After graduating in Tourism Management, Semi Hakim continued his career as a chef after receiving his professional culinary training in Istanbul. As a chef, he conducted research projects on food and culture, worked on gastro-diplomacy projects, coordinated food events across the globe, and led projects supporting small-scale agri-food producers in Turkey. In 2015 with Shirley Kaston, Semi Hakim co-founded the Kök Projekt. Kök Projekt is a startup accelerator and a corporate innovation partner with companies, governmental organizations, and investment funds. Kök Projekt works to empower agri-food entrepreneurs while supporting the digitalization of agri-food sectors within Emerging Markets.