The last day of a great project with awesome participants


On the last day of the training course, Andreas again gave some input – the topic was how to build up an international network. Therefore it was important to make clear, what a community is, which values are existing in communities and also what is critical for a successful community (based on the knowledge from the “community Round-table”).

After this, the participants got the following task: They should think about the strength, that they are bringing into the network (e.g.: Why you? What actions do you do well? What knowledge, skills and attitude do you help you?), about the question of opportunities (e.g.: What is missing on the market? What real opportunities are present today? What is going on around you that seems to be useful? From which tendencies and trends can you profit and how?) as well as the question about the threats (e.g.: What are the negative tendencies in play today? What obstacles do you face? Who might cause you problems in the future and how?).

The next part of the programme was to think about ideas for a follow-up project! In order to this the participants should prepare ideas for topics and issues, the next workshop/ project could be about (of course this includes thinking about funding programmes, specifying the aims,..).

Last task in the project for the participants was to evaluate the workshops, the organisation, everything what comes to mind. On red cards they should write one thing they now are seeing different than one week ago, on blue cards should be focused on one thing which was very valuable for them, they yellow ones were for one thing they do not agree with (or do like) and on the white ones they should write one thing they would like to learn more about (maybe in the next project).

The day as well as the project ended with a meeting in the Neustadt, where all had an awesome dinner together. The participants could resume the project and just have a great last evening together.

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Abondoned buildings, business incubators & case studies


On Thursday the first part was the discussion about the Case of Poland, because unfortunately, two of the the polish participants had to leave earlier.

After that it was up the the last trainer, Christian, to first introduce himself and then to show his presentation about abandoned buildings used as creative spaces: first he talked about the changes in history about the different sectors and in order to that the participants should think about 3 questions: How many inhabitants does the city have? What is the dominating business sector now and 100 years ago? Was there a big change in the last 20 years?

After some examples of different cities, the participants should again think about another three questions: What are your visions for abandoned buildings? What do creatives need? What spaces do they need?

Afterwards it was Josephines task to give information about the history of business incubators: She distinguished three generations of business incubators: the 1.generation was focused on the infrastructure; the 2. generation added counselling and skills enhancement as well as networking and the 3. generation emphasized the development of the network of the incubators for the companies. With the help of three cases (1. Case: Milan: workspaces are offered in historical buildings + they cooperate with the university in Milan; 2. TRANSIT Kulturinkubator: target group: cultural and creative entrepreneurs in art, film,… + services: workspace, business consulting, individual and group coaching; 3. creative plot, Lund (Sweden): 4th generation of incubators: excubator, focus on their processes on a external way + business model innovation) she illustrated what she told us.

Before a break, the participants got the task to design their ideal incubators. For this they had to come up in groups of four each and think about certain questions, such as: How should the place look like? Which other business and/or organization should also be in the incubator? For how long do you wish to stay in the incubator? Which kind of consulting/coaching offers are crucial for you? and so on.

Very spontaneous a leader of another project, Jonas from F-A-S-T (framing art science technology) visited our group and gave us an insight into their work. Their idea actually is to create an interdisciplinary between arts, design and technology. They started one and a half year ago and it’s funded by the EU (ESF).

Last but not least: Having presented the case studies from Bulgaria, Greece and Spain, there was time left for the participants to discuss about all the cases, the opportunities, ideas and so on.

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Case Studies of Estonia, Poland and Germany & our last interesting study visits!



On Wednesday, Sophia from ‘Wir gestalten Dresden’ gave an introduction about the current situation of creative entrepreneurs in Dresden. For example, over 11 thousand people are working for the creative industries in Dresden (as at 2011).

Afterwards, she presented the association ‘Wir gestalten Dresden’, which was founded on the 29th of February 2012, and what her job for the association is. She presented a lot of interesting examples of what ‘Wir gestalten Dresden’ is actually organizing, their networking and of course their creation of value, and what it means to point out the value-added process of Creative Industry (distribution channel, strategic Enterprise Management), the Communication with Policy Makers and administration, consultancy, etc.

After this, Dr. Michael Anz from the Department of Economic Development presented the city’s point of view. He also gave an insight into the development of creative enterprises in Dresden and showed, what is important in the ‘Dresden case’. Its further issues are: the perception as a sector; little information on market conditions; easier market entry, financing of good ideas or the cross market networking.

After the ‘Case of Dresden’, the participants from Estonia, Poland and Germany presented their city cases (Pärnu, Olesnica, Dresden), which was really interesting to get to know about.

On Wednesday, the last study visits took place. We visited ‘Rutloff Garments’, the ‘Nikkifaktur’ and last but not least, we heard about the ‘Ballroom Studios’.

  1. Johannes Rutloff had a really great idea. For four years, he has been designing and making jeans in an awesome quality! With a lot of passion, every pair of jeans gets its own specialized signs, designs, and more, so that the customer is wearing a great unique specimen.

  2. Nikkifaktur does not only make prints on T-shirts, but improves T-shirts into Nikkis! Started in 2003, they print almost every design they get – single sets or on demand.

  3. Ballroom Studios actually is a recording studio, placed in an old ballroom, which is why the atmosphere there is really impressive. Everybody can rent this studio (including all of the equipment) and they give the possibility to the users, of getting a complete music video made (including photos, videos, of course sounds, etc.)


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Best practice examples, customer journey, creative industries support & INTEGAR with Bottle Crop!


The fourth day broadened the scope of the workshop towards the support perspective for cultural and creative businesses. In a first part, trainer Josephine Hage introduced the participants to several pillars of creative industries support. She presented several best practice examples from the European context: coworking, consulting, coaching, competence development, audience development, networking, market creation were illustrated with examples from Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Italy. She introduced the participants to the concept called „customer journey“ that can be applied to their individual business and audience situation. The participants were asked to draw their own „customer journey“ in terms of the support they received from the public and private sector or from their personal network. In the course of the presentation of some experiences with support structures it became clear that there is still a lack of entrepreneurial thinking within the administration itself and that understanding for cultural and creative business concepts still has to be improved. Two participants from smaller cities found that in order to encourage people to remain in the city it is necessary to provide contact persons for young people with ideas and that it is not sufficient to have business support structures in metropolitan areas. 

In a second part, Josephine pointed to one of the trickiest current challenges of creative industries support. Even though business relations between CCI and other sector of the economy are established, especially in the field of marketing or design, there is still a huge potential for cooperation. She presented findings from studies that show this unexploited potential. Several initiatives in Europe are trying to foster cross innovation between different sectors of the economy and society at the moment.

The participants were also introduced to the concept of artistic interventions. These are not only a new field for artists to apply their talents in a business context. Also companies can profit from collaboration with artists in areas such as leadership development, team development and collaboration within the company, product and marketing innovation, strategic development, creative and communicative training of the individual, creative interiors, co-creation and creative processes and when it comes to customer’s needs and preferences. From her own experiences she showed that matching artists and creative entrepreneurs with companies from traditional business sectors is a major challenge. Using the brainwalk method, participants could invent unusual and innovate matching formats themselves.

In the afternoon we visited INTEGAR (Institute of Horticulture Technologies), which was founded in 2010 as a private partnerhsip and re-founded in 2013 as a limited company. Their recent project is called ‘Bottle Crop’ – it is the lettuce grown in a bottle, which actually is the smallest urban horticulture system.

They also invented other ideas, like LEDgro, which is a professional LED light exposure with the whole plant of light or the Brick Born Farming, an indoor food production in urban areas.

All these projects were funded by Start Next, the biggest crowdfunding company in Germany. This enterprise was established in 2008 and in 2009 it started working. With different strategies (equity-based; donation-based; reward-based, lending-based) Start Next helps among others, creatives to start-up their business by raising funds from members of the platform of the company.

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Happiness Hacking, the Effectuation method & Volume 11


On Monday Saskia Rudolph introduced the “Hacking Happiness” theme focusing on the question „ARE YOU HAPPY?” and „WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL HAPPY“. Thereby she emphasized that only 10% of your happiness is influenced by the circumstances (50% is genetically determined, 40% is determined by your thoughts and behavior).

By giving an example of a child who wants to become a ‘tree climber”, when he becomes an adult, she explained how happiness can be achieved by thinking first of all what we have always wanted to do in our life and what we actually do now. She also told us about the most important thought – You just have to motivate yourself: ‘Let’s go!’ – and if you feel the flow, you are really in to something and that is, what makes you feel happy.

Saskia asked all country groups to reflect and discuss how their cities can be improved in order to hack happiness. Different ideas and proposals were presented and actually some of the participants have already started hacking happiness in their city.

In the next workshop Katja explained the effectuation method and described it as a „cooking without recipe“ method, which means that instead of following the causal thinking and setting aims before finding out if the resources and possibilities are provided. Therefore, the effectuation method is based on the existing resources and capabilities and according to these factors, the goals are set. Consequently, participants were asked to work in two teams their own company according to certain principles: 1. Bird-in-hand (working with the existing resources to create something new, with regard to abilities and network), 2. Affordable loss (investing money on the start-up bussiness based on what you can afford; taking into consideration the risks), 3.Crazy Quilt (selecting partners because of their passion and their eagerness to start something new), 4. Lemonade (problems can be seen as chances), 5. Pilot in the Plane (based on the fact that the future is unpredictable).

After this group work task the first study visit took place in Volume11 which is a creative enterprise providing fully equipped rehearsal rooms for musicians which they can use and pay hourly at a very reasonable price. Nils, one of the founders of Volume11 provided us with information about the reasons and the process of starting up this particular business explaining that there were no equipped rehearsal rooms in Dresden which could be rented hourly and also mentioning the difficulty in finding space which is not so costly.




On Sunday the focus was on creating a business model canvas. After a short introduction the participants worked in 5 groups of 4 people each and created a business plan for fictional businesses and already existing ones that some of the participants run. The business model canvas is based on certain key elements such as the value proposition, customers, financing, channels, customer relationships, key activities, revenue streams etc.

Each group presented its business model, some of which are: a product called “Zip your shoes” which is actually shoes with zippers, a company called “Micro-art-centre” in Poland, where video, music and photography are combined, a cultural festival called “Chess with pawn”, the “Survival festival” and last one is the Creative incubator, which aims to help creative entrepreneurs to start up their business in Pärnu, Estonia. After this group work, we discussed the role of planning in the process of creative entrepreneurship.


Trainers and workshops


The day continued with introducing the key elements of being a creative entrepreneur by the trainer, Katja Grosser. Creative entrepreneurs often have the dilemma between art and economy and have completely different approach to selling and getting profit than traditional entrepreneurs. In addition, the problem is that creatives do not consider themselves to be entrepreneurs. Creatives define themselves by having as many ideas as possible but traditional entrepreneurs consider how to utilize the one idea they have. Challenge is how to combine artistic claims with the best ways of generating added value.

Many of the creative entrepreneurs are self-employed and the rate of self-employment in CCIs is twice as high as in the general EU economy. This is the reason why creative professionals are seen as lonely warriors. However, networking is extremely important and even creative entrepreneurs need partners!

The afternoon continued with Andreas Milles who gave an insight into the daily practice of a creative start-up. According to Milles, PASSION, EXPERTISE and ECONOMY are the most important elements which make a creative entrepreneur to be successful. Creative entrepreneurs should remember to keep a distance from their idea and to be able to accept criticism. “Creativity needs passion but to succeed, creativity needs open criticism; the more the better”.  In addition, it is important to be able to relinquish the idea if no progress occurs and not to be afraid to ask  for external consultation.

“You are not your idea and if you identify too closely with your idea, you will take offense when challenged”

– Ed Catmull

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After describing the tools to foster creativity, the participants were working in groups in order to define a prototypical creative entrepreneur. The task was to create an extremely vivid prototypical creative entrepreneur by combining as much information about personal experience as creative as possible!