We are based in the centre of Utrecht, at the Dutch Game Garden. INTK is an established agency specialised in online strategies for cultural organisations (museums, theaters, etc). Until now we have developed several websites for museums in NL and UK. We have also developed our own entrepreneurial and art projects. We have won several international awards. We work in the intersection of art, technology and society.
Currently, we are giving the first steps towards a new startup. The mission of the startup is to radically change how people relate to culture. We would like to encourage people to do one cultural activity per week (see longer explanation below). In order to achieve that we are planning to develop a new service that encourages people to go to museums, theaters, cinema, etc. The product will include development in Python and knowledge about online payments. Currently, we are working with more than 60 cultural organisations in NL. We expect to be working with more than 120 cultural organisations by the end of 2016.
Our mission is to radically change how people relate to culture.
We are inspired by what has happened with sports in the last 50 years. Ask anyone in the Netherlands, "What sport do you practice?" and chances are that they will reply that they dedicate at least 1 hour per week to sports. I think it is really amazing that people dedicate so much time to sports. Companies like Nike have encouraged a lot of people to take on sports. An example is their campaign: "Just do it".
We would like to have a similar impact but in the cultural sector. It would be great if you could be in a party and ask someone: "What cultural activity are you into?" And people would reply something like: "I go to the cinema once a week" or "I go to a museum once a week". This is possible in the Netherlands because you can buy a cultural subscription for 50 euros a year and go for free to all the museums. Do you see my point? In case we manage to realise our mission, the future would be a world where most people do at least 1 cultural activity per week. What do you think about our mission?
As you can imagine our mission is extremely ambitious. We do not expect to achieve it within 1 year. However, I think it is possible to move really fast and achieve a lot in a couple of years. Our roadmap is divided in 3 overlapping phases. Currently, we are right in the middle of phase 1 and already giving the first steps towards phase 2.
Phase 1: Grow a network
In order to achieve our mission we have to closely collaborate with as many cultural organisations as possible. Two years ago we were working with 3 cultural organisations. Currently we are working on a yearly basis with 60 cultural organisations. This includes museums, theaters and cinemas across the Netherlands. At the speed we are growing, we will be working with 120 cultural organisations by the end of 2016. This is an extraordinary growth and it is exactly what makes me confident that we have a good chance to create a meaningful impact in society. These organisations hire us to do online marketing. We are responsible to make sure a lot of people visit museums and buy online tickets to concerts, cinema, etc. Currently, we have 3 people fulltime responsible for the online marketing. By the end of 2016 we expect to have at least 6 people. In conclusion, phase 1 is focused on growing a network and online marketing.
Phase 2: Develop a software infrastructure
Phase 2 is focused on establish a software infrastructure and experiment with business models. Our plan is to develop a standard CMS for museums and theaters (based on an existing CMS). We are currently responsible for developing the website of Arnolfini and Teylers Museum. There are two main reasons why we are interested in developing websites of cultural organisation. First reason is that we are helping cultural organisations publishing their collections online. The Teylers Museum includes almost 100,000 images from their collection. Secondly, we are interested in staying as close as possible to an online business model. In short we are interested in selling online tickets for museums, theater and cinemas. Currently we only have two major websites. However, we have requests for new websites almost on a monthly basis. I cannot say how fast we can grow here because that depends on the ability of our software team to implement a scalable business. I hope that at the end of 2016, we will have at least 10 websites under our belt. Currently I'm saying no to these projects because our software developer already has his hands full.
Phase 3: Grow a large audience
At a certain point I expect, that we will be working with more than 360 cultural organisations. We will also probably be responsible for selling online tickets of more than a 100 venues. At that moment, we would like to launch our own platform directed at the end user. I only have vague ideas about this. I'm sure the team at INTK will manage to come up with a concrete plan. The idea is to launch an app or platform that could work like a sports personal trainer but then for culture. This app encourages people in the Netherlands to go to cultural activities. Users can buy tickets directly via the app and we will be able to offer special discounts for heavy users. This is all vague but we have plenty of time to think about it.
These 3 phases are independent of each other. In phase 1, we are developing a large online marketing company. In phase 2, we are growing a web development agency. In phase 3, we aim to launch our own product that hopefully will have more than 1 million users. The interesting thing is that in case phase 3 fails, we will still have a stablished marketing and web development agency.