New Entrepreneur (NE):
Name & surname: Alexander Della Volpe Sisco
Sector of activity: Architecture
Did you already start your business? No
Name of business/website: AsisArq
What is your future business? Design company
Host Entrepreneur (HE):
Name & surname: Giuseppe Vultaggio
Sector of activity: Architecture
Experience in running a business (in years): 10
Name of business/website: g.vultaggio creativeoffice, http://www.gvultaggio.it/
What is your business? Architecture and interior design
Period of exchange: 21/03/2022 – 20/06/2022
Duration of exchange: 3 months
How did the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs experience add to Alexander’s future company?
The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs experience begins the moment you realize that you lack the experience to develop a company from scratch. When I saw myself in that situation, I remembered a talk at the University, that through an exchange program you could see how other companies work and be able to learn from them. The process was to develop an explanatory dossier of the important points to formalize the company. Once it was done correctly, I contacted several companies via videoconferences and they explained their work to me. In the end, I chose a small architecture studio in Italy where they combined the artistic part with the work of restoration and interior design. Once confirmed by both parties that the program could be carried out, my new adventure began there.
I decided to leave a little earlier to get to know the place where I would be staying and to be able to arrive on the first day of work without complications. The first day of work, it was difficult for me to adapt because I hadn’t spoken Italian for a long time and what I had to do was make a model for the future artistic installation. Once the model and ideas phase was finished, we proceeded to calculate the costs of the work that were too high to be able to carry it out, however other alternatives were thought of but it was always a lot of money and we could not be sure that in the end the idea would work, until one day we found the product that economically suited us, the gold and silver coloured thermal blankets. Once the material was found, it only remained to see how to work it. We discovered the appropriate way and finally we built the pieces to compose the artistic installation, which was based on placing the pieces of fabric cut with geometric shapes on the surface of a ceiling to compose a work. All the money raised from the sale of images of the artistic installation would go to Save the Children, to help in the war situation in Ukraine. The learning process was complex because decisions were constantly changed because the cost was very high or the material was not found to be able to work on it adequately. I take with me the importance of knowing and thinking about what material each object is going to be made of, since afterwards there are not so many complications.
Once the artistic installation was done, which was a success since it appeared in several newspapers and many people were interested in the work, I began to look for architecture competitions to carry out while on Fridays I developed my company and product idea. In the end we chose two contests in which to participate, one to create a museum that counters the history of Baglietto, a luxury boat company, and the other, a home for children in Africa of the Kaira Looro association. What I learned from running these contests is strict design regimens as well as meeting deadlines, plus a computer program that in the future will help me develop product design as well as help me create higher quality environments.
Finally, once the courses were finished, the last three weeks I was with the interior design of a mansion, which asked us to provide a Nordic style aspect with light and bright colours. He had never participated in the decoration and distribution of any house, much less a mansion. Thanks to this, it made me think that it would be a good idea to be able to create my own outdoor furniture and tables and to be able to provide a different service than the one I was providing with my initial idea of only vertical gardening, and why not be able to provide an exterior design as a landscape architect.
Finally, the whole learning process of being able to carry out the installation, the two contests and the interior design of the mansion opened my mind as to the quality that the image has to be shown to the client, how to show it and what to do to make it attractive. I also realized that the programs I used were insufficient and that I had to update and improve quickly to help the studio. Last but not least, the distribution of work in a studio, meeting the deadlines and the diffusion of the work carried out in social networks is very important since it opens the possibility of creating contacts and attracting future clients and, therefore, new projects.
Alexander Della Volpe Sisco (NE): “I learned to manage projects with a deadline and to create with a stipulated budget in mind. I encourage other young entrepreneurs to live the exchange experience because it gives you the opportunity to learn a language or improve it and live the professional experience of working with another person with a different culture and thought. The general feeling is positive since I was able to develop more things than I had thought about. I learned a lot and I got a good taste in my mouth.”