The Innovation Village
Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) launched the first business incubator for hospitality concepts and start-ups in 2009 to create a dedicated resource for the development of new hospitality and F&B concepts. The initiative was embraced by students, alumni and industry partners and it became clear that a new space was needed to house the ever-growing pool of ideas and innovators that were coming from the school and the industry.
That is why, in 2018, EHL signed an agreement with Ville de Lausanne to develop an innovation ecosystem near the EHL campus in the historical hamlet of the Quartier de l’Auberge of Chalet à Gobet. This new Innovation Village has two core missions: to support entrepreneurship and to inspire and disrupt the food & hospitality industry, and it is powered by strategic partners.
The Village Site & Facilities
On a uniquely harmonious site, the Innovation Village offers a hospitality and food ecosystem for students, alumni, entrepreneurs, researchers, experts, investors, artists and passersby to discover the latest trends in hospitality. This casual and creative space is located in a 4’000 m2 historical hamlet, just a short distance from the EHL Lausanne campus, offering these facilities and attractions:
- EHL’s Business Incubator with offices and meeting rooms for start-ups
- Food Lab (400m2) for applied, food-related research and testing
- The Auberge, a café and restaurant open to the public
- Testing and research for F&B and hospitality concepts
- Events’ and exhibitions to stimulate ideas and create networking opportunities
FIT Digital by EHL
In 2019, the Fondation pour L’Innovation Technologique (FIT) Digital and the EHL Innovation Foundation launched a tool to support:
- Start-ups that develop innovative digital solutions for the food and hospitality industries
- That are or are willing to join the EHL incubator as resident /incorporated members
- These start-ups are selected and coached by a committee and advisors from FIT Digital.
What can the Innovation Village offer you?
- Get access to resources and guidance to help make your game-changing business idea a reality.
EHL Students :
- During the sixth semester of the Bachelor of Science, you can choose to do your internship in your own start-up with the guidance of faculty innovation experts.
- Find an internship in an Innovation Village start-up
- Organize events and meetings using the public areas
- Get access to support for promising start-ups in digital food or hospitality services
- Become a strategic partner of the EHL Innovation Village (sponsorship, visibility)
- Test innovative concepts in the Auberge or the Food Lab
- Conduct research on food or hospitality topics
- Have access to EHL’s international faculty and student expertise
- Attract student or alumni talent to your organization
Industry Experts & Academics:
- Share your expertise with our community through workshops or services.
- Become a visiting lecturer
- Partner with us on research projects
- Reconnect with EHL through innovative business opportunities
- Visit the Innovation Village and meet start-up
The Hospitality Business Incubator
IOT, blockchain, gaming, computer vision, smart data, 3D printing, 5G, AI, personalized nutrition, sustainability, robotics, material science… are changing the world we live-in and impacting our industry. EHL's Business Incubator supports promising startups or entrepreneurial projects that focus on or are relevant to the food and, or hospitality industry.
If you are passionate about the latest trends and technologies in hospitality or F&B, then we invite you to join our Innovation Village model. We have a variety of spaces and resources available for our partners and we will be happy to discuss your needs.
- Eligibility to join the Digital FIT by EHL or willingness to collaborate with the EHL Food Lab.
- Fixed corporate desk (2 users max)
- Unlimited access to the incubator company registration at EHL
- EHL acceleration program/incubation
- Free acees to incubator meeting rooms upon availability (6 hours max per month)
- Access to the flexible coworking space with non-exclusive seating (coworking tables, individual desks, vitra chairs/office).
- Access to the incubator during office working hours, maximum 10 days per month
- Free access to incubator meeting rooms upon availability (2 hours max per month)
Community (Members & Alumni)
- Access to common spaces during working hours / days
- Invitations to expositions and events
For all members (mentioned above): Access to events, SLACK community member, discounts at EHL outlets and Print shop, incubator card, access to the nap room, logo posted on EHL incubator digital and paper communications supports, Ping-Pong, and the incubator baby foot table.
Followers (Online Followers)
- Stay up to date on new start-ups and innovation trends
- Innovation Village news
Start-ups and entrepreneurs
Arve Air is a Swiss/Hong Kong based start-up with its big vision: to give people access to clean and healthy air. With our digital air quality services for hotels we create added values in real time – both for hotel guests and operations. Our Air-as-a-Service approach combines the most advanced technologies such as IoT and Big Data that leads to actionable insights and data-based decision-making.
«As we focus on the Asian hotel industry for market entry, the EHL network is of great value to us. We not only get access to relevant contacts, we also get challenged and gain new industry insights to constantly enhance our air quality services and customer experiences.» Kaspar Zimmerli, COO & Co-Founder Arve Air
Beelong is an indicator used to measure the environmental impact of an ingredient, a dish, or an entire restaurant. The indicator aims to reduce the impact of foodstuffs on the environment by providing practical solutions for the restaurant industry.
“EHL is a cornerstone for tomorrow's hospitality industry and it's therefore a real opportunity for a young company to grow within the incubator. Beelong benefits from EHL’s extensive network and valuable support. We also have the opportunity to implement our indicator in the F&B outlets on-site – we couldn’t be any closer to those impacted by our tool!”
Charlotte de la Beaume & Mathias Faigaux, Managing Partners of Beelong
Brosky Media is a b2b photo and video production company. From conception to production to delivering across all channels and media consulting, we support our clients to develop content aligned with their strategies.
“The business incubator helps us staying connected with the EHL network while exploring and finding new partners within hospitality but also across other industries.” Florian Dahm, Managing Partner of BroskyMedia
Freelane is creating new digital product that will change how we travel! It optimises the traveller's schedule in real time, by anticipating solutions to barriers, re-sequencing routes and providing bespoke adjustments, so he/she can decide on the best personalized solutions fitting with the travel diary priorities. Freelane also identifies bespoke opportunities for hassle-free, efficient and enjoyable travel, door-to-destination. For each traveller. Freelane is a B2C and B2B solution, available as an app and API.
ISTA is an international avalanche training program intended to prevent risks in the mountains and to increase the freedom, enjoyment and safety of backcountry enthusiasts. A large number of stakeholders within the sector (training, tourism, industry) are involved in this unique project. Dominique Perret, named Best Freeride Skier of the Century at the 2000 Board Awards in Paris, founded the start-up safe mountain SA to develop the training program. Based in the EHL incubator since its launch in 2014, the start-up is currently operated by five staff.
Mixfit is a digital health company that designs nutritional experiences to encourage lasting, positive changes in health behavior.
Their belief that the path towards a better, healthier, and longer life starts with nutrition drives everything they do.
They leverage nutrition science, cutting-edge artificial intelligence, and digital health technologies in developing their health data platform and smart counter-top nutrient delivery appliance to provide consumers with personalized nutritional drinks & deliver wellness-related insight based on their unique health data.
OriginFood offre à ses clients de l’agro-alimentaire des solutions «Track & Trace» sur mesure, combinant l’internet des objets (IoT) et la technologie blockchain. Fondée en 2018 par les deux experts industriels Pierre-Alain Ceralli et Peter Gustavsson, l'entreprise a su créer un pont entre les nouvelles opportunités offertes par les technologies blockchain/IoT et les besoins croissants de l’industrie agro-alimentaire. Origin Food propose des solutions adaptées aux réalités des terrains ruraux et industriels. Elles offrent une traçabilité et une preuve d’origine immuable des produits de la chaine d’approvisionnement, du champ jusqu’aux consommateurs.
PrivateDeal a développé le premier système de réservation intégrant une négociation intelligente et automatisée pour augmenter les réservations directes sur les sites des hôtels. Cette solution disruptive permet aux voyageurs de proposer leur propre prix pour une chambre, voire de négocier en quelques clics le meilleur prix. L’objectif de PrivateDeal est d’aider les hôtels à générer un taux de conversion élevé sur leur site internet via une approche centrée sur le client.
“L’incubateur nous offre la possibilité d’élargir notre réseau, trouver des partenaires de confiance, participer à des évènements à fort impact et bénéficier du support de professionnels de l’hôtellerie. C’est pour nous un point stratégique pour la réussite de notre start-up”. Lucien Mauguin, co-founder of PrivateDeal SA
Socialease is the first digital assistant designed to support hotels, restaurants in the daily management of their social media and e-reputation plateforms. Thanks to Socialease, every business owner can easily interact online with its users, and communicate the right way, on the right medias.
"By being domiciled at the incubator, Socialease benefits from the environment, the image and the support of the EHL. This is an undeniable added value for all aspects of the development of our Startup" Laurent THEVIN, CEO
They turned their idea into reality
Why are some startups successful while others fail? From the idea, to the management team and the timing, shops are full of “how to succeed” books, but no one tells a more sincere story than the entrepreneurs themselves, especially if they are EHL Alumni.