During my attendance of Techstars Community Program Summit, Startup Weekend MENA, and Startup Istanbul I got the chance to witness what Turkey offers as an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Here are 7 interesting facts I have put together:
1) The excellent location of Turkey in the middle of East and West, and the stability that the country has compared to its neighbors makes Turkey a platform for both regional and global startups.
2) Delivery Hero, Berlin Based food delivery has acquired Turkey’s Yemeksepeti for $589 million which considered to be the biggest exit in the Turkish ecosystem, and probably MENA.
3) Iyzico, a Turkish online payment system that raised the largest investment fund in the country in Series A and B, with more than $9 Million in total since it was founded in 2012.
4) There are 15 angel investors networks certified by the state. That investor can join to receive up to $200,000 tax exempt on their personal taxes when they invest in startups. There is, however, a lack of local investment in the country as investors prefer to put their money in stocks and real estate than startups.
5) All universities must have incubation centers by law, and the government supports the schools with funds to keep those centers working.
6) Although Turkish economy is very developed, the reality is that startups ecosystem in the country loses smart money and expert mentors. Also, there are only a few startups events in the country compared with its total population. This is limited to big conferences like Startup Turkey, Startup Istanbul, and few community events such as the event organized by Stage-Co.