There are multiple theories on why some startups are successful while others fail. From the idea to the management team to the timing, shops are full of “how to succeed” books. But no one tells a more sincere story than the entrepreneurs themselves and more so if they are EHL Alumni invited back to campus.
Handmade & Homemade
From wellness to traveling, 2016 was the year of lifestyle blogs. Sofia Hide Secker (AEHL 2013), who had started her blog “Sofia Clara” 4 years ago while studying at Ecole Hotelier Lausanne, saw in this growing trend an opportunity to working independently and explore her passion for food photography, making, baking and sharing ideas that might inspire others.
Success is making a business out of how I want to spend my day.
Strong of previous entrepreneurial experience, she was eager to turn this “online” business into a reality. By collaborating on “Le Pointu” with other alumni (presented below) she was able to bring to life her DIY projects and recipes.
Location, location, location… When opening a restaurant many hear these words repeatedly. Well, when it comes to the story of these entrepreneurs, this could not be truer. Arthur Prost and Vincent Baeriswyl (AEHL 2013) and their friends, all EHL alumni recently opened a restaurant called “Le Pointu”, situated in the heart of Lausanne.
Think deeply first, be passionate, build a project first, believe in yourself, work hard and harder and then… ENJOY!
This story may be the best example of the entrepreneurial “opportunistic” spirit. An iconic building of the city of Lausanne is up for rent in an advertisement and only a couple of month later, the team opens what is already one of the busiest restaurants in town.
Alex Just (AEHL 2013) is, to say the least, a “problem solver”. His idea of a start-up comes with the aim to make everyone’s life easier while answering a practical economic need. In today’s housing market, more people are renting their home than owning one and this number is only looking to increase.
Focus, Team Team Team, Face it until you make it and Passion Perseverance
PapayaPods PapayaPods is an online platform that helps landlords and housing professionals manage the entire rental journey digitally, all in one place. Does that not sound revolutionary? Moving to a new city or country becomes a pleasant experience.
Like at home
Passion, risk-taking and hard work are all entrepreneurial characteristics that Léa Bettua (AEHL 2013) embodies. After an intense and challenging career start in renowned institutions, she was not satisfied with the perspectives of losing touch with her true calling.
Test, Test, Test.
Al Sacco gives her the opportunity to be creative and communicate her “appetite” through simple recipes and fresh products. She is close to her clients and makes them feel at home!
Born from a friendship
Like many business endeavors, Brosky Media was born from a friendship between Dominik Lang, Florian Dahm (AEHL 2017) and current EHL student Manouil Karapetsis. But it was their collaborative spirit that turned this scholar project into a professional company.
We followed our passion and we ended up HAVING TO make the company.
This team illustrates how doing what you love can lead to a prospering business. For every project they take on, their primary objective is to spark emotions and provoke engagement for today and tomorrow.
In the beginning, there is Arnaud Gervaix (AEHL 2013). An EHL student who had been brewing Kombucha and experimenting with other exotic beverages in his kitchen for a while. One day, he decided to fly to Montreal to join a food start-up and learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur and learn the ropes of the growing healthy food business.
Lead with your guts.
He quickly decided to pursue his dream to produce a locally crafted, healthy, great tasting and natural beverage that was nothing like what already existed on the market. He gathered a team and together launched Urban Kombucha in October 2014.
To conclude, as the Associate Dean Stefano Borzillo of EHL puts it: I can only say that for the many next years to come I wish to see entrepreneurial projects that keep making me proud of what our EHL students are capable of doing, when stepping into the ‘real’ (and uncertain) world of creating their own company.
This article was first published here.