5 cultural startups that you will hear about
Music, digital art or heritage, they have made a sensational entrance on their markets.
“Sorry, we are not investing in culture”. For too long, that was the investors ‘answer to entrepreneurs from the cultural field. Considered the private sphere of the State or of ultra-specialized firms, the field was judged hardly profitable and its activities hardly “scalable”. Yet, as in many other sectors, the numeric was game-changing and, nowadays, e-commerce, collaborative and big data offer their share of opportunities. The 2016 edition of the Avignon Forum, mini-Davos of culture in France, was an occasion to observe the growing interest for cultural startups. Selection of five of them which distinguished themselves.
It is the winner of the Avignon forum’s best cultural startup award. Thomas Bouhier and Rémi Sico, its founders, created a punk rock band in high school which did not survive the geographical distance between the two friends. So, in 2014, they decided to create Jamshake, which is both a social network and a collaborative platform where musicians can co-compose their music at a distance. The startup is based on a freemium model: users can buy project packs or prefer an unlimited subscription for 20€ a month. This music “Google Doc” already received the support of many renowned artists including the singer M. The founders organized a first 220,000€ fund raising among their entourage and they are looking for 1 million € to finish a second round.
Art Lover Place
“ Le Beau Coin ” (“The fine corner”) of art, as it is called by its founder, Benjamin Buhler, referring to the Leboncoin website. Art Lover Place is the only market place allowing artists to sell their pieces with no intermediary and no commission. Another particularity: there is no selection. Any artist, professional or amateur, can freely put his or her pieces online. Launched last June, the platform raised 51,000€ from business angels and it is looking for 1 million € to start its second round of financing. Its economic model sould be based on an offer dedicated to galleries and on reproductions’ selling. An app will be launched in the next few months.
“The code is the new brush.” “The code is the new brush.” That is the conviction of Abdel Bounane, founder of Bright, the first platform in the world to try to monetize digital art. So far accessible online for free or broadcasted in galleries, these videos and animations created via computer programming should, according to the entrepreneur, find their place in other screen-featuring spaces: big firms’ halls, malls, hotels, shops, restaurants, airports… Like Spotify, Bright set up a fund of sorted pieces available with a subscription of 9 to 299€ pro month and pro screen. Half the revenues is payed back to the artists. The startup, which raised 500K€ from a business angel, also offers to realize customized pieces for brands from the data their gather, as it did with Nike or Twitter.
SoundsGood is a musical selection service for influentials. Its technology allows them to automatically create playlists, to broadcast them on every online-listening platform such as Spotify, Deezer, SoundCloud and Youtube, and to extract the data to measure their impact on the audience. The startup offers record companies to access some of their data and to promote their artists through the influentials, such as Radio Nova, Tracks, My Little Paris or the blogger Valentine. It should grow rapidly in the US.
A sort of Shazam for cultural heritage, OhAhCheck! is a cultural mediation app allowing to flash cultural places to get information on the listed sites. Designed as the first social network for heritage-lovers, it also enables viewers to interact and to fuel by themselves the platform with content. A crowdfunding system was also set, via the Ulule website, for those who wish to donate for heritage conservation.