A program that takes 3 months in whatever domain is always a very interesting sociology project. In our case it was the Startupbootcamp Istanbul acceleration program with 9 teams and less than the Dunbar Number being 150 persons. It is not sure why 150 persons is like the maximum of a good working group. Some indicate that in this size the cheaters do not get any chance to survive. But I am sure more experienced people can elaborate on this. Fact of live is that I experienced in these 3 months that there is no escape possible in not being involved or not perform at a maximum. These 3 months ended in DEMO DAY. The 9 startups pitched towards an audience of over 300 persons comprising investors, mentors, startup fans, business people, academics and friends.
our full team on stage
When I was asked to be the host, abbreviated as MC, I was very honored and excited. It was the first Demo Day of the first international accelerator in Turkiye. And I am a yabangi, a stranger in Turkiye, although living and working here for almost 2 years now. Kicking off with dancing and illustrating the difference of European and Turkish dancing seemed like a crazy idea but it set the tone. High energy, high engaging! We kicked of with a speech from Enver Yucel, founder of Bahcesehir University and Ersin Pamuksuzer, founder Startupbootcamp Istanbul before we called on our 2 panels. First panel was titled “Then & Now of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Turkey” with great stories from Varol Civil, Member of the Board TEB Holding and Murat Vargi, Chairman of MV Holding, lead by Ersin Pamuksüzer.
For the 2nd panel we had foreign guests coming from the States and China. Adam Fishman, Former Director of Growth for Lyft and Richard Hsu, former Creative Director New York Times, China advisor, set up Nike’s advertising agency in China, an educator at Strelka Institute in Moscow, Columbia Univ and NYU and much more. The panel leader was Alex Farcet, Cofounder & MD of Startupbootcamp and they talked about the topic “Global Trends in Entrepreneurship & Innovation”.
the infamous selfie on stage
After all these insights and a coffee break it was time to present the pitches of the 9 startups: Zeplin, 315 Studio, Smart Moderation, Zulala, Tag2Sense, CepStop, Intelligent Papers, Bir Cüzdan and Sence Bence. Without any exception they all outperformed themselves. Knowing how we started with the teams 3 months ago it was quite impressive how they pivoted their ideas, how they worked on the business case and practiced the pitches until they were close to perfection.
A lot of respect goes out to the team, The Go Project, the mentors and those who I forget.
Having the international board members of the Global Startupbootcamp team in the audience was for sure an extra challenge but also motivational. They even helped me giving out the awards that were handed out to Most engaged mentor, Dogan Taskent, Most collaborative ecosystem partner, Endeavor, Most innovative startup believer, BKM, and Most supporting academic entity, BAU.
One can never thank enough the people that made this event what it became eventually. It is also hard to describe it after but depending on the reactions we had after the Demo Day during the aftermath the positive tone was overwhelming. I can only conclude that I felt very fortunate to be part of this milestone as well for Startupbootcamp as for the entire Turkish startup scene. Without any modesty J
Here you can see the pictures on Facebook
Video’s will follow.