GAITHERSBURG, Md. (August 1, 2022) – Sodexo Live!, the hospitality partner to the world’s most iconic venues, has partnered with innovation specialist L Marks to launch the Sodexo Live! Accelerator for North America. 

The Sodexo Live! Accelerator will be the first program of its kind in North America. For the delivery of this program, Sodexo has partnered with L Marks, an innovation specialist with experience in running over 80 innovation initiatives with some of the world's leading, most well-respected companies.  

Sodexo Live! was launched last year by Sodexo Group, reaffirming its expertise in sports, events and hospitality.  Sodexo’s Accelerator innovation program has already seen success in China, Brazil, India, France and Sweden, and partnered with L Marks for the UK and Ireland market in 2021. 

Three opportunity areas have been identified that align with core business goals of delivering first-class service to today’s fans and guests, and exceeding client partner expectations. Starting today, L Marks is kick-starting its scouting campaign to find start-ups and scale-ups with innovative and scalable solutions that address these three themes: 

  • Service Excellence: At the heart of every great event are great employees. We are looking for solutions to help internal staffing requirements: attract the best talent, provide consistent training, and retain our incredible staff.
  • Guest and Fan Experience: Sodexo Live! creates exceptional moments. In order to better serve our guests, we are looking toward more personalization of event experiences, digitization of touchpoints, ease of service, and future-forward virtual expansion.
  • Operational Optimization: As a large organization providing a wide variety of services, we constantly seek to innovate our internal operations. We hope to improve cross-venue interoperability, better utilize our public and transactional data to provide key customer insights, and develop predictive analytics for our guests. We are also interested in ways to optimize the use of our spaces on days without programming, to offer additional revenue to our clients and services to our guests.  


In addition, the program encourages Wildcard entries, welcoming out-of-the-box solutions to match their wide array of services and venue partners. 

Applications close on September 12, 2022 and selected applications will then be invited to pitch their innovative solutions to Sodexo Live! management in mid-October. 

Successful start-ups and scale-ups will then be offered the chance to work with industry-leading mentors and subject matter experts and business leaders over a ten-week period to trial and fine-tune their solutions in a live customer environment. 

Steve Pangburn, CEO North America, Sodexo Live! said:

We are never comfortable with the status quo. What makes this program different is the incredible engagement and buy-in that company founders will gain access to at the highest rungs of our organization, as we ideate our offerings for some of the globe’s biggest upcoming entertainment spectacles. This collaboration will drive tangible value for the selected companies and will help Sodexo Live! keep its finger firmly on the pulse of today’s solutions for tomorrow’s live events.

Daniel Saunders, CEO, L Marks said:

We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Sodexo Live! in North America and launch the first Sodexo Live! Accelerator. Sodexo Global has proven its commitment to innovation and through this program we will combine global entrepreneurship with Sodexo Live!’s expertise in sports, events and hospitality, powering the events and venues of the future, and creating exceptional moments and lasting memories.

Companies can apply though the company’s website.


Media Contacts

Paul Pettas, VP Brand and Communications, Sodexo Live!


About Sodexo Live!

Sodexo Live! manages prestigious conference, cultural, and sporting venues and major events all over the world. With 40,000 employees and 500 sites, Sodexo Live! offers clients a range of bespoke catering, sales, and event management services, helping to transform the consumer experience into unforgettable memories. As strategic and responsible partners, Sodexo Live! commits to unlocking customers’ full potential while favoring local communities.

Sodexo Live! contributes to the success of prestigious events such as Royal Ascot, the Tour de France, the Rugby World Cup and soon the Paris 2024 Games, and showcases exceptional venues such as the Eiffel Tower Restaurants, the Hard Rock Stadium, Bateaux Parisiens, Yachts de Paris, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Prado museum in Madrid, and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.


About L Marks

L Marks is a leading global innovation specialist which has created over 80 programs with its partners in Europe, Asia and North America. Founded in 2014 with an established presence in the UK and the US, L Marks has developed and delivered results-driven corporate innovation solutions, trusted by world-leading brands including BMW, Lloyd’s of London and Arsenal FC. Through their award-winning Innovation Labs, L Marks’ partners have worked with over 400 startups with a successful deployment rate of over 70%. The L Marks New Ventures unit supports its clients to create and develop new revenue-generating businesses through its Venture Studio, and transform their corporate culture within their Intra-Lab.   

To learn more, visit the L Marks website.


Key figures

  • 84 corporate innovation initiatives
  • 10,000+ startups discovered annually
  • 81 countries engaged
  • 428 startup alumni
  • $1.6 billion funding raised by alumni
  • 76% startup deployment 


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