This program assembles a group of select SJSU Graphic Design students to provide pro-bono branding work for emerging La Cocina entrepreneurs. The initiative provides project-based learning experiences to young designers and showcases the value of design by providing brand-building solutions to aspiring new businesses. The initiative was originally started at AIGA SF.
La Cocina is a ground-breaking business incubator that works with low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses. They focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrants. The organization is both a physical space (a modern building and commercial kitchen) and a program (an innovative business incubator). In 2019, they released a cookbook highlighting many of their graduates.
The collaboration with Julio and his student teams has been a fantastic experience for us at La Cocina. The design work that has come out of the teams has been impressive and immediately valuable to our startup businesses. But along with the assets, I believe the process itself for our clients to learn how to work with a designer, articulate their visions, mutually navigate iterations and finally see an identity for their business take shape will be an invaluable skill as they work with other professionals throughout their business development.
—Geetika Agrawal, La Cocina