MediaFutures is in the middle of the Open Call for the second round of the programme, which starts in April. A good time to reflect on why art and technology, artists and entrepreneurs should cooperate. For those of you who are already in the starting blocks with your ideas, but are still looking for a project partner from the startup or the artistic field, we have a few tips on how to start a collaboration. 

Are you a startup or an artist from the media field, working with data?
Are you willing to make data exploration both entertaining and informative?

Then this blog post might be perfect for you.

The MediaFutures support programme is looking for artists and startups eager to reshape the media value chain through innovative, inclusive and participatory applications of data and user-generated content. With the MediaFutures Track “Startups meet Artists” we even dedicated one of the programme sections to the collaboration of the two groups.

Why do we believe in the added value of a collaboration between startups and artists?

Art thrives on emotion and creativity, two aspects that are not associated with technology in the first place. So working with startups is definitely an added value for artists; they are taken into the technological world, provided with important knowledge and, primarily, they will be inspired. Moreover, digital transformation is currently not only rapidly changing society, but above all also the world of art and artists.

And here is another practical example: Artists have access to very different and individual audiences. Be it the respective art industry, the genre or the level of publicity, a lot of artists have their own community in which parts of the audience may or may not overlap with those of another artist. A huge potential for a startup looking for their target group and advancing their own reach as well.

We believe it’s more than ever the right time to encourage artists and startups to shape new ideas together. But collaboration partners from other sectors or even other professional contexts like the artistic or the startup industry are not always in direct reach. So how do startups and artists best build a connection in order to win each other for a collaboration? 

Here are our three most important tips on how startups should initiate and start a collaboration with artists:.

  1. Show sincere enthusiasm and inspire with your project. Artists know this enthusiasm from their own division and understand how the conviction of an own project can show outwardly. This visible passion can lead to a strong connection.
  2. Offer teamwork and to work out your ideas together with the artists, so they will not get the feeling of losing their independence. Signalize from the beginning to meet as partners on an equal footing. You are both the experts in your respective field.

  3. Be open: Adapt your plans to the artist’s visions if necessary, so that individual wishes can be taken into account and an intensive collaboration can be ensured.

And how should artists approach startups to start a collaboration? 

Here are our three most valid tips:

  1. Preparation is everything. When getting in touch, have concrete suggestions at the start on how you can benefit from working together and how individual ideas can also be integrated.

  2. Be open-minded and let yourself get involved with the startup’s ideas. They know what they’re doing and they probably can’t afford working badly for their own reputation.

  3. Be enthusiastic and show why the ideas of the startup would fit well with your vision. Clarify with what commitment your cooperation can be successful and profitable for both of you.

So are you a startup or an artist from the media field, working with data?
Are you willing to make data exploration both entertaining and informative?
Are you seeking for a collaboration between startups and artists?

Maybe you will find yourself in this blog post, so feel kindly encouraged to apply for the Media Futures support programme. There’s still a chance, the applications are open until January 27, 2022 12pm noon (CET). 

Applications are being encouraged from those groups who are not as well-represented in the art and start-up worlds, or face additional barriers to entry, including those from ethnic minorities, women and non-binary individuals, the LGBTQ+ community, those with disabilities and those in lower-middle income countries.