Konstantin Tkachuk & Paolo Franceschini - Erasmus entrepreneurs

Success stories

Recent testimonies of successful business networking - Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme

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New entrepreneur:
Konstantin Tkachuk (Germany)

Company name: BUILD3D (Start-up)
Sector of activity: IT, office and communication equipment, services and supplies

Even if I would know before the start of the exchange about the circumstances that the first half of 2020 brought to us I would still go for such a great exchange and entrepreneurship experience with Paolo. The progress I made in 6 months together with him would take me several years to do alone.

Host entrepreneur:
Paolo Franceschini (Italy)

Company name: idea-re / http://www.idea-re.net (10 years of experience)
Sector of activity: Legal, fiscal and other consultancy services

The exchange was an opportunity for me to refine the process of working with young entrepreneurs. The circumstances (lockdown) concerning the period were tough, but we managed to have an effective exchange. Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is an excellent program to facilitate collaboration between European entrepreneurs.

Period of exchange: 02/2020 until 07/2020
Duration of exchange: 5 months


Paolo Franceschini, owner of "idea-re", a company in Milan, Italy, was looking for a young entrepreneur to work with on various startup coaching projects.

He was impressed by Konstantin's technical skills and attitude when it came to learning about new topics like European funding. They immediately found a match between their fields of activity and Konstantin's technical background was very useful for advising various high-tech startups during the EU funding application phases. Paolo, the Host Entrepreneur, supported Konstantin in fine-tuning his business idea project and Konstantin provided Paolo with his skills to work on some projects for his clients.

Paolo Franceschini was extremely open and welcoming from the first phone call. They immediately found points of connection and understood the mutual interest in the programme. Konstantin was willing to share his experience in civil engineering and connection to the German startup and entrepreneurial scene. In return, Paolo offered profound knowledge and best practices in lean startup methodology and fund acquisition as a certified lean methodology coach. Paolo worked at "idea-re" for almost 10 years on EU funding applications. Both saw the potential of their collaboration and were therefore happy to start the exchange immediately.

Konstantin was keen to collaborate with Paolo on his projects: Konstantin supported him in complex applications for EU funding and had the opportunity to work on an interesting project in the field of engineering. One of them was dedicated to new methods of concrete reinforcement for construction purposes, where Konstantin's background in civil engineering was particularly helpful. Konstantin helped evaluate project funding opportunities not only from the business side, but also with his specific knowledge of the subject. The result of this collaboration was a successful grant application and subsequent EU funding for the company they were supporting. This was also an opportunity for Konstantin to acquire knowledge about obtaining public grants. In turn, Paolo had conducted several "lean startup sessions" to refine Konstantin's business idea. Together, they conducted another series of problem-solving interviews with Konstantin's and Paolo's network, and then analyzed the responses together. The result was the discovery of a new market opportunity that is now part of their targeted activities.

They worked together on Host's and New Entrepreneur's projects. At idea-re, Konstantin helped apply for EU funding by working on market and competitive analysis and contributing his expertise in design for the funding applications of technical startups. At the same time, Paolo helped him develop his own project by advising him in the early stages of startup development and creating the roadmap to success for Konstantin's 3D printing project in construction.

Paolo could rely on Konstantin's professional skills in carrying out activities for his clients. On the other hand, the host had the opportunity to bring his experience in coaching a startup as support for his company.

Through this exchange, Konstantin gained new knowledge and connections in the European startup scene. Most importantly, he learned how to develop a strategy for his project based on a detailed analysis of the assessment of market competitors.

During the exchange, Konstantin's startup project had gone through an important turning point, evolving from a hardware-only project to building a community as the first step in building the new "Silicon Valley" for construction 3D printing in Germany. As they worked, they realized that such a complex topic requires people with different backgrounds and skills. Building a community helps to bring together the necessary talents and unite the stakeholders to make the new technology a reality in real construction projects and not only develop it from a scientific point of view, which is already supported by the research side of TUM (Technical College of Munich).

What did Konstantin achieve? Not only did he learn how to apply lean startup methods and how to apply for EU funding, but he also gained more experience in conducting market and competitive analysis and became familiar with Eurostat databases. Konstantin spent a lot of time on roadmap planning for his startup made a pivot in the development of his startup that became more evident over time. Overall, the quality of NE startup read/pitch decks improved significantly. Together with the HE, Konstantin organised and held master classes and events. The two complemented each other in preparing masterclasses and benefited from the collaboration with plans to continue these educational courses after the exchange ended. Finally, Konstantin gained more experience working within the startup community and more knowledge about the current situation in the construction industry.

For more information, please contact the local contact points involved in the exchange:

New entrepreneur's contact point:
UnternehmerTUM GmbH (Garching)

Host entrepreneur's contact point:
Fondazione Politecnico di Milano (Milano)

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