Exchange between Belgrade and Essen

Nina is on the right, Peter is the kneeling one with the red cap.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is an exchange programme for young entrepreneurs financed by the European Union. The young entrepreneur travels to a company in a foreign EU country, to start a very special cooperation for 1-6 months. Two of our new matches give a little insight into the process in this interview.


Dear EYE-Match Nina and Peter, please introduce yourselves:

Young Entrepreneur Nina: I am Nina Petrov, 23 from Serbia. When I applied to the EYE programme, I was running a non-profit organization “Inspiring Change” with the intention to transform it into a social enterprise. I discovered that becoming an entrepreneur is easier with friends and support, and I needed help with developing a good business model and a sustainable and realistic business plan.

Host Peter: I am Peter Petersen, founder of 3D Druckzentrum Ruhr, an entrepreneurial research facility.We incept, develop and realize projects in art, science and technology. We have a great affinity to open source, open hardware, researching the future of human society.


How did you two come together?

Nina: Peter was recommended to me as a host by Christiana van Osenbrüggen, the EYE coordinator in the Ruhr region. She and I had already established communication and she was familiar with the idea I wanted to develop and what my needs were. When I first met Peter and Alex (co-founder of 3DDZR) via Skype, we easily found common ground, and although I wasn’t sure what the exchange will look like on a day-to-day base, I was convinced that it was a connection which will expand my views and help me both personally and professionally.

Peter: We had a match in the Erasmus IT-Tool. Further on we concluded this match with the kind support of Christiana, our IO contact. The activities of our respective organisations have a lot of common ground. 3DDZR is fostering an international community and reaching beyond the current limits of the EU, whereby Serbia is especially interesting for further collaborations.


What are your plans for your cooperation?

Nina: So far I have established a business model for my pilot product and started testing my market. Peter will be a significant help with projecting my financial plan and managing my business budget, which is the area in which I struggle the most.

Our plan is also to engage the art community in Essen and perhaps launch the first webinar from Peters’ studio, where I could get the insight into the technical side of my business plan and have a clear vision of what my project requires.

Also, we have just decided to co-host a residency for a young Serbian artist in the last week of my stay, to attend the “digital sculpture” seminar Peter is hosting at 3D Druckzentrum Ruhr.

Peter: Our plans include developing a sustainable connection between our respective organisations and peer groups to foster creative exchange in our areas.



Peter, What do you think is the benefit of having this young entrepreneur with you?

New input on how creative work and professionalisation of artists are working outside of EU countries and learning more about Serbia.


Nina, What do you hope to achieve during your stay?

Having a functioning business model and a long term plan on how to progress and develop it further. As well I hope to plan collaborative projects with Peter and finding a structure for executing these project over the year. Finally I hope to learn at least a little bit of German :)

Any recommendations for people thinking about joining the programme?

Nina: I would recommend to every new entrepreneur to make enough room for things to happen by themselves and try to work with the host, let themselves learn things they didn’t even know they wanted to learn. Don’t focus all your attention to your project, but rather use the fact that you are getting new experience from just being there, in a new environment. Everything you learn and the friendships you make will be valuable to your business idea, and not just the hard work. Take time to relax and sort your thoughts, give your brain time to process every new information you receive, and not only the process will be more enjoyable, but the outcome will pleasantly surprise you.


Thank you and have a nice time together!

If you, the reader, are interested in joining the programme, contact us now!

We would be happy to help!


Local contact point Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Christiana van Osenbrüggen

Phone     +49 (0)209. 70 288 427

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