Ivana Slezáková & Federico Giuffra - Erasmus entrepreneurs

Success stories

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New entrepreneur:
Ivana Slezáková (Slovakia)
Age: 30
Company name: Pivká brewery (Start-up)
Sector of activity: Food, beverages, tobacco and related products

Host entrepreneur:
Federico Giuffra (Italy)
Age: 41
Company name: Birriciclo Plurale S.a.s. (6 years of experience)
Sector of activity: Food, beverages, tobacco and related products

Period of exchange: 03/2020 until 10/2020
Duration of exchange: 5,97 months divided in two periods with a break of 1 month


Ivana Slezáková worked for one of the biggest breweries in Slovakia which gave her the opportunity to get familiar with the brewing process on a large scale. Hermotivation to join the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme was to expand her knowledge of craft brewing (brewing on a small scale) and a desire to start her own company in the near future. After several days of researching she found the perfect match in an Italian craft brewery, "Birra Plurale”, headed by Federico Giuffra in Milan. Federico´s brewery is young enough to remember all the struggles of beginners but experienced enough to provide her with valuable insigh to help Ivana developher future business in that field (brewing workshops and a brewery).

Collaboration with Federico involved daily tasks in the brewery. Ivana helped prepare raw materials for brewing, brew beer, ferment beer. transfer it to lager tanks, packaging, maintenance and cleaning of the brewery after each of these activities. Ivana was also involved in product distribution, such as its direct sale to customers in bars restaurants or community spaces in Genoa and Milan. This is where she learnt from Federico and his customer oriented approach. Ivana was responsible for several other activities, specifically the increase of product sales. She researched and prepared lists of potential customers within the province of Genoa. These companies were contacted with various offers for themselves their employees and customers. Throughout her EYE experience she evaluated the brewing process, summed up and updated all the expenses for creating a realistic financial plan of my business. All this was done with the help of Federico.

What she benefited most was that she became able to understand brewing on a small scale. She is now an independent user of a craft brewing plant. She could only achieve this skill by being actively involved in a process of brewing and working on the same tasks as Federico and Riccardo. This factor also gave Federico and Riccardo more time to expand on their ideas and increase their work efficiency.

Federico´s business has definitely gotten higher visibility among the contacted companies. However 2020, was a particular year and most companies can´t afford to spend extra money from their annual budget. One of the most eye-opening parts of Ivana’s exchange has definitely been the costs for brewing equipment raw materials maintenance and so on. She understood better what it takes to run a business from a monetary perspective. Ivana expanded her understanding of small brewing enterprises as well as her Italian language proficiency.

The experience in Birra Plurale has been fantastic. I have learnt so much from Federico and the brewer Riccardo. They were always very helpful and willing to share their know-how with me. I feel better prepared to start my own company.

I was very happy to work with Ivana. She demonstrated responsibility, a serious and professional attitude. She faced all tasks with an incredible enthusiasm, always on time and willing to go beyond the initiative. This helped us a lot in this period. It is unfortunate she couldn´t stay longer with us.

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

New entrepreneur's contact point:
Taliansko Slovenska Obchodna Komora (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Host entrepreneur's contact point:
Finanziaria Ligure per lo Sviluppo Economico FI.L.S.E. S.P.A. (Genova, Italy)

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