In the first few weeks of work, I have learned a great deal about my internship and as a result, the company I’m working for. The firm’s name is Hatchery Asia, or just Hatchery as most refer to it. It classifies itself as a business incubator, but more specifically Beijing’s first culinary incubator. This simply means that Hatchery finds new and exciting restaurant ideas and provides a platform for them to find a market and develop their own brands in a shared space that cuts costs for startup. Hatchery provides market research, consulting, and graphic design services in its 4-step process to brig an idea through the process of development. These brands then trade equity in their businesses in exchange for these spaces and services that hatchery provides. The end goal is to franchise out these businesses and reap the profits if they experience success in the Beijing food and beverage market. Currently Hatchery is working in the Chinese firm 5Lmeet, a shared living working community with many different businesses in its Dongsi location.
My role in hatchery is to assist with the financing of these businesses when they attempt to expand out. I work in tandem with Ben Makarious, the GM of Hatchery in Beijing, who is essentially the director for hatchery’s physical location. Ben has been all over China and Asia doing multiple different jobs both in finance and the food and beverage industries. Currently he acts as the arm of Hatchery’s board as well as a creative director for hatchery in his own right, and seems to really believe in the business. As the director for the location, and as a result hatchery itself, Ben is rather busy with both working out the financials and direction of the business as well as meeting with potential investors and partners. Ben even lives at the 5Lmeet location in one of their apartments and seems to work long hours, even into personal time.
As hatchery is a small business, each person seems to have a department but mostly works on their own, with the actual restaurant staff being a bit separate from the management and branding side of Hatchery. I personally work by myself when Ben is busy with other matters, focusing on developing a funding strategy for hatchery’s market tested ideas, as well as researching potential hiring options for these expanded locations. All in all, it is quite solitary, but I feel that I am doing quality work and really learning.