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Marco De Sentis is the CEO and Founder of ArtGuru, an innovative museum guide solution.


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Cristian Civera, CTO, will be available to mentor attendees at the Startup Weekend Art London, on October 3-5. Check him out on twitter.


What is ArtGuru?

ArtGuru is a new generation audio guide for museums, with image recognition and artificial intelligence. We provide added value to museums thanks to our analytics and marketing systems


Finally a solution to upgrade museum guides?

Modern audio guide systems aren’t modern at all: they simply aren’t capable of providing the users an experience even close to what we’ve used today with our devices. At the same time, from the museum point of view, they’re expensive to purchase, to maintain and keep up to date.

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Who are you selling ArtGuru to?

Although the ultimate consumers are the users & art lovers, we primary talk to museums willing to jump onto our platform.


How do you work with museums?

ArtGuru is easy & quick to set up, the image recognition allows us to work without needing any infrastructure provided by the museums. Once we sign a deal, the guide is usually ready within a week, and thanks to our online CMS, museums are for the very first time able to modify and maintain the content themselves directly.

And you know what? All the process is surprisingly easy & straightforward: if you want your ArtGuru, just go to http://artguru.me, signup and your tailored audio guide will be ready on the store in a week. Just a quick example: a museum in Milan signed up to ArtGuru on the 5th of September; they had a “Chagall & The Bible” exhibition starting on 17th September. Of course their ArtGuru was ready & running for the opening day. Visitors are using it right now, and the museum is making revenues out of it. Could you imagine doing this, so quickly, with a traditional audio guide system?


You seem to be using pretty advanced technology

Image recognition is a science still in its initial stage, so there are a few algorithms and techniques which are very well known. We kept and combined some of them in order to build a reliable system. Plus, we ported it into your phone, it runs smoothly and it doesn’t require any active internet connection.


What brought the ArtGuru’s team together?

Tech & mathematical skills, love for art and a number of connections into the art world

The founders have been friends for a long time, and have worked together in a number of projects. We choose people who share with us the passion for technology and arts.

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What are the biggest changes in the museum world?

Many museums are starting using social media not only to promote their activities, but also to integrate them and to cooperate with each other. There are many “social events” that arise each week, almost spontaneously: all they need is a hashtag, such as #askacurator or #museumweek, and you see a number of museums, belonging to different countries, interacting among each other, with artists and art lovers.


What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid to fail, failing is learning, and learning is the key to succeed.


What’s ArtGuru mission?

We want to create a new kind of comprehensive experience for ArtGuru users, that would go beyond the boundaries of a specific museum and adapt to the users’ tastes. We’ve already implemented some key elements in ArtGuru, and further updates will be available in the coming weeks.

With ArtGuru we want to enhance how people interact with the art in museums, and we’re also opening a channel to let the museums reach their visitors. This, we believe, is of great interest and value to museums. A little revolution in terms of interaction between the museum and the art lovers and, at the end of the day, a brand new way to promote art.

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Inspired? We look forward to seeing you at the Startup Weekend Art London in October!

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Elise Korolev