The Capstone project was initiated in 2013. It is open to students of the third-year English and French sections of the Bachelor's degree in International Hotel Management. Students ,split into working groups,are asked to identify innovative opportunities for creating a business in the field of Hospitality and / or Food Services.
It reinforces the Entrepreneurial and Innovation spirit which is one of the core values of the education at Vatel Switzerland.It combines the three key business functions, Marketing, Human Resources and Financial Management and it also requires the implementation of other acquired competencies like multiculturalism, legal, Management principles and project management.Students are making projects proposals at the beginning of the academic year which are reviewed by a panel of teachers and then approved if they meet the criteria of innovation,practicality and feasibility.Projects may be local or international.
The students are accompanied by teachers over the course of the project, through regular and demanding review and monitoring meetings. The project is materialized by a written 50-page report (excluding appendices), which should contain the main sections of a typical business plan and should meet the professional criteria which would satisfy investors and executives of the hospitality industry.The project is then "defended" during a one hour oral presentation before a panel of experts made of professors, a representative of a "Venture Capitalist" specialized in Hospitality and arepresentative of the Swiss hospitality industry.
The educational benefits of the program are critical in the eyes of teachers and students:Practical implementation of knowledge acquired during schooling, strengthening team spirit,developing concrete market studies, preparing for the creation of real businesses(see below),and strengthening of the sense of initiative and innovation and of the entrepreneurial spirit.The program, which generated last year more than the 20 projects, all of excellent quality,has generated among students an enthusiasm and an involvment well above the expectations of faculty The Capstone project rating represents 50% of the final mark for the third year Hospitality practice.
The year 2014 saw the birth of a Junior Entreprise at Vatel Switzerland Company (JEVS), as another illustration of the entrepreneurial spirit of the school.It is expected that ,if JEVS was entrusted complete entrepreneurship projects, those could be,under certain conditions, accepted as Capstone projects, thus reinforcing the practical nature of the Capstone program.
In 2014, two students of the 3rd year french bachelor program were able to turn their project "chain of Food Trucks" into reality with the purchase of a first vehicle and asuccessful start of its activity.For these young but committed entrepreneurs: "time saving, learning how to prepare abusiness plan, cross fertilizing ideas with faculty and other students,understanding of the relationships between Marketing, Financial Management, and Human Resource Management,and above all, gaining confidence and building trust and for the sale of the project to financial partners "are the main benefits of the Capstone Program.
The Capstone Program Vatel Switzerland, , think outside the box!