Smartify, the Spotify of art

Smartify is an art-tech startup helping people connect with art. We took part in Pitch@Palace 7.0.

Named by the New Scientist as the ‘Shazam and Spotify of art’ Smartify app uses image recognition to instantly identify an artwork, provides curated commentary straight to your smartphone, and allows you to save favourites into a personal digital gallery.

The Pitch@Palace programme had a huge impact on our business at a critical moment: it helped the team refine pitching skills; created leads to new partners and collaborators; and helped us to find investors.

The Boot Camp included one-on-one coaching on pitching and some genuinely good networking opportunities. The skills we learnt on that day have stuck with us, having now gone on to successfully win pitching competitions at events in the UK and Europe.

Being selected as a finalist and presenting at St James’s Palace was such a honour. We were given permission from The Royal Collection to use Smartify art app on all the paintings in the palace, a great talking point with the guests. Although we didn’t win, we were able to connect with CEOs from some of the worlds leading companies. For example, we began working with organisations like Deustche Bank and Wikipedia. We also met investors.

Our top tips for potential Pitch@Palace applicants (other than make sure to apply!) would be:

  • Learn your pitch. Most people do it without cards and those who know what they’re saying really stand out.
  • Make the most of the networking opportunities. Not everyone will be an investor, but we met people who gave great advice on things like writing funding applications to InnovateUK or introduced us to new customers.
  • Don’t expect everything to happen immediately. A lot of the relationships started at Pitch@Palace are only just blossoming now – 6 months on.