So, what do Maecenas do?
Maecenas is a new online platform that will match art owners with a syndicate of investors, creating a fair and open marketplace, reducing costs and bringing transparency to a traditionally opaque world. Maecenas will allow any investor to own shares of a masterpiece.
What’s behind the business idea?
We’ve created Maecenas because we believe that through the use of innovative technologies like blockchain we can address the biggest challenges that the art finance industry currently has. Our objective is to establish Maecenas as platform that can improve transparency, reduce costs and create liquidity.
Was it hard becoming a business owner?
It is extremely challenging to set up a new business, and more so when it’s a start-up navigating completely new territories. However, the hard work is not without satisfaction. Our team are extremely passionate and dedicated, and we very much enjoy what we are doing, we wouldn’t change it for anything else.
How did you recruit your employees?
Mostly through our existing networks and through recommendations.
Was there a breakthrough moment?
I would say that we had two so far. The first one was when we were selected to join the first batch of Fusion, a fintech acceleration programme in Geneva, which was an incredible experience.
The second one was when, after extensive validation with art collectors and investors, we finally were convinced that our value proposition was strong, and that the positive impact that we could make in the art industry was very real. That gave us a huge boost to continue driving this forward.
How is the company doing?
We’ve made really good progress over the last few months and are getting everything prepared for the upcoming launch. We’re also busy with our funding round, which includes a crowdfunding campaign at Seedrs.
Do you have any regrets?
In hindsight, I think we should have spent more time getting the word out about Maecenas earlier. We focused too much on building the product at first and did little to let the world know about our platform. Engaging the community early is important as it can create significant opportunities.
What makes you stand out from your competitors?
Our unique value proposition is that we let investors own a fraction of a piece of art, therefore allowing them to build a bespoke portfolio of fine art without the hassle of having to deal with provenance, storage, insurance and so on. We haven’t come across with any other company allowing this yet.
You’re currently reaching out for investors, what do you plan to do when you have raised this funding?
The short-term objective is to bring the platform to market and list our first batch of artworks in the platform. From there on we want to incrementally increase our volumes and expand geographically.
If you could help a business now with a single piece of advice, what would it be?
Be ambitious and have conviction in what you do, but always have an open mind and listen to advice.
Finally, Marcelo what is your favourite biscuit?!