The EHL Innovation Village

At the end of 2018, EHL (Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne) launched the Innovation Village, an incubator with the mission of supporting entrepreneurship, inspiring and disrupting the food and hotel industries. More than twenty start-ups lie at the beating heart of the Village. They arise both from EHL student or alumni community projects and from entrepreneurs with a wide variety of backgrounds with no particular connection to EHL. Start-ups also have levels of maturity ranging from entrepreneurial projects to start-ups expanding internationally. They address challenges such as food provenance, sustainability, packaging, design, dynamic pricing, personalised nutrition or service optimisation.

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EHL Innovation Village

The Village provides easy access to the EHL community (interns, student consulting, coaching from teachers, visibility…). It also houses a FoodLab where applied research projects can be launched and ideas and recipes can be tested. An experimental Hostel is currently under planning. It will offer the opportunity to test concepts related to customer experience and accommodation.
Some start-ups can benefit from the financial leverage of the EHL Innovation Foundation supported by its donors:

Food & Hospitality by EHL for start-ups:

  1. Become a member of the extended community of the world’s leading university in Hospitality & Leisure management and participate in exclusive events;
  2. Join an ecosystem of innovation focused on Food and Hospitality with entrepreneurs, students, professors, consultants, researchers and EHL Alumni;
  3. Benefit from the proximity of EHL to obtain advice from professors and experts, hire interns or student consultants;
  4. Obtain visibility in the media, in the EHL network of 30’000 Alumni and its partners;
  5. Access to a network of partners, including the donors of the EHL Innovation Foundation: Nestlé, HôtellerieSuisse, Fondation Casino Barrière and Marriott International;
  6. Have a workplace in historic 19th century buildings surrounded by a green space very close to EHL;
  7. The freedom of financial aid with no entry into the capital.

Prerequisites (see FIT Digital):

 

  • Specialisation: Food or Hospitality with a digital component
  • Innovation: ability to demonstrate that the business model is innovative, difficult to imitate and with strong growth potential.
  • Team: depending on the type of support, at least 2 people on the project (see FIT Digital)
  • Stage of development: depending on the type of support, the programme is accessible before the creation of the business and up to 36 months after entry in the trade register (see FIT Digital)
  • Location: EHL Innovation Village (visitor or resident as appropriate)

What is the process?

EHL Innovation Village

1. Establishing the start-up in the Innovation Village

a)The start-up applies and pitches to join the Innovation Village
b)The application is examined and then accepted or rejected
c) Less mature projects join the Visitor area of the incubator; start-ups establish themselves and are incorporated at the Innovation Village.

Process-1

2. Applying for the Food & Hospitality by EHL programme
3 possibilities according to the stage of development: (see FIT Digital)
a) The Food & Hospitality Grant by EHL
b) The Food & Hospitality Seed loan by EHL
c) The Food & Hospitality Growth loan by EHL

Process-3

3. Appointment with a FIT adviser subject to eligibility

The coach reviews the conditions of the programme and the indicators to be put in place

Process-2

4. Validation of the funding requirement and action plan

Process-4

5. Invitation to pitch to the Selection Committee

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6. Follow-up of indicators with the FIT adviser

To free up financial support, the start-up sets up and monitors KPIs

Process-5

7. Signing of contracts and release of the loan / grant