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2 Days 400 Participants
As the Revo Capital team we are grateful for the amazing turnout & impact our 3rd Annual Revo Capital Building Bridges Event had on the startup ecosystem of Türkiye.
Over the course of 2 days, we welcomed 400 unique attendees, of which 80 were global participants visiting Istanbul for the purpose of the event. We would like to express our thanks and sincere gratitude to our keynote speakers, panel participants & moderators as well as the supporters of the event.
Our ambition was to organize a truly transformative & inclusive event that will serve as a bridge between the Turkish & global startup ecosystem. We believe that we have accomplished our goal of shedding light on Türkiye’s unified, steadfast, and rapidly growing startup & investment ecosystem.
Opening Speech by Revo Capital's Founding Partner Cenk Bayrakdar
Mr. Bayrakdar’s speech focused on Türkiye’s burgeoning digital entrepreneurship ecosystem, that after two decades after its inception has taken off, taking solid steps toward becoming a key regional hub for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Türkiye’s startup environment has been able to nurture a growing number of successful ventures and this success has put Türkiye firmly in the list of European countries that stand out as a fast growing and resourceful environment for launching commercially successful new ideas.
Keynote Speaker: European Decacorn Getir's CEO Nazım Salur
Revo Capital was one of the first backers of the ultrafast delivery pioneer Getir. Mr. Salur delivered an insightful keynote speech focusing on the importance of finding the right investors and international expansion as a key strategy for a startup’s success.
The growth strategy of most Turkish startups has been focused inwards until 2018, with internationalization taking a back seat – attributed to a large domestic market that allows companies to scale without a global posture. More recently, the series of successful expansion stories, such as Getir, have inspired entrepreneurs to eye opportunities and plan the launch of their products and services in international markets.
Keynote Speaker: IFC's Global Head of VC Mohamed Eissa
Mr. Eissa shed light on different gender approaches in entrepreneurship and the significant impact and importance of making investment opportunities more equitable.
Keynote Speaker: A. Burak Dağlıoğlu from the Investment Office of the Presidency of Türkiye
Mr. Dağlıoğlu shared his insights into the early-stage investment ecosystem of Türkiye and the significant increase in the recent period. 2021 was a record year in Türkiye with an investment figure of $1.6 billion. Turkish grocery delivery platform Getir made a significant amount of contribution to the investment figures in 2021 by raising $1 billion. Even if Getir is subtracted from the total investment amounts, Turkey still has a record-breaking year with $651 million, quadrupling from 2020.
Panel: Istanbul as a Startup Hub
Supported by the Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA) and moderated by Endeavor Türkiye’s Managing Director Aslı Kurul Türkmen, the panelists discussed how Istanbul’s tech entrepreneurship community gained worldwide recognition in the past decade as an e-commerce tech hub with a series of successful exits in which startups like Yemeksepeti, Trendyol, Gittigidiyor and Peak have been sold to global companies like Delivery Hero, Alibaba, eBay and Zynga.
Panel: Corporate Innovation
Hosted by Özyeğin University and moderated by CVC Finberg’s Director Gaye Or, panelists Ismail Arı, Ahu Buyukkusoglu Serter and Ali Pandir covered the strategies implemented by their institutions to keep up with change & remain competitive and innovative.
The panelists pointed to the fact that startups can benefit from corporate funding, resources, & customer access and given the increasing cost of R&D, more companies are looking to acquire innovative businesses to gain access to new products & services.
Panel: Exit Sucess Stories
The panel was hosted by Datasite was moderated by Revo Capital VP Deniz Aslandoğan and hosted Turkey’s leading serial entrepreneurs Ahmet Sarı (Akinon), Koray Bahar (Figopara), Zeynep Dagli Kastro (Param), Utku Azman (Citus) and Ali Servet Eyupoglu (English Ninjas) as well as John Komninakidis (Datasite).
The panelists discussed exit strategy planning and, just as important, what exits look and feel like in real life to serial entrepreneurs and whether the focused dedication to launch and grow a startup should also include planning for potential future exits and how the decisions to structure and operate the business had huge implications down the road.
Panel: Angel Investing
Hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and moderated by AWS Türkiye GM Burak Aydın, the panel hosted Türkiye’s notable angel investors Bora Şahinoğlu (hiVC), Duygu Eren (Keiretsu Forum), Ata Uzunhasan (GBA) as well as Valeri Petrov (Eleven Ventures). Entrepreneurs Duygu Akbudak Özgün (Denebunu) and Orhun Canca (Aposto) outlined the importance of the support they received from angel investors throughout their entrepreneurship journey.
The panelists discussed why angel investing is one of the most fundamental drivers of economic rejuvenation of cities, what can be done to encourage angel investments on a regulative level but also how the other ecosystem participants can contribute as well as the benefits of having angel investors as venture capital investors / limited partners.
The Startup Lounge hosted by Zendesk was packed with workshops that drilled down on key topics for startups. Entrepreneurs and investors contributed to the interesting conversations that took place across 5 sessions including Overcoming Product Challenges in Your Startup by Zendesk’s VC/Startup Partnerships Manager Jeremy Ambrose, Technology Trends by McKinsey & Co., How to Hack Fundraising by Startup Wise Guys and Building a Scalable Talent Acquisition Engine by RocketX.