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) DragonBack Innovation 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
Between seasonal, homemade, local, organic, sustainable and healthy products, how do you make the best possible choices? The Beelong eco-score evaluates food to provide simple information on the environmental impact of food products, in a context where the climate emergency is more than ever topical.
“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 Baume & Mathias Faigaux, Managing Partners of Beelong
Blent is data platform that allows hoteliers to have a 360° overview on their business, and produce very easily highly customizable dashboards, reports, and tables for all domains: stays, F&B, accounting, SPA, IoT, etc. And with our digital assistant you have now a direct access to your data, anywhere, anytime. Whether you manage one or hundreds of hotels, Blent will consolidate your data independently of the technologies behind, and you can now group or benchmark your properties very easily.
Christopher Meignier – CEO
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.
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.
Nutrition it’s kind of complicated today. We don’t really know what to eat… The first goal of NutriPixi is to make it simple, so that nutrition becomes easy for everyone. We created a new type of lunchbox which helps you to build a balance meal really easily.
Besides, education is one of our priority, that’s why we also give free access to nutrition class in our website to help people to learn how to eat healthy step by step.
It feels like plastic and looks like plastic.
There is just one difference: it’s made from plants and it's fully compostable.
One StepUp stands for a plastic-free world! We provide compostable packaging that returns back to the earth after use. All you need to do is throw it into your compost!
One StepUp’s packaging is just as transparent, durable and impermeable as conventional plastic packaging.
Together Let’s step into a more sustainable world!
OriginFood offer their clients customized track & trace solutions, combining the Internet of Things and blockchain technology. Founded in 2018 by Pierre-Alain Ceralli and Peter Gustavsson, both with extensive experience from the food and beverage industry, OriginFood focuses on helping clients fully leverage the new opportunities offered by blockchain technology to answer to the growing needs of the food industry for improved and immutable traceability and proof of origin throughout the entire supply chain and to the end consumer.
PrivateDeal developed the first smart negotiation solution designed to increase direct bookings on hotels’ websites. This unique engine lets guests offer their own price for a room and, if necessary, automatically and instantly negotiates with them the best price for both parties. PrivateDeal helps hotels driving a higher conversion rate by capturing more guests in direct thanks to a highly customer-centric approach.
“The incubator gives us the opportunity to expand our network, find faithful partners, participate to key events and benefit from the support of hospitality professionals. It is a strategic point for us in the success of our startup.” Lucien Mauguin, co-founder of PrivateDeal SA.
RoomPriceGenie is a Swiss startup making dynamic pricing software available to smaller hotels. With a focus on excellence of pricing, allied to the necessity to aim for simplicity and low cost, we are looking to create the perfect revenue-management solution for the interconnected, big-data age.
«For us, as a hospitality startup, there could be no better partner than EHL. With a strong network, top professors, and dynamic, entrepreneurial students and graduates, we feel that working with EHL gives us great opportunities in our growth journey.» Ari Andricopoulos, CEO RoomPriceGenie
S1NGULAR1TY focuses both on the skills of our experts as well as their ability to creatively transform problematic and complex managerial situations through collective action rich in value-creating opportunities.Our approach is mainly focused on the human experience and the interactions of the enterprise system. Our consulting strategy is based on the complementarity of relevant professions and the interdisciplinary expertise. As a consulting company, the philosophy of S1NGULAR1TY is to focus on the actors who are permanently in concrete and problematic situations in order to make these situations intelligible on the one hand and also to transform these situations into opportunities.
smartTONi is an operation management system for professional catering kitchens. It allows untrained cooks to be productive in catering kitchens. A personal digital device advices kitchen staff step-by-step on the tasks to be done. This allows constantly high food quality at lower labour cost.
Lorenz Bertschi CEO & Georgi Antonov – CCO
Smeetz is the world’s first software platform for leisure organizers, using data analytics and AI-powered dynamic pricing to improve sales and market reach.
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
Willka lets you grow local food, year-round.
Willka addresses the needs of the changing food landscape by providing the physical and digital tools to create local produce ecosystems on a global scale. With the right tools, infrastructure and support, you can become a WillFarmer, regardless of your background or geographic location.
Most of us are eating produce that has traveled thousands of miles from its source: Not only does trucking and flying our food generate harmful emissions, but the greens typically arrive well beyond peak freshness.
Willka technology makes it easy to bring people closer to their food source. The result is local, year-round production featuring fresh, sustainably-grown, and flavorful greens.
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.