Team of Firsts

Team of Firsts

06-Jan-2014 by Startupbootcamp

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The program team has been a team of firsts. The managing director Ersin Pamuksüzer created Crea-world, the first incubation center in Turkey, in 2000 when he was the CEO of Ericsson for Turkey and the Middle East.

Crea-world helped develop numerous value-added services in the Turkish mobile sector.

Ersin Pamuksüzer helped create several companies in the ICT area, including digital TV, ISP and online betting companies, and Turkcell – the largest GSM operator in Turkey. He also helped create various GSM operators in the CIS region.

Our program director and managing partner, Çigdem Toraman, is one of the top experts on technology, internet, digital media, finance and commerce in Turkey. Throughout her career she has lead numerous large-scale projects and businesses, each of which were the first in their class. She led the team that created the first electronic trading system in Turkey, the BIST (Istanbul Stock Exchange) online trading system. She managed the creation of the first media company portal and ISP. By creating the first thematic blog, the first vertical real estate classified site and many other firsts, Çigdem turned into Turkey’s most visited news website. She is the founder of Turkey’s only shop and shopping site providing a real meeting point for a wide collection of artists performing traditional Anatolian arts and crafts, along with the only specialized content site and mobile app covering daily news and information formatted specifically for children and teenagers.

The managing partner, Gülsüm Ciraci, conducted the first research on entrepreneurship in Turkey. The books published about these research activities include the findings on effects of entrepreneurship on unemployment and the entrepreneurship climate in nine Turkish cities. She was given a social responsibility award when she developed a project placing Istanbul-based technology companies in different incubators in Asia Minor. She also helped create four incubators just for women. She developed the largest entrepreneurship-training project, where she trained more than 8000 people. In addition, Ciraci co-created one of the first projects for entrepreneur seeding with Avea, a major mobile operator in Turkey.

Another managing partner, Tolga Gemicioglu, is one of the first academicians in Turkey to write a thesis on innovation practice and clustering. He also has been involved in startups both as a manager and a partner.

Istanbul Program’s MENA partner Dr. Abdul Malik El Jaber is another pioneer of entrepreneurship in the MENA region. He created two organizations, Arabreneur and MENA apps, that support entrepreneurs.

Are you curious about the opportunities for entrepreneurs in the MENA region? Get in touch with the pioneers and discover the advantages of accelerating in Istanbul.

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And follow us on @sbcIstanbul for updates about upcoming Pitch Days.


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