Lev Kerzhner got the idea for Jam Room from playing in bands around Tel Aviv. Lev Kerzhner got the idea for Jam Room from playing in bands around Tel Aviv. Lev Kerzhner got the idea for Jam Room from playing in bands around Tel Aviv. (Photo: Odelia Metry)

A helping hand for artists and musicians

TechnoArt offers mentors and more in first-of-its kind hub.

While Steve Jobs may have ushered in a new era converging art and technology, the two industries continue to look for innovative ways to work together.

Enter TechnoArt, an Israeli incubator that aims to marry cutting edge technology to the world of art and music. Beginning in June, TechnoArt will select 10 startups for a three-month pilot program. Each startup will receive $100,000 as well as access to mentors and industry professionals.

TechnoArt founder Shani Peled is CEO of Socialterminals, a social media management company based in New York, that together with Deloitte Israel and several other smaller investors is behind the project. Peled and her colleagues have handpicked several startups for the incubator's first cycle, but they are still on the lookout for a few more. She says the two main ingredients they are looking for are a new approach to an old problem along with some technological innovation.

TechnoArt aims to connect artists with business acumen to help them expand their brand.

Lev Kerzhner is one of the artist-innovators who caught the attention of the group. He developed an app called Jam Room, which allows musicians to locate and rent rehearsal space at a moment's notice – a solution to a problem that consistently plagues musicians. The app is currently only available in Israel but, with the help of TechnoArt, Kerzhner hopes to introduce it to other markets soon.

Kerzhner is in a band that plays around Tel Aviv. What he has in artistic talent, he lacks in entrepreneurial acumen. But he believes TechnoArt will offer the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge needed to meet his goals.

"With TechnoArt we'll learn how to build this right," he said of his app. "At the moment ... everything's a little chaotic, and I think with TechnoArt we'll be able to address the needs of the artists better on the one hand and, on the other hand, improve the tech side of it."

Irit Simon is very much in the same position as Kerzhner. She's developing a platform for artists to better manage and track their marketing efforts on various digital channels like Youtube and iTunes. Simon's project is at such an early stage of development that she doesn't even have a name for it yet.

"I'm used to sitting at my computer and not talking to too many people and not initiating too many things," Simon told From The Grapevine. She's counting on TechnoArt's resources to provide her with the impetus and know-how to turn her idea into reality.


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