V Spark Hackathon at Les Roches to boost entrepreneurship and impact solutions in hospitality and tourism

Les Roches has successfully hosted the fifth edition of the Spark Innovation Hackathon in which 30 undergraduate BBA in Global Hospitality Management and postgraduate students from its Marbella campus have participated.

Les Roches, ranked among the world’s top four hospitality management schools worldwide, organised the training in collaboration with Spark partner, WE TANGIBLE, a company specialising in innovation, product development, entrepreneurship, and the startup ecosystem, and saw eight scalable initiatives with the potential to become real business projects being developed.

The objective of this long-standing hackathon is to provide both students and companies with the necessary tools to awaken creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit, one of the education institution’s most outstanding characteristics.

Les Roches offers various specific training programs, including the BBA in Global Hospitality Management, with a specialisation in Hospitality Entrepreneurship, and the new Postgraduate Diploma in Food and Beverage Management and Entrepreneurship, designed for professionals looking to develop their own business, manage the F&B services of a hotel, or join the restaurant sector.

Overall, 24% of its students start their own business within two years of graduation, and 33% of alumni have successfully started their own businesses.

During the hackathon, supported by a team of entrepreneurship and innovation experts, and working in teams, students identified impact solutions based on innovation, leveraging the business opportunities offered by hospitality and tourism in connection with technology.

Les Roches Spark Hackathon

To do this, Les Roches students had the mentoring and evaluation of experts from leading companies and innovative startups in the Spanish ecosystem, such as George Macavei, Venture Capital & Startups BDM at Google; Anna Fortea, European Commission Business Coach; Pablo Valencia, Head of Business Development at WE TANGIBLE; and Alberto Cárdenas, CEO of Healthgroup and Fisia.

The dynamic was supported by the Les Roches entrepreneurship team and the participation of Susana Garrido, Director of Innovation and Digital Learning. Salva Ferri Guallar, co-founder and Managing Partner at WE TANGIBLE, was in charge of organising the training.

In this fifth edition, the project considered to have the most potential was Safe Travel, a specialised software platform in the health sector, aiming to connect all tourists and digital nomads with the nearest hospitals and centres in real time, thus facilitating the patient’s choice of hospital and the services included in their insurance policy.

Other projects considered to have great potential were Smile INN, which aims to eliminate guest friction points when checking in and out of the hotel through biometric solutions, generating new revenue streams for it; and Safety Cup, whose user-centred value proposition is to create a safe space in nightclubs, using reactive devices for any possible adulteration in drinks.