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Electric Artcube

Electric Artcube
Electric Artcube GmbH
Founded by Mark Gazecki, Felix Bischopink and Dirk Pahre
Founded in 2013
Art Gallery
Located in Munich
Felix and Dirk are University of Mannheim Alumni. Electric Artcube has been active at the StartUp Lounge. Electric Artcube has been MCEI Startup of the Month.

Startup Characteristics

Electric Artcube was founded in June 2013 in Munich’s start-up hot spot WERK1. Their mission is to bridge the gap between hundreds of amazing artists and people who love to express individuality and enjoy unique pieces of art on their walls instead of IKEA-prints. Therefore, they make thousands of original artworks available for online rental and purchase, reduce complexity of the art buying process and take care of concerns like insurance and delivery.

Electric Artcube mostly focuses on online rental, which they see as a potential next trend: “Nowadays, people are renting cars (drive now), apartments (Airbnb) or movies (watchever). We are convinced that original art is next”, says Felix Bischopink, one of the founders of Electric Artcube. Art rental has essential advantages for the customer: it lowers financial risks and the threshold of acquiring an original piece of art. In addition, art rental is also tax friendly for businesses and shifts high front-up capital expenditures to operational costs to increase liquidity. Their art experts have curated a collection which covers a wide range of styles, sizes and prices and therefore allows everybody to find a piece of art that fits his own taste. Currently over 800 pieces of original art by over 50 young and inspiring artists are available for rent and purchase. And the numbers are increasing fast.

Personal Characteristics

Electric Artcube’s founding team consists of Felix Bischopink, Dirk Pahre and Mark Gazecki. Felix and Dirk graduated at the University of Mannheim with diplomas in business administration, though not in the same cohort. Felix inherited his passion for art early as he stems from an art dealer’s family and began collecting art on his own at a relatively young age. While studying, Felix interned at SAP, Nike and Telekom while Dirk interned at SAP as well and also worked as a student assistant at the university’s datacenter. What’s also interesting is that Dirk acquired some of his most important skills before beginning his studies: he worked as a forwarding agent trainee at Lufthansa Cargo AG, where he collected valuable insights in global logistics and supply chain management. Both he and Felix started their professional careers in business consulting companies.

According to their own view, they supplement each other very well: Felix is the creative type and also possesses the required abilities to comprehensively develop ideas for innovating classical business models like the art trade. Dirk on the other hand brings in a wide range of knowledge towards logistics and operational processes, project planning and project realization to support and facilitate the realization of Felix’s ideas.

Business development and challenges

When setting up their business, they followed a lean approach and strived to publish their portfolio online as early as possible. After doing so, they used lots of incoming feedback to improve their offer. By the time their homepage was online, they started their marketing campaign and quickly saw results in first rentals as well as sales. Now they are still concentrating on sales opportunities, public relations and marketing, to spread the idea that you can rent and buy amazing art online at Electric Artcube.

When building their business, they faced two major challenges. On the one hand, they had to convince artists of their new approach, which was quite disruptive to the established functionalities, players and processes of the art market. To do so, they needed a lot of passion and lots of meeting with artists at their studios or exhibitions. On the other hand, they had to convince potential customers that renting art is a great opportunity and an attractive alternative to buying it and investing in art like classic art collectors. Therefore they are continuously searching for multiplicators or news coverage to support their mission and at the same time bring more attention to their featured artists.

The vision of their work is to bring thousands of artworks of great artist to peoples' walls. Electric Artcube wants to be the place, where people find their unique piece of art and get it easily on the walls of their homes and offices. They also want people to take advantage of the renting possibility and thus being able to try an original piece of art in their homes and offices without risk before buying it.

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Sponsors

  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum