I would like to share with you our fascinating three days (26-28 February) in Antalya. Startup Turkey event is made of networking. Startup Turkey is the Demo Days of Startups from Turkey, Eurasia and MENA to the investors from all over the world. Since 2008, the very best of entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitals, accelerators, mentors, tech companies and media have gathered in Startup Turkey, Antalya.
Startup Turkey, the leading startup event of the region, creates a perfect environment for networking. 700 invited people stayed in a marvellous hotel for three days in sunny Antalya. Conference with keynote speakers, speed networking, breakfast & dinners with founders and investors and closing party made Startup Turkey, a “must-go” event for every player of the global internet eco-system. There were 700 attendees, 150+ investors and 100+ startups coming from 33 different countries.
First day, the program started with Prof. Dr. Erhan Erkut’s speech. He made a perfect speech as usual. He briefly gave some suggestions for universities, entrepreneurs and angel investors as well.
Universities teach coding, however they do not teach presentation skills, group skills, research skills and also basic entrepreneurship skills.
By the way, he also talked about “Turkish Entrepreurship Foundation” @girvak ‘s Israel activity. @Girvak has visited Israel to take away their 40 fellows to visit startups and know their entrepreneurship ecosystem.
He continued his speech with the following advice;
Advice to entrepreneur: Do not overprice your startup.
Advice to angel investors: Stop acting like VCs(venture capitals), do not ask revenue, take a flyer. Do spend time with entrepreneurs, you need to spend half a day, at least two hours every week.
Advice to university: Get in the game. He finished his opening speech with these advice.
Dr. Joachim Behrendt was on the stage. He is CEO of BIC Angel Investment & Services, and President of Board of Directors of Nexum Group. According to him, we need to understand that “How VCs do deals, how they make Money?” The emphasis of his speech was mainly on that.
Be credible business case how do you organize yourself, how biggest potential do you have within Turkey, how are you going to go out. And the most important thing is Show up the meetings, answer your e-mails, be consistent, be honest, support the startups, be serious what to do and be a serious investor.
Sadok Kohen’s speech was also amazing. He shared some key points such as the importance of meeting new people.
Stand up if you fail. It’s really about failures that will teach you how to grow and will get you to the people that have the Money and will get you the trust for people invest on you.
Let’s examine some important tips from Sean Percival.
-Do not be afraid of trying “10” things to get “one” thing that works.
-98% of visitors do not convert so how do you bring them back that could be sending e-mails, sending text messages.
-Knowing your stuff with regard to marketing is key for fundraising.
-Never say “we did all these things with no marketing or we are totally going to go viral.
-If you do not know your exact numbers make something up to give to them but like have really really absolute number.
-Never use ranges with your metrics such as between (5-10M). Say specific number such as 8,548,173
And there was a panel the topic of which was “Where are the Unicorns from Turkey?” Hakan Bas has answered this question. A part of his answer’s that within 10 years endeavour, eTohum and Gİrvak will help the ecosystem to evolve and hopefully sooner or later we will have unicorns with the help of them.
Kaushal Chockshi summarized the simple equation of Angel investment as follows:
Team x Product x Market x Timing = Some $
As and end ,my favorite part is Speed Networking. It was my first speed networking experience. It’s unbeliaveable. The Speed Networking session is an icebreaker activity where participants meet each other in 60 seconds turn. We had just 60 seconds to meet and talk each other. Firstly i could not imagine that could be enough time to meet and talk about our projects, majors, interests just totaly within 60 seconds. After a while Ertugrul Belen has rung, the 60 seconds started. Somebody came to me and we could talk about so many things within 60 seconds, give our business cards to each other and take some notes and we make remember to each other to say that “do not forget to send a mail to me about your Project” etc. After the 60 minutes i got so many business cards, my pocket was full of them. Within just 1 hour I met so many succesfull investors, entrepreneurs and professors as well.
And time to announce the awards. The winners were selected according to the following criterias:
How well does your angel investor know the sector?
How much time the angel investor spend with you ?
Does he/she spend regular time with you?
Did he/she help you refine your business model pivot, finding customers, preparing 2nd and 3rd round?
Angel Investor Honor Award of the year – Hasan Aslanoba, Emre Kurttepeli ve Ziya Boyacıgiller
Angel Investor of the year – Joachim Behrendt
Angel Investment Award of Finance – TEB Private Banking
Startup Turkey 2015 Challenge winners are:
Lastly If you can execute, believe in your own ecosystem and in your own product i think you will probably be successful.
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