To mark the end of our two year cycle and involvement in the Erasmus Exchange for Young Entrepreneurs; our consortium comprised of the European Creative Business Network representing the Netherlands, Peopleing of Bilbao, Spain, Creative Region Linz & Upper Austria, Ale Kommun of Sweden, Stadt Gelsenkirchen in Germany, Kosice IT Valley, Slovakia and our consortium leader Creative Industries Kosice (CIKE), hosted the Creative Trade Mission in Kosice, Slovakia.

Over the course of two days, creative entrepreneurs from across Europe who had taken part in the Erasmus Exchange for Young Entrepreneurs program, joined us in Kosice to meet with their peers, discuss their experiences during their exchanges and participate in a number of workshops facilitated by ACE Creative, which focussed on the Entrepreneurial experience and providing further tools for the new entrepreneurs as they move forward and develop their businesses.

Creative Trade Mission Kosice

The Creative Trade mission kicked off with an evening introductory session kindly hosted by Woont in their atelier, in which each entrepreneur was invited to speak about their businesses, their exchanges, their experiences of the exchanges and what lessons they have taken away with them that will help them to further grow and develop as professionals. This was followed by a network session together with a number of Host Entrepreneurs who had hosted exchanges with with the new entrepreneurs over the duration of the program. As an extra surprise we were treated to warm Cider provided by Opre Cider and delicious hotdogs from Robin Street Food,  two of our very own new entrepreneurs who had taken part in the exchange program.

Michal Hladky, Director of Creative Industries Kosice (CIKE) opening the second day of the Creative Trade Mission

Michal Hladky, Director of Creative Industries Kosice (CIKE) opening the second day of the Creative Trade Mission

Opening the following day, Michal Hladky, Director of Creative Industries Kosice welcomed all to the workshop and bootcamp section of the Creative Trade Mission. Facilitated by ACE Creative and our second bootcamp for the project, the day began with several workshops, each aimed to equip the entrepreneurs with the tools needed to further develop their businesses as well as themselves as young professionals. We were fortunate to have a number of speakers from across Europe who engaged with the entrepreneurs and shared in their own experiences and knowledge of running a successful enterprise.

Ossian Veronesse of Storisell presenting his exchange

Ossian Veronesse of Storisell presenting his exchange

We began with an in-depth look into the successful exchange between the Swedish Storisell an agency that develops campaign videos and animations and Slovakian Matsuko, an augmented and virtual reality company, followed by a number of interesting, engaging workshops and presentations from our guest speakers listed below.

“Becoming Entrepreneurial; Problems often faced by Creatives” – Adrian Sneeuw; ECBN

Adrian guided the entrepreneurs through some of the issues faced when starting up, particularly focussing on failure and the use of failure as a tool to analyse approach and method. The entrepreneurs had the opportunity to discuss their failures and garner tips and practices from their peers to better their methods.

“Cross-sectoral collaboration” – Mikael Berglund; Ale Komunn

How can creative entrepreneurs add value to sectors which do not operate within the creative industries? Mikael discusses the benefits of creative perspectives and solutions to common issues faced in other sectors.

“Internationalisation” – Branislav Pokrivčák; TestTrack

Branislav presented an overview of ways in which entrepreneurs can explore foreign markets and take their companies to international sectors.

“Investments and innovative ideas” – Jaroslav Łupták; Neulogy Ventures

What are investors looking for in companies? How and when should entrepreneurs approach investors and know which are the right kinds of investments for entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses? Jaroslav, a seasoned venture capitalist offered his insights to the group.

“Growth hacking” – Jeremy Raes; Lizardapps

Growth is an important and necessary factor for any growing entrepreneur. What are some of the tools and methods available for entrepreneurs and how can these be implemented in everyday business? Jeremy guided the group through some popular methods and examples as a springboard from which the entrepreneurs could take these ideas and implement it into their own enterprises.