At twilight on Monday, something new will light up a Times Square billboard. An original work of art, 23 stories high, will replace a bright yellow ad for Sprint.
William Etundi Jr., a founder and chief executive of Artists Wanted, is banking on that mass tech-enabled populace. “As technology has made it easier for people to create things, more people become creators,” he said, offering a sort of company motto. He started the site four years ago, with Jason Goodman, a founder of Third Ward, an art and design collective in Brooklyn, where Mr. Etundi, 33, planned events. They hosted artist calls and competitions, partnering with other businesses. As 60,000 users registered and remained engaged, Mr. Etundi sensed a larger opportunity. In February they raised $1.5 million from investors including OATV, which backed bit.ly and Foursquare, and Founder Collective, which invested in Art.sy and Vimeo. The ethos, Mr. Etundi said, “is to inspire creative people to make works they wouldn’t otherwise create, to give them an audience, to give them connection, to give them deadlines within competitions.”