Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs – Exchanging and connecting Europe’s entrepreneurial spirit
In today’s story our two entrepreneurial heroes are Dennis Kirpensteijn from Munich and Kristijan Sarac from Citluk (Bosnia and Herzegovina). UnternehmerTUM went along with their one-month collaboration within the scope of the European entrepreneurial exchange programme „Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs“ (EYE).

Dennis, Host Entrepreneur, is an experienced, already proven entrepreneur from the start-up world and founder of several successful companies (Tierheimhelden, Deine-Hundeversicherung.de and lately VetStage) who currently mentors at the Google Launchpad Week in Germany. Kristijan, New Entrepreneur, instead, is a young and highly motivated entrepreneur and founder of an IT company (LKnet LTD). Dennis’ dynamic entrepreneurial spirit inspired Kristijan to gain valuable business operation insights in exchange of rebuilding the infrastructure of Dennis’ web application. Two luminaries sparking one common idea: taking the best out of this exchange opportunity.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Austausch
Host Entrepreneur Dennis Kirpensteijn (left) and New Entrepreneur Kristijan Sarac (right) in the co-working space Neuland in Munich

How did this all happen? Kristijan started his own company in the IT industry ( Web and Mobile development agency) two years ago. He heard about the EYE programme and thought that a quality mentor would help him acquire new, key skills in this sector.

“What struck me the most about Dennis was his extensive experience in the start-up world. I feel very lucky to have found a mentor and someone who shares my entrepreneurial way of thinking,” says Kristijan.

His expectations were indeed confirmed. Dennis is an extraordinary professional and his mentoring experience enables him to easily connect and transfer knowledge. He helped and explained everything Kristijan was curious about during his stay. While handing over many of his expertise concerning the startup world, Dennis received IT support from Kristijan. On top of that, Dennis introduced the NE to Munich’s startup environment and his extensive business network.

Given the fact that the young entrepreneur spent one month at the company, he squeezed every single minute into making his experience invaluable. For this reason, at the very start of their exchange experience, Dennis wrote down one simple question: “How can we benefit from each other?”. According to him, “it was important to deeply talk about a plan, and set up goals both mine and his”. The bigger part of the exchange programme was Kristijan’s idea for a new startup in the furniture sector.

“We have worked together a lot in the past month. Kristijan had a very positive impact as he brought with him some different perspectives and new insights on how to build software. For this reason, we decided to start a work relationship between our and his company. Developers from his company have already begun working on the project and I hope this will be the beginning of a long-term partnership,” says Dennis.

During our last conversation, there could not have been a more exciting response to the question “did you start the collaboration yet?”. Dennis and Kristijan responded in unison “Yes. We just launched it today!” and on the last day of their exchange, they added a new chapter to their EYE story. The two entrepreneurs were asked one final question: How would you describe the EYE programme with one word? Their response was “challenging but unforgettable after all!” To all of you, new and established Entrepreneurs, a simple piece of advice: there is a reason why it’s called EYE, and it is your chance to see it.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) is an initiative by the European Commission which makes new and experienced entrepreneurs come together to start business collaborations, taking the best out of each other’s expertise. UnternehmerTUM’s role is making sure they get together, work together and succeed together.
Contact person: Eugenie Wirz, erasmus@unternehmertum.de