top of page
Image by Diego PH


We bring the spirit of Design Thinking to locations around the globe.

Home: Welcome
No upcoming events at the moment
Home: Events List
the LOcation lab-2.png


The Location Lab is a place where economic developers, FDI strategists and place branders meet and exchange ideas. At The Location Lab we experiment with innovation techniques in a collaborative way. Our mission is to provide an iterative and human-centered idea development approach to locations around the world.

We guide cities, regions and nations by providing insights, interactive learning experiences and tool kits specifically for the business challenges of IPAs and EDOs. We use design thinking by drawing upon the community’s knowledge and on global research to translate insights into location strategies.

The Location Lab is a collaborative learning platform and FDI Innovation community rolled into one.

Our workshop and coaching programs with your team(s) can be applied to solve your daily challenges, we look at the problem from a customer perspective, taking into account what your customers really need. We include your stakeholder community and guide the entire team through the process with our engaging, fast-paced workshops.

Program examples:

Develop a comprehensive FDI strategy
Improve your online communications and marketing offering Community and stakeholder mapping
Finding the truly unique selling points for your location
Redefine an actionable aftercare and retention program
Draw an "attack map" for targeted business development activities

Curious to learn more about how we help EDOs and IPAs to be more innovative and to provide service offerings to investors and the community that matter?

Home: About
Home: Blog Feed


Let’s Work Together



Zurich, Switzerland

Sirpa Tsimal is an economic development and foreign direct investment (FDI) strategist with solid practice in developing marketing programs and partnerships between the public and private sector. Sirpa initiated The Location Lab project with the aim to bring innovation skills to the FDI profession.

Sirpa is a frequent speaker at industry events and a workshop facilitator for innovation learning programs.

She currently works as the Director Investment Promotion at Switzerland Global Enterprise, the Swiss federal IPA where she focuses her work on emerging tech. Sirpa lived in NYC for 15 years, where she run and scaled the mentorship program at two health tech accelerators, and developed a workshop and innovation tool kit for IPAs.

Prior, Sirpa was the managing partner and co-founder of TSIMANN LLC, a  communications agency serving global  EDOs and corporate clients. Clients included NYCEDC, Greater Zurich Area, City of Basel, State of Connecticut, South Australia, among others.

Sirpa graduated from University of Zurich with a Master of Arts in Communication Sciences.



Washington DC, USA

Michelle Abboud is an Export Promotion and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) professional with 25+ years’ experience in economic development. Michelle is customer-oriented in all her endeavors. Current and prior clients have included European, Middle East and APAC regional government institutions, as well as individual companies.  Michelle has advised both Fortune 1000 companies as well as fast growing SME’s on their location decisions. She has supported firms like Pratt & Whitney, The Hershey Co., Corning Inc., Novocure, and Aurora Flight Sciences (Boeing). Her project scope has included: FDI promotion, market studies, distributor and licensing partner searches, trade missions, and economic development training. Michelle is an industry generalist with years of experience in the key sectors of Life Sciences, Medtech, and all things IT-related, including Fintech & Blockchain. 

Michelle is based in Washington DC and a long-time associate of American World Services, a boutique consulting firm in Washington DC in the Export Marketing and FDI Promotion field. Michelle graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC with a Master of Science in Foreign Service and International Business Diplomacy in 1996 and holds a BS in Physics and Mathematics.

Home: Team


Who We Work With



Anna connects the dots - People, industries, projects, skills, cultures and experiences. Her experience spans from the USA to Canada, Russia, Latin America and Europe. Over the past 15 years she worked with United Nations, International Organizations such as IATA, large-scale technology companies such as SAP, governments and non-profits.



Katerina is a business development strategist, entrepreneur and start-up advisor with passion for identifying sustainable, smart & speedy business growth solution with heavy focus on strategic partnerships and other growth multipliers.

Home: Portfolio


MA profile_sq_small.png


Coach & Innovation Facilitator

Marianne is a coach and facilitator for innovation.  Marianne coaches and facilitates her clients to solve real world problems for their customers.  She has experience coaching agile transformation programs, has built human centered design programs and run strategy and culture change programs for clients in the beauty, pharma and finance sector.  Marianne has worked with fortune 500, startups and government agencies.  She is also the former Co-Director of Google’s 30 Weeks Program.

Home: Team


Thank you for visiting The Location Lab. We cultivate a community approach and we'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts with a blog post or find other like-minded people through The Location Lab network for your next innovation project.


To inquire about our customized innovation programs or to book us for a speaking engagement / workshop at your upcoming event, please get in touch. Let's innovate together!

The Location Lab LLC is incorporated in VA, USA

Thanks for submitting!

doing work together
Home: Contact
bottom of page