TechTrain, a ride to the summit

InnoPeaks is… a community and a platform for interaction between different stakeholders, including mentors, entrepreneurs, investors, innovation community members and representatives of Idiap, Fusion and Groupe Mutuel.

But InnoPeaks is also… a series of events that take place over several weeks and months, as part of a programme designed to stimulate the interest of participants.


An idea that was born in the mountains

During the first edition of InnoPeaks, the following question was raised: what other event could we plan, that is unusual and different and likely to arouse the interest and curiosity of participants and intensify their exchanges?

Sometimes, ideas are planned but this one came up spontaneously: why not use our environment to foster interactions? We are surrounded by mountains. InnoPeaks stands for Innovation and Peaks… Why not be true to our branding?

The idea was to spend one day on the Mont-Blanc Express, a little red train that runs from Martigny to Chamonix. This would bring InnoPeaks’ participants together on a journey to the top of the mountains. Innovation on its way to the summit… in the same way that InnoPeaks supports Groupe Mutuel in finding new solutions for its insured persons!


Let’s do it!

On Wednesday 16 January at 14:46, around 60 persons boarded the Mont-Blanc Express in Martigny, Valais. An entire carriage of the TechTrain was reserved for InnoPeaks.

The startup founders of the first edition of InnoPeaks, as well as partners, mentors, investors, media representatives and communities, all interested in innovation in health and insurance, took a return ticket from Martigny to Vallorcine. The day ended with an apéritif and dinner in the charming Café Comptoir of Vallorcines, and with a walk in the snow, in the invigorating cold of the mountains and under the rising moon.


TechTrain, a meeting place

We found ourselves in a confined space, but the idea was not to take ourselves too seriously. We could have been in a pub. We were sitting in a reserved carriage and were able to switch places in order to get to talk to everyone.

It was a friendly moment. People interacted in small groups of four, with entrepreneurs meeting investors and mentors, as well as representatives of the media, the Idiap research institute and Groupe Mutuel. It was a friendly albeit efficient atmosphere.

After several hours on the train, sharing a meal and talking a walk in the snow, a spirit of comradeship and strong ties developed between the participants. Every one enjoyed this rather unique moment, which is usually shared with family or friends, but less often in a professional context.


TechTrain provides visibility

Boarding the TechTrain provides visibility to startups and their initiatives. Once everything was over, the idea and memory of an exceptional day remained. The TechTrain? Yes, I was there and so was this or that startup. Such and such startup was interesting; I could get in touch with them; wasn’t it on the InnoPeaks TechTrain? This is interesting and useful since information can be provided to those who couldn’t make it that day.

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