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


Upcoming Workshops

  • Digital vs. in-person: Supporting your customer base
    27. Okt., 08:30 – 10:00
    virtual workshop
    Join us for an interactive (and fun) workshop to realign with “best practices” for engaging with your customers, whether virtually or in-person.
  • The investor journey
    Di., 09. Nov.
    virtual workshop (6h)
    09. Nov., 14:30 – 16:30 GMT-5
    virtual workshop (6h)
    In this workshop you will learn about the fundamentals of the design thinking methodology and how you can apply it to your work in economic development and foreign direct investment. We will create a customer journey that provides you with clarity about each touch point you have with your investor.
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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.

Join Us!



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.



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.



Thank you for visiting The Location Lab. We cultivate a community and learning 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 workshop programs or to book us for a speaking engagement at your upcoming event, please get in touch. Let's collaborate!

The Location Lab LLC is incorporated in VA, USA

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doing work together