RES EAR C H Open Access
The Vitruvian Man of Leonardo da Vinci as
a model of innovative entrepreneurship at
the intersection of business, art and
Mariella C. Remund
, Marta Peris-Ortiz
and Hans-Jurgen Gehrke
Universitat Politècnica de València,
Camino de Vera, s/n, 46022
Full list of author information is
available at the end of the article
The vital role of entrepreneurship for economic growth and its impact for job
creation in mature and developing economies is widely recognized and quantified
(OECD, Entrepreneurship and Business Statistics, 2015).
According to Get2growth data (How Many Startups Are There?, 2015), 100 million
start-ups are created each year of which 1.35% are technology-based companies,
and according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity (Fairlie, 2013), almost
a quarter of new businesses in the USA were started by entrepreneurs aged 55 and
Survival following failure data for start-ups are numerous and complex in the
interpretation, and data presented by the Statistic Brain (Startup business failure
rate by industry, 2015) show a 55% failure rate within the fifth year.
Entrepreneurship is important for growth but sustainable entrepreneurship is
hard to achieve.
This paper, by means of a case study of a German private art museum “Kunstmuseum
Gehrke-Remund”, analyzes the disruptive methods, both atypical and contrary to the
mainstream art industry, developed to ensure the sustainable success of such an
innovative endeavor. Our analyses and results contribute to the understanding of the
building blocks and roadmap designed by the Kunstmuseum to successfully enter the
elitist contemporary art industry, as an outsider, and provide an early indication that such
methods can be theoretically replicated in other industries by other entrepreneurs.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Disruptive innovation, Start-up, Art, Contemporary art,
Business, Technology, Art museum, Private museums, Kunstmuseum Gehrke-Remund,
Vitruvian man, Sustainable growth, Business model, Value creation, Experience map,
Perfect execution, Creativity, Minimum viable product
The selection of the Vitruvian Man (Gallery of the Academy in Venice, dated approxi-
mately in 1490) as the title and as the basic reference for this paper, has the aim to high-
light the interrelation between art and science, and the close relationship between both
forms of activity with the economy sector (production and trade) and entrepreneurship.
Since 1776, the year in which Adam Smith published “The Wealth of Nations” up to
the work by Samuelson “Foundations of Economic Analysis” (1947) and up to modern
Journal of Innovation and
© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and
indicate if changes were made.
Remund et al. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2017) 6:17