A Talk with Jocelin Zheng of Big Bang Coffee | CEO郑晶琳访谈
Written by (作者): Ningbo Focus 《宁波聚焦》
Photos by (图片来源): Big Bang Coffee 无中生有咖啡
Ningbo is a city of business and entrepreneurship. As of last year, it was reported that well-over 10000 new innovative startup businesses had opened in the city last year. Plus, with a number of youth-centered maker spaces and incubators opening up throughout the city, its clear Ningbo is opening up to new business ideas and ventures from young people the world over. It goes without saying that Big Bang Coffee should be added to this list. The coffee shop doubles as a space where people can meet with professionals and staff to make their own company, and has hosted a number of excellent startup and entrepreneurship-centered events over the past few years with more on the way. We recently sat down with CEO Jocelin Zheng to learn more about the cool stuff happening at the coffee shop.
Big Bang has two locations, one in Yinzhou and one in Jiangbei. We went to check out the Yinzhou branch, stepping out of our cab to be greeted by a warm sun and the pristine outdoor plaza of Yinzhou Science & Technology Park. Posters for previous Big Bang events coated the mural-covered walls of the café, which had a wide open interior perfect for the events and meetings the shop hosts regularly. It was there we met Jocelin, a reserved yet lively young woman who studied computer science in university before getting hooked on entrepreneurship and aiding startups.
Big Bang’s mission is simple: they seek to turn Ningbo into a vibrant startup community that can eventually help connect the world. Inspired by similar coffee shops serving as startup incubators like Garage Café and 3W Café in Beijing, Jocelin and some of her friends decided to bring the idea to Ningbo, opening their first location in the Ningbo Hi-tech Park in 2013, chosen for its high concentration of entrepreneurs and small businesses. Later they were able to open their second location in Yinzhou, which Jocelin explains they picked due to its proximity to the universities.
Entreprenuership assistance wasn’t always Jocelin’s initial career path. In university she studied computer science and after graduation she found a job working for a startup incubator. Gaining more interest in the field and wanted to combine her love of coffee with something beneficial to the community, she got together with some friends to work on opening Big Bang. Since then, the coffee shop has become the go to name for startup aid programs, regularly hosting Ningbo Startup Week and Startup Grind at their two locations.
The two events have been greatly successful, focusing on helping foreigners and Chinese with setting up their startup in a short period and event presenting to judges and investors for funding. “At present,” Jocelin tells us, “around 10 startups have received funding upwards of 0.13 billion RMB, with at least 7 of the projects being successfully carried out.” More events are coming this Spring, and Jocelin is confident that more people will attend and be able to start more business this year.
Big Bang not only serves some good cups of joe but also is a great location for entrepreneurs to thrive. Along with constant meet ups and happenings for startups – featuring step-by-step aid and assistance from the Big Bang staff and volunteers – budding business owners can be certain their new ventures will do good. Plus, the shop even has a workshop and office space on their second floor if a startup needs a location to set up, making it a safe bet for new businesses.
Thanks to Jocelin and Big Bang, Ningbo is on the way to becoming a place where startups and new businesses can thrive, all over coffee in a comfortable setting, so you can’t go wrong with Big Bang.