THE ARTS+ is about combining art with new technologies – but, above all, it is about people. We team up with start-ups, museums and tech companies and the creative minds behind them. Now, we would like to introduce our readers to some of these innovators on our blog.

Today, we talked to Christian H. Rother, Managing Partner and Founder of smart-collectors (http://www.smart-collectors.com/), a new start-up where everyone can lend curated art pieces,  about the symbiosis of the online and offline world, smart-collectors’ services and why he will be attending THE ARTS+.

Mr Rother, smart-collectors was officially launched on 7 July. Could you please tell us more about the project?

Christian H. Rother: smart-collectors is our unique way of giving a wide audience access to art – original artworks and objects. Art is at the heart of creation and innovation. Anything humans create is in itself a form of art. It is the core essence of our culture. With smart-collectors, we want to make it possible for society to engage even more intensely with art. Our services allow you to use our rent or rent-to-own model to build your own art collection, define your own style and build wealth through an alternative form of investment.

How did you come up with the idea for smart-collectors? What’s the intention behind it?

Christian H. Rother: Well, today’s tech-driven world and the symbiosis of the online and offline spheres offer a great opportunity for industries to evolve and redefine themselves. I’m currently lucky enough to be earning an Executive Masters in Business Administration at Hult International Business School – an opportunity to learn a great deal after I have reached a personal limit in terms of feeling excited and challenged in my previous hospitality career. Plus, it is one of my personal core values to advance the achievements of my family’s previous generations and taking them to the next level.

That’s why, about a year ago, I seized the moment to turn this idea into the opportunity of a lifetime.

The intention behind smart-collectors really is the ambition to share with the world the privilege of surrounding oneself with art, to enjoy and be inspired by creativity, and to participate in and support culture.

smart-collectors works mainly online. What opportunities do you see in marketing art online?

Christian H. Rother: Online access is today’s bridge to enjoying art offline. In our digital age, it is a way to reach and engage with an audience hesitant to enter the unknown terrain of art. The online space allows us as communicators to give others a point of entry into the world of art.

What makes a festival like THE ARTS+ a good partner for smart-collectors?

Christian H. Rother: THE ARTS+ allows us at smart-collectors to connect with an audience that is generally open minded and interested in culture, yet has only had limited or no contact with original artworks or objects.

What does art mean to you?

Christian H. Rother: As Dr Christina Leber, Director of the DZ BANK Art Collection, once said: “Art and culture are the vessel in which mankind strives and lives.” I completely agree with her.

Thank you so much, Mr Rother, see you at THE ARTS+ in October.