Swiss Entrepreneurs Magazine


The Swiss Start-Up Innovation Camp © Swiss Start-Up Innovation Camp



With the second WTFL Swiss Start-Up Innovation Camp on November 8, 2019, the World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) is expanding its expertise in innovation. Swiss start-ups from the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors will have the exclusive opportunity to present their business models to stakeholders from the sectors of commerce, tourism and academia. The camp will now be enriched by a panel of investors.


The online application runs from August 12 to September 22, 2019. The camp is part of the WTFL innovation project “Tourism by Tomorrow”.


Swiss start-ups that have developed innovative tourism-related business models, are no older than five years old, and are based in Switzerland are eligible to apply online. “With the invitation to the second Swiss Camp, we hope to survey and promote the Swiss start-up scene by finding the most innovative business models among the young Swiss companies in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors,” explains Martin Barth, Founder and CEO of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne.


Five Categories – 10 Finalists

The competition will be divided into five categories relevant to the tourism industry: Transaction, Mobility, Hospitality, Destination and Impact. The second WTFL Swiss Start-Up Innovation Camp is an all-day event consisting of pitches by the start-ups, which will take place in front of investors. The event also includes coaching sessions, practice-oriented presentations and workshops.


At the end of the day, there will be exclusive panel discussion by investors, which will provide participants with further valuable insights. “In essence, the attraction of the camp is that it is a springboard into the future of the business of tourism. It is also a networking event and thus a platform that offers young companies valuable contacts from the worlds of commerce, tourism and academia,” explains WTFL CEO Martin Barth.


A jury consisting of tourism and start-up experts will select two finalists per category from among the applicants. The winners of each of the five categories will be rewarded CHF 5,000 and a two-year coaching programme.


Tourism by Tomorrow

The second WTFL Swiss Start-Up Innovation Camp is part of the WTFL innovation project “Tourism by Tomorrow,” which was launched in 2018. The project is supported by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the New Regional Policy (NRP), the city of Lucerne and other partners such as the Economic Development Agency of the Canton of Lucerne, Lucerne Tourism, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, PwC Switzerland, the Lucerne Cantonal Bank and the Lucerne Hotel Management School.


Industrial partners such as Bürgenstock Selection, Hapimag and Samih Sawiris’ Orascom Development are also involved. “Tourism by Tomorrow” is a real innovation hub for the development of tourism. Martin Barth states that “we offer young companies the best possible development opportunities at home and abroad. Together with our partners, we want to create the ideal conditions for up-and-coming tourism start-ups in Lucerne. This should facilitate their market entry.” The concept of “Tourism by Tomorrow” is based on three levels: “Digital Platform”, a “Start-Up Festival” and “Services”.


The digital platform, which is now also used by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), is already a success. The platform brings together online start-ups with investors and service providers. The core of the platform is a structured database which continuously tracks down promising start-ups in the areas of travel, hospitality, mobility and health and leads them to the platform, thus creating a sort of “ecosystem”.


About the World Tourism Forum Lucerne


The World Tourism Forum Lucerne is an exclusive platform where the world’s leading tourism, travel and hospitality companies meet to shape a more sustainable future for tourism. It provides decision-makers with in-depth insights into the core themes of the tourism industry and a unique global network. The World Tourism Forum Lucerne is the only platform to integrate start-ups, young executives and students into one program. Over the past ten years, it has evolved into a year-round network of leaders and innovators who are driving positive change in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. This includes an influential network of leaders from the business, education, politics, finance and community sectors.


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