Support for entrepreneurs starting from scratch

Support for entrepreneurs starting from scratch

For entrepreneurs, the support they receive on the first day of their journey is of great importance. The Day Zero event, hosted by Middle East Technical University (METU), brought together startups starting from scratch at the METU TEKNOKENT Informatics Innovation Center Cozone last week. The event started with the presentations of the entrepreneurial teams of the leading Startup Acceleration Programs in front of important mentors and investors of the ecosystem. Startups like Ollang, which provides artificial intelligence (AI) -assisted translation services; Block-Z, which brings together energy markets on a blockchain-based platform; and Optiyol, a graduate of the Türk Telekom acceleration program which has solved the problem of intercity moving, came together to get investor and mentor support. Approximately 25 startups detailed their projects on stage in three-minute presentations.


The startups that took the stage, with the aim of growth, attracted a lot of attention throughout the event. The projects that received seed investment and took the first step to go global also drew the interest of investors.

METU Vice Chancellor professor Ahmet Yozgatlıgil spoke about Z-Garage, the Z generation’s incubation center and the event.

“New Ideas, New Jobs; ATOM, our incubation centers, our Academic Acceleration program Labsout, our Growth Circuit San Francisco Center and Investment Company, Coworking Center Cozone all contribute to the strengthening and increasing interaction of entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ankara,” he said.

“Starting from scratch is our motto. That is why we have wanted the foundations of entrepreneurship to be laid in METU since preparation. To achieve this, we have established a joint workspace, an incubation center where our students will take the first step in entrepreneurship: Z-Garage, the incubation center of the Z generation. Z-Garage is the foundation of METU’s entrepreneurship environment that we have been building for years. Everything starts from here and its examples will actually turn into entrepreneurship success stories that we see a lot in METU.”


Ollang serves as a new generation translation platform driven by AI. You can translate files into Japanese, Chinese and Korean, as well as common languages like English, Arabic and French.

Block-Z enables end-to-end energy trading and renewable energy certificate trading without any intermediaries on a blockchain-based web platform for all participants in the energy markets.


Optiyol, the graduate of Türk Telekom startup acceleration program PİLOT, is developing a new generation of route optimization solutions for urban transportation problems due to e-commerce and urbanization. With Optiyol, companies increase their profitability and customer satisfaction by providing service with fewer vehicles, fewer fuel costs and in time zones required by the customers, thus reaching a common ground that provides customer satisfaction and profitability.


Mondayhero transforms sketch designs into native mobile app codes. Another PİLOT graduate, Mondayhero makes life easier for designers. After you install your design via the sketch plugin and make a few adjustments to the software, you can get the front-end code for your project within minutes. Thus, there is no technology barrier for those who draw.


Tetawood, which uses technologies that visualize the future of shopping, is a startup from Hacettepe University Technopark. It offers augmented reality services for furniture companies. Thus, companies can save time and cost, and customers can view in 3D the product they want in real dimensions using their mobile devices.


BirFatura, located at Bilkent Cyberpark, is also among the graduates of Türk Telekom’s startup acceleration program PİLOT. BirFatura reduces the ordering and billing processes of e-commerce of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to seconds. Bill in two seconds, prepare your order and submit. It is a capable platform where you will pay as much as you use.


Parxlab, which will help İSPARK-like organizations avoid mistakes, offers a simple but effective internet of objects (IoT) solution. With the wireless, long-life sensors installed at parking points and AI technology, which process the data from these sensors, the system shows drivers available parking spaces. It provides more efficient parking for businesses by showing the data generated. The ITÜ Arı Teknokent startup, Parxlab ensures that parking facilities will pay for themselves in a short time.


Experts and social entrepreneurs from the social entrepreneurship ecosystem discussed developments, opportunities and collaborations at the event hosted by imece.

Social entrepreneurship in Turkey, exceeding TL 20 million, was discussed at an event hosted by imece. The startups that come together for 17 global goals, such as health, hunger and education, continue to produce solutions.

Experts and social entrepreneurs from the social entrepreneurship ecosystem met at Zorlu PSM at the closing meeting of imece’s 3rd Support Program with the theme of “Reducing Inequalities.”

At the event, which brought together the leading companies in Turkey, including Globesight Turkey, Limak Investment, BKM, 3M Station TEDU, Vehbi Koç Foundation, British Council, Impact HUB, Anadolu Efes, Kale Group, Ashoka Turkey, Middle Black Sea Development Agency, TARKEM and Eskişehir Tepebasi Social Incubation Center, social entrepreneurship was discussed in every aspect with interesting panels.

In the event, bringing together both social entrepreneurs and experts from the social entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem, the panelists shared the developments, opportunities and collaborations in this ecosystem that continues to develop rapidly in our country parallel to the growing trend of social entrepreneurship in the world and Europe, while Blindlook, Toyi, Kızlar Sahada, Mektepp, Önemsiyoruz, Ecording and Root, which previously received support from imece, presented their journeys.


Zorlu Holding Corporate Communications General Manager Aslı Alemdaroğlu commented on social entrepreneurship shaped within the framework of 17 global goals determined by the U.N. to solve a wide range of problems like poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, energy, environment and social justice.

“Alienation, migration, gender inequalities, access to education and many other social problems continue to be experienced in different countries around the world,” she continued.

“The economic cost of the ongoing wars today accounts for 14% of the global gross output. Again, the climate crisis costs the world $100 billion. However, if we act today, we can create resources and produce solutions. We can solve these problems with social entrepreneurship by attracting people-oriented innovation and technology to these fields and using the muscles of entrepreneurship.”

İmece Director Buğra Çelik stated that with imece in three years, together with 43 entrepreneurs, TL 1 million in grants and 232 mentors, they achieved 1,000 hours of mentoring and 900 hours of training.

Çelik said in his speech at the event that social innovation means changing the economy in a sense. “A new generation of human resources is needed to create this change. For this reason, we focused on education and talent shortages with imece. In three years with imece, together with 43 entrepreneurs, TL 1 million in grants and 232 mentors, we have achieved 1,000 hours of mentoring and 900 hours of training,” Çelik said.

“Over the past three years, we have observed that cooperation is truly a business line, that entrepreneurs continue to grow, and companies are ready for it. Realizing that the main problem with the talent gap was not the student but the education deficit, we conducted a 10-week learning process with 200 students this year. However, financing in social entrepreneurship is one of the most important needs.

In this regard, we have done many activities to attract the actors of the start-up ecosystem to the social entrepreneurship ecosystem to ensure the transfer of resources from fields, such as philanthropy, and direct the company’s resources to social entrepreneurship.”


The social economy in Europe, which accounts for 10% of the GDP, employs more than 11 million people and continues to grow with its strong contribution and social impact toward the 17 global goals that the U.N. has set for the solution of a wide range of problems such as poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, energy, environment and social justice.


During the event, the British Council’s “Status of Social Entrepreneurs in the Turkey Report” was revealed. It said although social entrepreneurship is at an early stage in Turkey, it has developed in line with global trends and the number of social startups are increasing day by day.

According to the report, the number of social entrepreneurs in Turkey has reached 9,000. While the rate of women in commercial startups in Turkey is 19%, it is 55% in social startups. In the social startups where the ratio of young entrepreneurs to traditional enterprises is much higher, the rate of companies developing innovative products in the last 12 months reached 86%.

However, this rate does not reach 47% in terms of the companies engaged in normal commercial activities. Social startups, most of which were established after 2015, focus more on education, production and the creative industries.


According to data, as of Dec. 24, $45 million was invested in 65 startups throughout 2019. The final results of the investments will be announced at the 2019 evaluation meeting held on Feb. 5, 2020, at Zorlu PSM SkyLounge. At the meeting, public institutions such as the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK ) and the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB ), private institutions, venture capital funds and angel investors managers will evaluate the investments made in 2019.


Choose your Reaction!