Türkiye Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week Highlights Why Entrepreneurs are Flocking to Istanbul

TIEW (Türkiye Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week) was held on December 6-9th 2017 in Istanbul

TIEW’s “Born Global” entrepreneurship event welcomed startups from around the world to compete for an “investment prize” of $ 50,000

Istanbul, Türkiye- December 15, 2017— the 6th annual Türkiye Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week (TIEW) was held on December 6-9, 2017 with more than 60,000 visitors in attendance, including industrialists, academics, university students, technology leaders, entrepreneurs, angel investors, nongovernmental organizations and keynote speakers. Organized by the Turkish Exporters Assembly, this year’s event featured for the first time “Born Global Istanbul”, a platform and competition designed to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to present to a jury and investors.

After a preliminary evaluation, 60 ambitious participants presented their projects to the jury and investors at the pitching stage. At the award ceremony, held on the last day of the event, Görkem Çetin of the U.K. was announced as the winner and was awarded an investment prize of $ 50,000 for his project Countly. The runner-up project, HeyDoc! (Ahmad Al-Hidiq of the United Arab Emirates) was awarded $25,000 and second runner-up iGrow (Andreas Senjaya of Indonesia) received $10,000.

“Both TIEW and Born Global Istanbul highlight the importance of technology in inspiring global innovation,” said Turkish Exporters’ Assembly Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi. “Organizations embracing technology as a conductor of innovation will not only be well equipped to adapt to changing markets, but will also continue to be the leaders and pioneers driving change.”

Giving a speech on the second day of TIEW, Büyükekşi said, “The number of sensors is as important as workforce in production. In the Internet of Things, presumably one trillion sensors will connect 50 billion devices to each other in 2020. Development has to do with entrepreneurship and innovation. Let us allocate more room to innovation in our development programs. With the domestic automobile, the most beautiful project in this field, our industry will level up.”

Notable start-ups have come out of Istanbul such as Trendyol , an e-commerce site that offers users access to fashion products, home textiles, home electronics and more; Yemeksepeti, a home-based food ordering service; BiTaksi, an app that matches people with cab-drivers. Perched in between two markets that comprise a majority of the world’s population, the city of Istanbul is becoming a hub that is attracting global attention. With nearly 200 cities reachable in four-hours or less flight away, Istanbul is an attractive start-up destination for entrepreneurs who hope to connect with an international audience. Other reasons for Türkiye’s emergence as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship include the following:

• Half of Türkiye’s population is under the age of 30, a massive talent pool of early adopters and tech-savvy thinkers.
• Turkish consumers are the most active consumers in the world for mobile shopping, mobile banking and QR code scanning, and are third in the world for mobile wallet technology usage. This makes Istanbul and Türkiye a huge factor in start-up success. The climate of Istanbul towards entrepreneurs is welcoming. According to a survey done in 2012, Türkiye ranked 13th as a hospitable destination for foreign businesses.

“Istanbul offers a rich blend of history and modernity. With its strong economy, more than 18 million habitants and the geographical benefits of serving as a gateway between Asia and Europe, the city is well situated to become a major global hub for entrepreneurs and innovators alike,” said Büyükekşi.

Speakers who presented at TIEW included David Rowan, Editor of WIRED Magazine, Jeff Wallace, President of Global Kinetics, Blake Cahill, the global head of digital marketing and media at Philips, and Jon Matonis, Bitcoin Founding Director.

In his conference, Jon Matonis, Bitcoin Founding Director, said, “Bitcoin has proven that rules are not needed in order to print money. It is beneficial for individuals, countries, and for ensuring financial sovereignty. Central Banks will soon start to compete to estimate the Bitcoin-based assets. Importance of Dollar and Euro will decrease today and in the future. There will be no currency like Euro in 50 years' time.”

For more detailed information about TIEW please our homepage.