallon empowered us on two important things we really needed to work on.
“First, we gained our focus. We always had a lot of ideas as creative entrepreneurs and we wanted to execute them all at the same time. With the acceleration process, we realized we needed to stay focused on specific things and “attack” the market step-by-step, so that we get fast but lasting results.
The second critical thing we gained from The Accelerator was to build confidence in pitching our company. This took us a lot of time and dedication. Every week, we would pitch numerous times to investors, experienced founders, and other fellow startups. The practice and feedback we received redefined completely both our pitching delivery and our business itself, and it boosted our confidence in engaging any audience.”
Feeling more empowered and with a strong focus on making an impact and accelerating growth, Ivan and Dulce thought it was time to expand their team. In January, MyiArts welcomed Pedro Esteves and Luís Sousa as CTO and CPO respectively. Their experience and expertise in their respective fields –Esteves and Sousa are no strangers to the startup and business scene– has also earned them the coveted title of Co-Founder. With an all-star team, MyiArts is ready to take up any arising challenge and come out a winner!
Planning ahead:The five-year strategy
The team at MyiArts is now working closely with their investors towards realizing a feasible but optimistic five-year plan. Currently, its main focus is growing the community of users on their web (and soon-to-be-launched mobile) platform.
According to Guarda, “In five years, we plan to have reached our goal: be the point of reference in the global arts market with an annual revenue over $25M. Our growth strategy lies on what we do best: business and community development. Already expanding on this, we are building partnerships with key technology companies in the industry, which also believe in the flourishing fine arts future we envision, and with cultural organizations nurturing artists and creation on the ground. Steadily yet enthusiastically, MyiArts is emerging at the intersection of communities and marketplaces in the arts space.”
Good news: the ArtSpotting app is coming!
Just in case you are into arts, and by that we mean all things creative (i.e. architecture, painting, photography), soon you will be able to download the ArtSpotting app by MyiArts and join a creative community that connects users with artists and emerging creatives around the world.
The app will let artists, art enthusiasts, and art curators capture, share content, and express their creative side, so make sure you are part of this art revolution!
We’ve painted the picture of what MyiArts is up to and we’ll be back soon with more interesting updates on the st-artup front. Till then, stand by us!
For more accelerated stories, have a look here:
- Metavallon and Startups Unstoppable in the Spotlight
- Startups in Acceleration – 5 Reasons Why They Are Powerful Investment Assets
- #Metavallonus2015 – The Golden Gates to Global Venturing For The Accelerator 2015 startups