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Now more than ever, art business has shifted from a landscape built on a legacy to one accelerated by cutting-edge technology and next-gen business practices. Sotheby’s auction house emerged from its long-standing status as the world’s largest and oldest art business to also be a leader in digital advancement. In recent years Sotheby’s Institute has correspondingly introduced new areas of academic inquiry, from a program in Art Logistics to electives in technology, and online courses on blockchain and NFTs.

For several years we have asked incoming graduate students what sector they intend to pursue after their studies at Sotheby’s Institute, almost half self-identify as future entrepreneurs. It is to support these up-and-coming disruptors, innovators, and change-makers of the art world that Sotheby’s Institute has established a resource center for our students and alumni entrepreneurs: the Enterprise Studio.

All students in the Master's Programs are able to attend workshops and networking events that address design-thinking, venture funding, and other start-up concepts. These Enterprise Studio activities are crafted in parallel with the business training that all students receive as part of the MA curricula, allowing students to complement their academic studies with additional entrepreneurial insight and skills.

Students who intend to launch a business shortly after their studies may participate in our annual Enterprise Studio Competition – The Gavel. The students accepted each year are supported as they develop their business idea over the course of the academic year, with close access to mentors who advise them as they shape their plans from ideation to execution.

The winning team of The Gavel become Enterprise Studio Fellows for one year, receiving significant support to grow their business:

  • 1 year of gratis office and event space in NYC or London, from which to base and launch their start-up
  • £30,000 / $40,000 seed funding
  • Mentor support
  • Industry and investment introductions

Explore our Master's programs which combine cultural stewardship with entrepreneurship and art market leadership.