“New ideas and fresh perspectives” – An Interview with participants of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange program, which gives entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced foreign entrepreneurs. UnternehmerTUM supports entrepreneurs in the application process and coordinates the program. We talked with the founders of Supplimo and participants of the EYE Max Tscharnke and Andreas Jansen and their hosts Floris Wolswijk and Rene Gouw. 

UnternehmerTUM: Max and Andreas, you are the founders of Supplimo and recent participants of the EYE program.  What is Supplimo and why did you join the EYE program? 

Max: Almost every third European person is taking supplements. However, very few of us actually know which supplements to take and in which quantities we should consume them. Our goal with Supplimo is to solve this problem and find the right protein, vitamins and minerals for everyone individually.

Andreas: EYE was the first step to develop our idea and bring it to business. We joined the EYE program to gain access to knowledgeable mentors, but also to have time to develop our own idea and create a company. 

UnternehmerTUMIn which ways do you benefit from your mentors?

Andreas: Every participant of the EYE program has an experienced mentor, who supports the young entrepreneur in all aspects of building a business. In our case, we asked Floris Wolswijk and Rene Gouw to be our mentors: Floris has successfully built a nutritional company in the Netherlands called Queal. Rene owns a logistic centrum, which is shipping organic products all over Europe. That way we could benefit from their complementary experiences in marketing, product development as well as packaging and shipping. 


UnternehmerTUM: What is the average week like during EYE? 

Max: During the EYE program we build our own business and work together with our host companies. With Rene we have a very intense relationship since he has become our logistical partner now. Floris supports us in our strategy crafting, marketing planning and operational activities. Now, we have weekly meetings to talk about our KPIs, marketing efforts and future goals.


UnternehmerTUM: Floris and Rene, why do you participate in the EYE program?

Rene: More than 50% of all young Europeans would like to follow an entrepreneurial path but very few of them really put their ambitions into practice. I like to support young entrepreneurs and as logistical entrepreneur I am obviously also open to meet new cultures and learn from their experience. 


UnternehmerTUM: Why is it worth it for the experienced entrepreneurs to make this investment?

Floris: It is a win-win situation. Andreas and Max bring a new perspective and fresh ideas to Queal, and our experience avoids common mistakes at the beginning of the entrepreneurial process.


UnternehmerTUM: Which advice would you give to applicants?

Andreas: The core idea of EYE is to create a business or to further develop an already existing idea. It is an entrepreneur to an entrepreneur exchange and not an internship. Find entrepreneurs that truly fit to your idea and goals, and put effort into both, the host entrepreneur’s business and especially into your own.

UnternehmerTUM: Thank you very much for the interview!