The next startup in our interview series, Heima, focuses on creating tiny houses that combine comfort, privacy and ecological ideals. We are pleased to share the exciting interview with the team at Heima with you here:
What customer problem is your startup solving?
Outdoor hospitality is the result of a compromise between comfort and authenticity, combined with the challenge of the ecological footprint. Today’s offerings in Switzerland are mainly limited to campsites, larger hotels or alpine huts with shared areas. Tourists increasingly crave more adventure and unique experiences, combined with the desire for the “wow effect”, where they can enjoy their own privacy with nature and their loved ones. Quite simply, a pristine, safe space in nature away from our hectic daily lives.
What is the solution to this problem and how did you find / develop this solution?
At Heima, we design and build custom-made “Tiny-Houses” called Cabins (which are also available with an off-grid option). They can be moved at any time without leaving a trace, as they do not require a permanent foundation. Unlike other cabin manufacturers, we also offer ongoing management, so we can offer a flexible, attractive outdoor solution for our time. Considering that our huts are the “hotel rooms” and the landscape is “the hotel”, we are very mindful of our surroundings: integration with local suppliers, which allows us to promote the circular economy, is fundamental. Our solution also seeks to enhance the existing cultural heritage by enabling guests to experience these sites, which today are mainly open for day trips.
What stage of development are you at and what are the next steps for Heima?
We are currently rolling out our prototype of “the mountain refuge” hut. A vendor leasing product for the sale of the huts is currently being finalised by UBS for the whole of Switzerland. Our commitment to research and development leads us to form a strong partnership with EHL and EPFL to best integrate the sustainability and clean technology aspects that are at the core of our offering. We were awarded second place in the Boldbrain Startup Challenge through public voting, which brought us attention and positive feedback for our novel and lean approach. We are currently looking for more Swiss partners and locations where we can place our cabins and express our passion for hospitality. Do you feel that you can somehow be part of our journey? Contact us to find out more.
*As EHL’s hospitality business incubator, the Village de l’Innovation supports promising startups and entrepreneurial projects focused on or relevant to the food and hospitality industry. The startup profiled here is supported by EHL’s Village de l’Innovation.