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Veerkant are kindly providing access to high resolution pictures and meta data of more than 1000 paintings and artists for the attendees of Startup Weekend Art London.

Veerkant is a modern web application for exploring, experiencing and buying art. The young company was founded in Potsdam by Johannes Hoppe, Lucas Wagner and Tim Borchmann in early 2014. With about 1,000 paintings from more than 150 artists, the platform offers a broad range of contemporary art at a variety of prices. Lucas Wagner talks about the project.

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What is Veerkant all about?

We develop and operate a web application that enables art lovers and enthusiasts to explore, experience and buy original artwork online. We utilize state of the art technology to revolutionize the online art experience.

Which problem do you solve?

To answer that question, we need to take a look at the current state of online art. There are many small online shops, artists present themselves on their websites, galleries sometimes have online portfolios. And there are thousands of offline galleries as well. This makes discovering new and exciting artwork incredibly hard. But a large collection is not enough. That is why we work hard to enable art lovers to experience art online at a whole new level. We want to create an experience, not a random online shop where you just search for stuff you want, buy it and then leave right away. Veerkant aims to be your home of art in the Internet.

We focus on high quality content, both for the photography of our artwork and on the metadata and information about it. It is our goal not only to be the best in showcasing art online, but to educate people and tell them the story behind each painting and its artist. Therefore we have been working on new artist profiles that will be released very

Which customers do you serve?

We focus on first­-time art buyers. People that are young, educated and interested in art but who have not had the chance to learn more about art yet. We strive to give these people who are new in the art world, and of course other art lovers as well, an easy access to buy original pieces and explore their own art taste.

How disruptive is your business? What do you do differently from traditional solutions?

We are not an online shop. We are a well­-curated online gallery, a guide to the art world and place where you can easily explore and experience your taste. We do not only deliver the artwork itself, but the story and emotions that come with art naturally. We bring this experience to the Internet, for a younger and growing audience, using our
modern web app approach and latest technology.

How do you make money: what is your company’s business model and how does it work?

Since we want to offer our art experience to a broad audience, everyone can
visit our online gallery for free and artists can exhibit their artworks with no costs too. We only take a fair, and compared to the industry, very competitive commission fee for each sale we make.

Which channels do you use to advertise?

At the moment, we build up different marketing channels for our gallery. First, we want to target the social media platform users who are interested in art. We also want to create an online art and style magazine to attract an audience
that is not thinking about buying original art yet. With different themed art events and exhibitions, we are going to add to our credibility and make a name in the art world. And last but not least, we use our the art collectors and art galleries in our network to contact people who are likely interested in our exciting pieces.

How did you create/gather your team?

The most important thing was commitment to our vision. The art market is one of the toughest markets to tackle and requires a lot of passion and endurance. We tried to cover all competencies that are required to run a successful art business. But as a startup you never have enough resources to cover all areas, that is why everyone in our team is a fast learner. All our founders are experienced in either business or new technology. Combined with our passion for art, these skills allow us to constantly challenge the status quo of the art market.

What are the top trends you see happening right now?

What I see happening right now is a shift from offline to online businesses. Everything ­ from shoes and furniture to original art is starting to or already selling better on the Internet. Also, I see China as the fastest emerging art market in the world. People should look into that to run a successful business. We aim to expand to Asia as soon
as possible, after we have established a good position in Europe.

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

Luba Elliott