Three days of Turkish Startup Inspiration


Below you can find the blog post which our Program Manager, Sara Usinger wrote about her recent trip to Antalya and Startup Turkey.

During the last few weeks I spent some time attending conferences. After Seedstars in Geneva and the Iran Web Festival in Tehran I had the great opportunity to attend Startup Turkey in Antalya for the last few days. Compared to Seedstars World it was a conference mainly focused on startups from Turkey. While the participants where mainly from Turkey the organizers invited speakers and experts from all over the world. The program consisted of a startup competition and two days filled with speakers ranging from Mike Butcher (TechCrunch) to Kalina King (former, Sean Percival (500Startups) and Fadi Ghandour (Aramex).

My highlight of the first day was a huge Speed Networking Session. Roughly 200 people participated and within just one hour you had the chance to briefly meet 60 new people. At first I wasn’t sure if this would be so valuable as the time limit made anything more than briefly exchanging names, ideas and business cards impossible. But looking back it was a great experience. I managed to talk to 60 people, got their contacts and can reconnect with them after the conference. And more important: This session pretty much set the tone for the whole conference: Don’t be shy to approach people, share your ideas and don’t be shy to ask for introductions.

The second day was all about speakers. The team of CCC Ventures was responsible for the Afternoon Session called “StartupADDventures” and presented an impressive group of speakers who gave short talks on a huge variety of topics relevant for startups. Kalina King was speaking about “Hacking Startup Education”, Mike Butcher shared insights on how to get your news to the newspapers, Kaushal Choksi was speaking about “What makes an investor tick”. All of the content was highly practical and useful for startups of any stage.

Highlight of the second Conference day were the Final Pitches of the “Startup Turkey Challenge”. Winner was the team from Netsparker.

What I really liked about the conference was the consequent focus on creating value for the participants. Speakers and activities were carefully selected, the panels practical and all other sessions were created in a way to accelerate interactions between the participants so everyone had tons of chances to network and get connected.

Thank you to Burak Büyükdemir and his team from Etohum for organizing a truly inspiring conference.