The Sabancı University Entrepreneurship Council initiated a project titled "Incubation Center for Supporting National and International Marketing of Ventures" in association with the Entrepreneurship Foundation and Siemens Türkiye A.Ş., and the financial support of the Istanbul Development Agency.
The launch event of the project was held on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at the new city office in Impact Hub. Speaking in the launch event were Sabancı University Entrepreneurship Council Director Dilek Çetindamar, Inovent General Manager Merih Pasin, Entrepreneurship Foundation Director Mehru Aygül, Sabancı University Entrepreneurship Council Member Naci Kahraman, and String Ventures member Emrah Yalaz. Speeches were followed by a panel discussion on "The Benefits of Acceleration Programs to Entrepreneurs" with SUCool entrepreneurs.
Sabancı University Entrepreneurship Council Director Dilek Çetindamar explained that Sabancı University had been dedicated to raising entrepreneurial students since the first day, and continued “Entrepreneurship is part of the Sabancı University DNA. We always strive to innovate. Many of the things we have done are firsts." Discussing issues in the Turkish entrepreneurship ecosystem, Çetindamar said that the project intended to prepare tech-based entrepreneurs for global markets.
Inovent General Manager Merih Pasin noted Turkey's position in the European Innovation and Global Competitiveness indexes, and argued that entrepreneurship had to be given much higher priority for Turkey to advance on the Global Competitiveness Index.
Entrepreneurship Foundation Director Mehru Aygül provided information about the foundation and spoke on the "Fellow" project for young individuals between 17 and 24.
Sabancı University Entrepreneurship Council member Naci Kahraman spoke on the activities of SUCool to date. He explained that their 2017 endeavors would be under the theme of Startup Globe. Naci Kahraman said that the project would provide acceleration and pre-incubation support to 20 tech-based startups, give access to the extensive SUCool mentor and investor network, hold two Demo Days in Istanbul, and hold one-week entrepreneurship camps in Silicon Valley and London for startups that wish to expand to global markets.
String Ventures member Emrah Yalaz shared his personal experiences. Emrah Yalaz said that teamwork and team culture were more important than anything for startups seeking to enter the global marketplace. Yalaz explained that business ideas which address real issues of customers would have more growth potential than competitors due to the value proposition they contained, and emphasized the importance of acting fast and going to market at the right time in competition.
The panel was moderated by Sabancı University Entrepreneurship Council member Ali Erhat Nalbant and featured Mental-up member Reşit Doğan, Shopier member Can Ozan Süner, Fazla Gıda member Olcay Silahlı and String Ventures member Emrah Yalaz as speakers. Panelists discussed "The Benefits of Acceleration Programs to Entrepreneurs". Other subjects included the core impact of acceleration programs and benefits to their own businesses.
About the "Incubation Center for Supporting National and International Marketing of Ventures" Project:
The Istanbul Development Agency 2016 Entrepreneurship Financial Support Program aims to enhance entrepreneurship culture in Istanbul, encourage creative and innovative entrepreneurship, and reinforce the entrepreneurship ecosystem to improve Istanbul’s global competitive strength and contribute to the economic and social development of the city.
As part of the project implemented by Sabancı University, an acceleration and incubation center was built in 4. Levent, Istanbul for technology-based entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneurship Foundation and Siemens are project partners and sponsors of the incubation center.
The center will issue calls for application from entrepreneurs for training and mentorship support in two terms. The 20 entrepreneurs who are selected will receive acceleration training, mentorship support for business model validation and customer development, and entrepreneurs who want to expand to global markets will be able to attend international entrepreneurship camps in Silicon Valley and London to present themselves to investors in the most developed entrepreneurship ecosystems in the world. Further events will include Investor and Entrepreneur Meetings, Experience Sharing Events and Entrepreneurship Meetings in the city office throughout 2017.
The project enables Sabancı University to share its academic knowledge and proven track record in entrepreneurship with stakeholders in Istanbul's entrepreneurship ecosystem.