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Photo: Pujan Shakupa

The two future HfG graduates Emma-Lilo Keller and Stephanie Rothe as well as Hannah Klein, alumna of Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, are supported by the Förderprogramm Junge Innovatoren for their company "".

ato represents artists and curators, shows art and mediates sales. Together with people from different disciplines, ato develops ideas and structures to make artistic and curatorial work transparent and fair. The founders of ato are firmly convinced that new models for the art world can only be developed through networking and discourse. Accordingly, ato introduces and involves - in addition to artistic positions - all actors involved in the production, curation and mediation of art. ato is a continuously growing network located at the interface of gallery platform, art mediation and agency. The company works decentrally and is active in different cities.

The funding program "Young Innovators" supports young scientific employees from universities, non-university research institutions and the academies in becoming self-employed with the production and distribution of innovative products or business models. Eligible for funding are preparations for business start-ups involving products, processes or services based on inventions by start-up founders, software they have developed or their technological know-how. The program is intended to create an alternative to dependent employment and at the same time to promote the transfer of knowledge and technology from universities to industry.

Jörg Stegmann, a staff member at the HfG Karlsruhe who is currently entrusted with start-up consulting as part of the "Artrepreneurs" project funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, welcomes the jury's decision to support the preparation of start-ups from the cultural and creative industries. "This highlights how art colleges can also make their economic contribution with innovative and social business models," he emphasizes.


Stephanie Rothe graduated from the HfG Karlsruhe with a master's degree in art history and media philosophy. She is interested in art that has an impact on everyday life and plays with our learned habits of seeing and thinking. She is interested in an honest exchange about art and research: networking and dialogue between experts and interested parties at eye level. At ato she is the contact person for the online magazine and is responsible for customer care.


Emma-Lilo Keller graduated in communication design at the HfG Karlsruhe. She is interested in connecting different cities and people with the same but also different interests - which is why she likes to contribute to the external communication of ato's ideas and concepts, manages the social media presence and (co-)manages the various events. She also works as a DJ and graphic designer.


Being an entrepreneur and making the world a little bit better has always been Hannah Klein's dream job. Her intensive involvement with social and sustainable enterprises was therefore an obvious choice. At university, she learned business thinking, but rarely wanted to settle for the classic economic models. She sees the art business, with probably the most ideal and alternative good, as a chance to shape economic systems in a new, different and fairer way. As founder of ato, she is responsible for the corporate and financial strategy and for the internal organization.

Additionally, NORINA QUINTE and ADAM GAWEL are part of the founding team. At ato, they are responsible for artistic content/exhibitions and IT, respectively.

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