Driving radical change – How fast are startups transforming the art industr...

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Eco-Systm - Coworking and Office space San Francisco

540 Howard Street

3rd floor

San Francisco, CA 94105

View Map

Friends Who Are Going
Event description


Panel discussion about art, tech & startups

While startups and innovators have been rapidly changing all aspects of our life, the world of arts and culture with its long-standing traditions and stable, publicly funded institutional set-up were sometimes perceived as immune to transformation. This is no longer the case.

Startups fuelled by the latest digital technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data, augmented and virtual reality are radically improving the way museums, opera houses, art galleries, and other cultural and artistic institutions operate and cater to their audiences. This will help artists and cultural organizations stay relevant for future generations.

Join us for what promises to be a vivid discussion with VCs, entrepreneurs, cultural experts, and tech-art pioneers on the impact of startups on culture, the vast possibilities presented by emerging technologies, as well as bold, new concepts at the intersection of art and technology.


Erik Bovee, Founder and General Partner I SpeedInvest


Moderator – Nellie Bowles, The New York Times (San Francisco) (tbc)


  • Erik Bovee, Founder and General Partner I SpeedInvest

  • Brendan Ciecko, Founder & CEO I Cuseum

  • Christopher Widauer, Head of Digital Development I Vienna State Opera

  • David Hirsch, Adviser I Leonardo Investments

  • Michael D’Angelo, Co-Founder & CTO I Arthena

  • Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, Director I viennacontemporary

Hackathon (in Vienna, Europe)

The event is a preface of a CultTech-Hackathon, the first of its scale in Austria, on September 19-21, 2017. The goal is to drive change, ignite technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the cultural sector – from art fairs to museums, operas, theater, performance, and music.

Participate in the discussion on August 24th and share your ideas in the following Q&A session. We will be discussing how technology can be in the service of art and how fast startups are pushing boundaries in order to provide new opportunities for creation and innovation.

Stick around after to meet and mingle and enjoy drinks with fellow creatives and innovators.

Space is limited, so please make sure to RSVP.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Your Open Austria & viennacontemporary team

Organized by

Speakers & Moderator

Nellie Bowles is a technology reporter for The New York Times in San Francisco. Prior to that she was an on-air correspondent for Vice News Tonight on HBO, working on segments about venture capitalists and tech companies, and traveling the world on a broad range of assignments. She previously worked at The Guardian and Recode, and covered, among other things, Ellen Pao’s discrimination suit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.

Erik Bovee is Co-Founder of Speedinvest GmbH and also serves as its Partner. He is responsible for business development and corporate development. Previously, he was United States Managing Partner of the firm. Bovee is employed at TheMerger Strategiewerkstatt GmbH and, previously, InitialFactor. Previously he was VP of Business Development at Wikidocs, acquired by Atlassian, head of mobile enterprise messaging at VeriSign and European General Manager for eMeta Corp., acquired by Macrovision. Erik holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Christopher Widauer is Head of Digital Development at the Vienna State Opera and he developed and implemented the opera’s live broadcast programme. In the years before, he was Head of the Theatre Department for Vienna’s City Councillor of Cultural Affairs (2010-2013), the founder of a puppet theatre for contemporary literature and music and an arts manager for Schubertiade Hohenems and Styriarte Festival in Graz.

David Hirsch is an adviser to Leonardo Investments focused on pipeline development and finance. Leonardo Investments is a platform to democratize art ownership. It plans to use an initial coin offering to provide liquidity to current artwork owners and give the public an opportunity to own and benefit from the artwork.

Brendan Ciecko founded Cuseum in 2014 with the mission of helping museums, public attractions, and nonprofits engage their visitors and members using the power of digital. The cost-effective platform provides a suite of tools that drives deeper visitor experiences, members acquisition, and retention. Today, Cuseum works with over 100 cultural institutions around the globe, has raised over $1.4M in funding, and is backed by Techstars, one of the world's top startup accelerators.

Michael D’Angelo is Co-Founder & CTO of Arthena, a Series-A YC backed financial technology company that creates quantitative investment funds in the art market. Arthena builds data aggregation pipelines, identify opportunities, build financial models, and create tools to acquire assets. In 2013, the D’Angelo siblings, Michael and Madelaine, launched the first equity crowdfunding platform that gives individuals access to collect and invest with art world experts. Michael studied applied math and machine learning at Stanford.

Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt has been viennacontemporary’s Director since 2012, developing and positioning the brand. Steinbrecher-Pfandt now aims to cultivate a dialogue between the tech and the culture scene in Vienna. In addition to her role as the artistic director of Art Moscow from 2009 to 2012, she also co-curated the exhibition “Unconditional Love” in the framework of the 53rd Venice Biennale and was a member of the curatorial team for the 3rd Moscow Biennale 2009. From 2011 to 2012, Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt was the artistic director of the Moscow House of Artists, and in 2012 she participated as the curator of Platform Moscow in the Berliner Festspiele.


Open Austria is a joint initiative by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Economic Chamber seeks to pave the way to success in California’s Silicon Valley for Austrian science and companies – start-ups and established enterprises alike. Apart from promoting Austrian business and industry, the initiative also aims to provide enhanced support for existing networks of Austrians in the valley and to enable closer scientific contacts.

Viennacontemporary (September, 21 – 24 2017) is one of the top international contemporary art fairs, widely recognized for its bridging function between East and West. Each year, the fair hosts over 100 galleries from over 25 countries alongside curator-led presentations, talks, and citywide programming. In recent years viennacontemporary has developed into a hotspot for contemporary art, in a tough and highly competitive global market.

Share with friends

Date and Time


Eco-Systm - Coworking and Office space San Francisco

540 Howard Street

3rd floor

San Francisco, CA 94105

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved