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July 24, 2008

Hospitality innovation and training network launches in US

Cornell Hotel School, in association with the Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship, has launched the Innovation Network, a membership group that aims to advance innovation across the industry.

Through roundtables, seminars and other events and resources, members can gain insight into the latest thinking of experts in innovation, strategy and leadership. They will also be able to interact with innovators, educators and one another.

“The Innovation Network supports the school's commitment to accelerate the study and practice of entrepreneurship in the hospitality industry,” said Lee Pillsbury, co-chair at Thayer Lodging Group. “The network gives members first-hand insight into how the best minds are propelling the industry forward. Our goal is to help members better understand the innovation process and use that knowledge to stimulate innovation and profitable growth in their organisations.”

Pillsbury Institute leaders evaluated more than 100 innovative success stories before choosing three to highlight at the inaugural meeting of The Innovation Network. Attendees heard presentations from the leaders of these companies, who explained how they conceived and implemented breakthroughs in different facets of the industry.

Scott Martiny, chief of Capton, described how his company developed technology that helps companies manage acoholic drinks inventory. The Beverage Tracker embeds wireless, RFID technology into free-pour drink spouts, giving bar operations managers an accurate measure of how much liquid is poured in every drink and how that drink is recorded.

Brian Brault, founder and chief executive of PURE Solutions, outlined how his company has created a process to create the healthiest and most allergy-friendly environments in the world. The process treats the air and every surface in rooms to remove mold, bacteria, viruses and other irritants.

Attendees also learned about an innovative approach to revenue management pioneered by Revenue Analytics chief executive Robert Cross and executive vice president Dax Cross. Robert Cross explained how his team developed a unique model that hotel managers use to analyze demand, competitive activity and customer input.

“We were very pleased with the strong turnout and lively interaction at The Innovation Network launch meeting,” said Tom Ward, managing director of the Pillsbury Institute. “This event reaffirms our commitment to build an exclusive network of senior leaders who can reap significant value through ongoing interaction with the most innovative minds in hospitality and beyond.”

Upcoming Innovation Network events are scheduled for: 3-4 September 2008 in Ithaca, New York State; 25-26 January 2009 in San Diego; and 2 June 2009 in New York City.

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