The fourth edition of the Spark Innovation Hackathon for 60 students specialising in Entrepreneurship on their BBA in Global Hospitality Management program has been held at Les Roches.
The event was organised in collaboration with We Tangible, a company defining itself as the ‘anti-consultancy’ specialising in innovation, strategy, product development, startup ecosystems, and educational experiences.
During the exercise, ten current business challenges in the hotel and tourism industry were presented. Each team of students chose one of these challenges and worked on innovative solutions by creating a startup. They then faced the task of presenting their project to a judging panel, all within a 48-hour timeframe.
The aim of this practice, which Les Roches has been promoting for years, is to equip students and businesses with the necessary tools to nurture creativity and entrepreneurial skills among the students. In this edition, the project with the most potential for the jury was “Cuba Libre”, a B2B data-based solution to enhance the consumer experience in events and nightlife.
Carlos Díez de la Lastra, CEO of Les Roches, said: “The history of our institution is built on an entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, qualities expected of all future leaders. Additionally, the school instills values of humility and sacrifice, necessary for starting a project from scratch.”
The training brought together leading figures from the European entrepreneurial ecosystem, responsible for mentoring the teams, including Alberto Cárdenas, CEO of FISIA Physiotherapy+Artificial Intelligence, Pablo Valencia, CEO of Patronus, Ildefonso Olmedo, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer of Santander UK, and Andrea Montoliu, Head of Spanish-speaking markets at Wooclap.
The dynamic also included the participation of the school’s entrepreneurship team, represented by Susana Garrido, Director of Innovation and e-learning at Les Roches, and Professor Dámaris Tenza. Additionally, Salva Ferri Guallar, an expert in innovation, corporate strategy, and startups, co-founder and Managing Partner at We Tangible, was responsible for organising the training.
According to the findings of the latest report from the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (GUESSS) that gathered insights from 58 countries, 17.8% of students aspire to become entrepreneurs directly after studies. On top of this, 32.3% of students plan to become entrepreneurs five years after graduating. Les Roches nurtures this innovative mindset through its educational offerings. A testament to this is that 24% of its students start their own businesses within two years of graduating.
The BBA in Global Hospitality Management is an internationally accredited business degree focused on the hospitality industry and offering specialisations in Luxury Hospitality Management, Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing Strategies, Financial Performance Management, and Resort Development and Management. This education, available in English and Bilingual formats, allows students to acquire a professional discipline that opens doors to various sectors and some of the world’s most prestigious brands, such as Marriott International, Hyatt, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, and Soho House, amongst others.
In the final year of the BBA program, students can choose the specialisation in Entrepreneurship and Business Development to lead innovative projects within major hotel chains and bring their projects to life. The next intake for the BBA takes place in February 2024.
Additionally, the program provides students with exclusive access to the global innovation centre, Spark, a physical space on the Les Roches campus that serves as a platform for incubating disruptive startups. The goal of Spark is to introduce students to the latest technologies and innovative ideas driving the next generation of the hotel industry.