CHICAGO — Ernst & Young LLP (EY) has committed to sponsor The Hatchery Chicago, a premier food-and-beverage incubator that will support local food-and-beverage entrepreneurs by providing them with tools and resources to scale their businesses.
The Central Region Consumer Products and Retail Market Segment of EY serves and supports the dynamic food industry in the greater Chicago area, one of the largest global hubs for startups and large food manufacturing companies. With its sponsorship, EY will provide resources and experience through its commitment to entrepreneurship and, collectively, to the vast global food enterprises that the entrepreneurs serve.
“EY strengthens our communities through projects that support entrepreneurs, education and equity in the workforce,” said Managing Partner for EY’s Chicagooffice, Kim Simios. “The Hatchery provides a venue for food entrepreneurs to identify solutions that take their ideas from home recipes to global kitchens and distribution.”
With this investment, EY is committed to developing local talent as well as strengthening the Consumer Products & Retail industry.
“It is innovations started at The Hatchery that will continue disrupting the industry,” added the EY Central Region Consumer Products and Retail Market Segment Leader Kathy Gramling. “We hope that we can support the innovators and established food companies to collectively shape the future of the food industry.”
The Hatchery Chicago, a nonprofit, will provide a variety of services and space for food businesses, including food-grade space for approximately 100 startup or early-stage food entrepreneurs, shared kitchens, storage and office space, plus areas for workforce training sessions and community meetings. It will also offer access to grant funding opportunities, food buyers and bloggers.
“The Hatchery is revolutionary for food entrepreneurs in Chicago,” said Ernst & Young LLP Partner Greg Stemler. “The food landscape is changing quickly, and EY is excited to help entrepreneurs scale their business from concept to reality to be a first mover in the industry. This also provides the opportunity to connect established companies with new innovations in the market.”
A new 67,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in East Garfield Park by the end of 2018 and will support 150 jobs in its first year and 900 within five years. The project is a joint venture between Industrial Council of NearWest Chicago and Accion Chicago, made possible by $8 million in city funding plus support through the New Markets Tax Credit. It is also receiving support from many notable organizations locally.
“The Hatchery is proud to team with EY, one of the leading professional services firms in the world, to further enhance the food-and-beverage startup community in Chicago,” said CEO of The Hatchery Chicago, Natalie Shmulik. “We are excited to bring together top minds and lead strategists to assist our entrepreneurs with business development and accelerate their success.”
The Consumer Products & Retail practice is the second-largest industry sector within the EY organization, with 44,000 people meeting the demands of consumers around the world every day. The practice supports a vast variety of businesses, including agricultural crops, consumer packaged goods, clothing, durables and retail companies.
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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member firm of EY serving clients in the US.