Giulia Sicignano & Hans Karssenberg - Erasmus entrepreneurs

Success stories

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

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New entrepreneur:
Giulia Sicignano (Italy)
Age: 28
Company name: Freelancer (Start-up)
Sector of activity: Architectural, construction, engineering and inspection services

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs has been a formative enriching experience which is definitely the beginning of a great collaboration with STIPO and the start of a conscious growth of my business. I would do it again immediately!

Host entrepreneur:
Hans Karssenberg (Netherlands)
Age: 52
Company name: STIPO / Placemaking Europe | (30 years of experience)
Sector of activity: Architectural, construction, engineering and inspection services

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is vital for us to build out the European network for better cities!

Period of exchange: 09/2021 until 12/2021
Duration of exchange: 4 months


Business sector of the exchange


Placemaking / Urban Planning


STIPO, the company of the host entrepreneur Karssenberg Hans, aims to create better cities. One way to do this is to get in touch with the new generations of entrepreneurs. He sees it as his company's mission to influence cities in Europe to become better and to work with local citizens. He shares that it was very inspiring to see Giulia come from the context of Milan and Italy. As a company, they learned a lot of things that they would never have learned otherwise. They also found that they shared so many values with Giulia that they found a way to continue working together in the years to come.

Giulia Sicignano is a young architect and urban planner who works, among other things, as a consultant for the Municipality of Milan. She chose to participate in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme because she wanted to be inspired by people with the same values as hers and to deepen the practical development of a business in the context of truly sustainable urban regeneration and place-making.

Thanks to working with Giulia and her knowledge of the profession, culture, language, local context and networks, STIPO has managed to expand their market in Italy. While learning how to expand their business abroad, Giulia has also been a tremendous help with ongoing projects. She is the foundation for future collaboration under "STIPO Italy".Giulia had the opportunity to see ongoing urban projects in Nieuwegein and Amsterdam up close, to participate in the design of green facades in Rotterdam, to contribute to the workshop "City at Eye Level" and to the workshop "Charter After Covid City". She collaborated on a European project on physical activity and place-making and developed a redevelopment strategy for the Overhoeksplein together with the team. She also produced strategic documents for expansion into other countries, particularly Italy, to lay the groundwork for the future development and growth of STIPO.


According to Hans, he has learned a lot from Giulia's experience with the city-wide approach of tactical urbanism in Milan, and her strategy, optimism and energy have also provided her team with many insights. They are now preparing the next steps for our collaboration to pass the current Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, so they are finding that the results are very sustainable. During these months, Giulia has had the opportunity to acquire countless knowledge on all aspects of urban regeneration based on human scale and co-design, to expand her network internationally thanks to Placemaking Europe, and to participate in prestigious events and workshops. She has also learned a new way of running a business that is responsive to the needs of individuals and values the work and opinions of all. Now she is much more motivated to grow her business and continue working with STIPO to create a new satellite in Italy.


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

New entrepreneur's contact point:
QUOACH (Helmond, Netherlands)

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

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