From restaurant booking apps to AI-powered desserts, the new cohort of next-generation hospitality entrepreneurs has arrived at our Spark innovation sphere brimming with a host of exciting new propositions.
Our global innovation sphere Spark – read more about it here – has welcomed 11 early stage start-ups on to its pre-incubation and incubation programs, which will help the budding businesses hone their ideas and turn them into reality.
We caught up with the latest intake at our Crans-Montana and Marbella campuses to find out more about what they want to achieve.
Poor quality cab services and a shortage of public transport in Marbella gave Les Roches Marbella student Neharika Kishore the idea to launch Glass Wings, an app-based taxi service that will also support local women.
The 24/7 service will cater for working women, students, young couples and families who do not have their own vehicle and will be staffed by local women looking for a regular, stable income in what is traditionally a male-dominated sector.
Neharika’s plan is to offer a user-friendly service with a range of personalised options, among which include choice of car, what music is played and temperature, and hopes Spark will help her develop the ideal platform for it.
For more on the idea, watch her video.
A revolutionary platform serving the hospitality and tourism industry, H-Trainer brings together students and teachers in a unique marketplace of online training tools and content.
Drawing on more than 50 years’ experience, the founders aim to create a subscription-based digital community along the lines of a social network that enables users to cooperate, share their skills and learn – all in one place.
Primarily aimed at entry-level hotel employees, supervisors and middle management who need training, H-Trainer is also seeking to recruit subject matter experts willing to share their knowledge with the community and create content, act as mentors or run online classes.
Les Roches Marbella alumnus Levan Chikvaidze has already launched a pilot of his Moonriver travel experience web app on the market in his native Georgia and now he’s turned to Spark to help it really take off.
Moonriver is a fully digital marketplace that connects experience providers with those seeking new and exciting adventures and has been developed by Levan in partnership with two fellow Les Roches Marbella alumni alongside experienced software engineer George Kiknadze.
The team plan to use data from the pilot – which already has 10 experienced providers on board – to develop an MVP with the help of Spark to take the business forward.
For more on the team, watch his video.
Les Roches Marbella student Pilar Sermentera Moises wants to take the pain out of booking highly sought-after restaurants where it is almost impossible to find a table.
Having grown up in Madrid, Pilar has witnessed the rapid growth of the city’s gastronomic scene and knows just how hard it is to reserve in-demand, fashionable restaurants, even during challenging times.
My Table is an app that will display restaurant availability in real time – all at the touch of the button – making table reservation at hard-to-book eateries in the Spanish capital quicker and easier than ever.
Scrumylicious was an idea in the making for a couple of years before being launched during the pandemic by Les Roches Marbella student Akanksha Nair.
The start-up, which offers tasty, sweet treats alongside options for customers seeking low-calorie, vegan or Keto alternatives, began to grow among her family and friends before demand soared once she hooked up with food bloggers via Instagram.
Akanksha plans to base the business in Dubai where there is little competition and will drive the business forward by harnessing the power of AI to make ingredient sourcing, order taking and delivery management less time-consuming and more efficient.
For more on the idea and how it came about, watch her video.
Brainchild of Les Roches alumni José Luis Egas Cánaz and Ramiro Ochoa Endara, Searchef is a digital marketplace that offers unique gastronomic experiences where food and beverage professionals bring ingredients to clients, prepare, serve and clean up afterwards.
Working with chefs, sommeliers, baristas and cocktail mixologists who do not have the capital to start their own businesses, the platform will help them generate revenue, advertise their services and communicate easily with consumers and potential investors.
Aimed at corporate clients, event organizers and the general public, Searchef gives industry professionals a simple way of monetizing their expertise and sharing it with an audience of millions.
A platform dedicated to making extended reservations at hotels at discounted rates, Yurt is designed for ‘digital nomads’ and those looking for short-term rentals when moving to a new city.
In general, longer term reservations cannot be made online, so Yurt aims to create a more user-friendly, internet-based alternative.
While still in its very early stages, Yurt aims to not only make the reservations for clients but also offer them a range of different options so they can find the perfect property that best meets their needs.
Countries in Africa are often overlooked as a travel destination due to being labeled ‘developing’, a situation Akili Travel is on a mission to transform.
The start-up online travel agency wants to turn these negative perceptions on their head and present the African continent as a destination of choice that offers diverse cultures, landscapes, traditions and great hospitality.
Working alongside hoteliers on the continent, Akili Travel will offer the best prices in real time to customers and is also committed to boosting the continent’s hospitality industry and supporting local communities through partnerships with education, child welfare and women’s groups.
Founded by David Aron in November 2020, Aron Union is developing a fully digital human resources management system (HRMS) that enables a broad range of employment-based functions and tools.
Already developed are systems that allow digital hiring, training, staff productivity analysis, payroll and feedback management, while the aim is to create more innovative features such as an employee social platform, a gamified communication and rewards system and more in future.
The team is currently gathering data to gain a better understanding of potential clients’ needs and will tailor its ultimate offer based on the results.
For more details, check out their LinkedIn page.
Les Roches Marbella alumni Sviatoslav Budzak and Diego Delli Veneri have launched Lifechanging, a service to help students aged 14-18 on the Costa del Sol making future career and lifestyle choices.
For more information, check out this recent blog.
Les Roches Crans Montana alumni Hans Hachfeld and Giampaolo Fabrizio join forces to create a smart shopping app that will help users find the best prices for their supermarket groceries and make huge savings.
There’s more in this blog.