PARTNERS

Stephanie Utz, KUNSTLABOR 2 Museum and Cultural Center and MUCA Museum

Stephanie Utz is a real “Münchner Kindl” with a profound love for the city. She spent her childhood in the arts district of Haidhausen, where she was inspired by free-spirited and creative figures in the neighborhood. Stephanie holds a diploma in economics, and graduated as a private equity advisor from the European Business School (EBS).

Throughout her seventeen years career in international advertising and insurance, she gained expertise in business development, finance, marketing, and intercultural cooperation.

In 2016 – together with her husband Christian – Stephanie founded Germany’s first museum for urban art, the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA). The museum’s initial curatorial intention was to bring urban art in from the streets and share their passion for the genre within a museum setting.

Today the MUCA Collection houses one of the most acclaimed collections of urban contemporary art in Europe. 

Stephanie is also the head of KUNSTLABOR 2, one of the biggest interim-use cultural projects in Munich. She belongs to an ambitious young generation of women rethinking and reshaping Munich’s arts and culture scene. She is part of various art circles, Munich’s tourism initiative, and a board member of the MUCA Foundation.

Stephanie partnered with Alessandra Mattanza for the NEW YORK BLACK AND WHITE project in 2021 and also for her new bestseller street art book, empowering women in the Arts: Street Art is Female, published by White Star Publishers in Italy, by Prestel and Random House in Germany, the US, the UK, and internationally, by L IMPREVU in France and by other co-publishers worldwide.

Ecoalf was born in 2009. Both the name and brand concept originated after the birth of Javier Goyenche’s (Founder and President) two sons: Alfredo and Alvaro. He wanted to create a truly sustainable fashion brand and believed the most sustainable thing to do was to stop carelessly using natural resources to ensure those of the next generation. Since then, Ecoalf’s mission has been to create a new generation of recycled products with the same quality and design as the best non-recycled. For example, one sweatshirt can save over 11,000 liters of water. “Fashion must change its business model because the current one does not work and destroys the planet. And we, as consumers, must change our habits, reducing unnecessary waste. We are living in a crucial moment, and we cannot continue to ignore the signals that are coming to us unequivocally, as if nothing were happening. Day after day, I am increasingly aware that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem,” says Javier in the book, SOS Planet Earth: Voices for a Better World, by Alessandra Mattanza.

Javier also founded the Ecoalf Foundation, which promotes several awareness campaigns, such as Upcycling the Oceans, which unites over 3,500 fishermen to remove plastic waste from the bottom of our oceans and give it a second life.

Alessandra works for VALPAS as a content creator, consultant, and brand ambassador. VALPAS, which began in the center MARIA 01 (The Nordics’ Leading Startup Campus), is the only and best solution for bedbugs in hotels, replacing pesticides previously used and inhaled by guests sleeping in the hotel rooms.

Throughout her extensive travels, Alessandra learned how serious the bedbug problem could be. She has also been intrigued by the lengthy and incredible scientific research that VALPAS conducted in studying their habits to create a clean, safe, and even sexy solution. VALPAS has an amazingly appealing design ideal for luxury hotels as well as other accommodations. It perfectly suits all furniture and interior designs from antique to contemporary styles. In any hotel room, existing bed legs are switched to VALPAS-designed bed legs and connected to a smartphone.

The bed legs trick bed bugs with bioengineered Nordic design, collecting and eliminating them when they enter the rooms while still few in number and harmless. The technology can also be integrated into legless beds and bed frames.

ABOVE ALL, VALPAS is also ONE SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE. “By getting free of bedbugs forever with the VALPAS standard, hotels can stop the continued use of fossil fuel pesticides and the greenhouse gases that they emit over a 100-year period, helping hotels transition into operations free from fossil fuels and reverse climate change,” explains Martim Gois, one of the co-founders.

In 2013, Martim Gois co-founded VALPAS after an experience that is every traveler’s worst nightmare. During a surfing trip to Thailand, Martim was exposed to bedbugs and got frustrated with how pest control and pesticides were failing people, hospitality providers, and the planet.

VALPAS is also a travel agency and offers hotel memberships and discounts for guests booking through them. Travelers recognize safe-member hotels from the VALPAS label that is included on hotel websites and travel platforms, as well as at valpashotels.com.

Danijela Saponijic is a Feng Shui and Space Healing Master, an entrepreneur, and the author of four books. She works with clients worldwide to align the environment with their purposes and to connect their inner and outer worlds. As a result, her clients open up new spaces where they call in their dreams, visions, and desires with joy and ease. She is also the founder of the School of Spiritual Design, where she certifies individuals in Feng Shui and space healing worldwide and helps them build their passions and purpose-driven businesses.

LISA HIERONYMUS

Lisa studied psychology at Ludwig Maximilian Universität in Munich, Germany. She fell in love with San Francisco while working on her Master’s degree in International Business at Hult Business School in North Beach. She also spent time in Los Angeles. Lisa has been passionate about animals and the environment since she was a child. She has helped in protecting the environment for many years ever since she first learned about the problems associated with climate change, warming oceans, and, especially, pollution, something everyone contributes to and can help solve. She has organized clean-ups, educated friends and family on the topic, and hopes to spread awareness and a conscious way of living. She works as a social worker, taking care of children and the elderly, and has learned how important it is to spread this message to future generations. 

Lisa loves the ocean and its inhabitants. She is the co-author with Alessandra of the comics series Gino, the Sealion of Pier 39, & Chin Chin, created to inspire awareness in children and adults about protecting the ocean.  

HEIDI SEIKKULA

Heidi is an entrepreneur with passion for the hospitality industry and running her own business as a co-owner and CEO of the boutique hotel, Aurora Estate, among the wildest nature in Ylläsjärvi Lapland, Finland. She also started a new company Lappi On Lifestyle (Lapland lifestyle) in October 2020, which focuses on consulting, content production, product development, high-end services productions, and hosting. At the moment, Heidi is developing a € 10,2 million sustainable hotel in the heart of the purest nature in Lapland with spectacular architecture that respects and protects the environment. 

Together with the co-owner of Aurora Estate, the TV- and prize-winning Masterchef Sirly Ylläsjärvi, Heidi wrote and produced the book: Recipes and Unforgettable Experiences: Lapland’s 8 Seasons, by Cosy Publishing, which is a culinary journey to the Finnish Arctic. Heidi is also working with Alessandra on an illustrated book, Discover Lapland with Atlas, in Disney style, about Lapland whose main character Atlas (in the photo with Heidi on the right), is her Alaskan Malamute. Alessandra is also “godmother” to one of her other dogs, Ultra (in the photo below), a Swedish elkhound that was born during the pandemic.

Matteo Todeschi is an engineer, former athlete, and entrepreneur. He has lived in five countries and three continents, and studied in six different universities, two of which are in the top 20 in the world in the engineering sector. In a previous life (before a bad injury) he was Italian vice-champion in windsurfing and Italian student champion in alpine skiing.

After receiving a Fulbright scholarship for young entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and an MBA, he began consulting for startups. Matteo is also the founder of investimi.com, a personal finance and investment blog. One year after its establishment, Investimi offers nearly 200 in-depth articles, over 20 guides and calculators, and has helped over 150,000 people.