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Our annual Future of Hospitality Summit (FHS) event gives our students the chance to show off their entrepreneurial skills. This year’s winner of the Best Business Idea award were three students for their artificial intelligence system Alfred, designed to help recruiters during the interview process.
Laura Oropeza Sanchez, Antonio Prado Carus and Rami Sayess spent a number of weeks brainstorming and devising the product, inspired by intelligent personal assistant systems such as Siri and Alexa. They then focused on the interview process. “We pointed out problems that interviewers often have, including lengthy interviews, the quantity of interviews per day and also the amount of time spent writing down notes while questions are being answered,” said Laura.
By developing this concept, interviewers can rely on Alfred to take down the details while they actually focus on the candidate. This is especially important for such a people-facing industry as hospitality.
The team were also inspired by their own experiences with interviews. “All three of us have had internships and interviews that either went really well or the complete opposite,” she explained. “We believe because we’ve been in these situations we should create something that gives candidates more opportunity, and see jobs get given to the individuals that are the most compatible.”
Alfred will be programmed to generate scores for key characteristics, such as leadership, teamwork and problem solving. Furthermore, it will then calculate an overall score of how compatible the candidate is for the job. “These results are stored as a file, and able to be viewed instantaneously by the employer. The score will then be matched with other job positions available in the company,” Laura said.
Working both as a team and separately, the trio saw FHS as an ideal opportunity to introduce their product. “I had been looking forward to FHS for a long time,” Laura said. “I was seriously impressed by how many companies were taking hospitality to a different level. We saw it as an open door for networking and a chance to receive valuable feedback.” The team got to talk a range of CEOs and speakers, hearing positive responses to their concept.
Despite facing tough competition from other innovative ideas, Laura and the team picke
d up the Best Business Idea award, winning an all-expenses paid trip to Barcelona.
The competition is in collaboration with Hosco, so the prize will allow us to go to their first summit,
Laura said. “We’ll have the chance to develop our idea further and present it to others. We are so happy and excited – we never expected to win.”
In the future, Laura hopes the three of them can reunite and turn Alfred into a reality. “We definitely see it as an opportunity, and seeing as we made a good team, we could also make good business partners,” she said. “Being able to hear what CEOs and managers thought about the product was a huge motivational experience. The competition has given all three of us an experience to remember.”
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