TOBB Startup İstanbul

Hisarcıklıoğlu: İstanbul will become a global entrepreneurship center

The closing of TOBB Startup İstanbul was held at the Volkswagen Arena with the attendances of a thousand entrepreneurs from 63 countries. TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “TOBB Startup İstanbul is the first step towards making Istanbul a global entrepreneurship hub. Entrepreneurship is neither a science, nor an art. It is a practice.”

The closing of Startup İstanbul Conference hosted by TOBB and Etohum was held on the 10th of October, 2016, at the Volkswagen Arena. Prominent global investing firms such as Abraaj Capital, 500Startups, Andreessen Horowitz, YCombinator, Lumia Capital, Wamda Capital, Rubicon Capital were in İstanbul to meet with select entrepreneurs.
In his closing keynote speech,TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “I am pleased to announce that starting from this year, TOBB and Etohum are joining forces to make Istanbul a global entrepreneurship hub. Startup Istanbul is the first step to reach that goal. And here, we are determined to help you keep moving. Because entrepreneurship is neither a science, nor an art. It is a practice.
As Mark Twain once said, ‘Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.’”

- TOBB is the primary entrepreneurship ecosystem builder of Turkey
Emphasizing that TOBB is the primary entrepreneurship ecosystem builder of Turkey, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “At the national level, we work closely with the public sector in the making of entrepreneurship friendly policies. At the local level, our Young and Women Entrepreneurs Councils in 81 cities work on strengthening the ecosystems in their regions. TOBB University of Economics and Technology, with its Garage incubation center and technology transfer office supports both students and academics to start their own companies. I’ve been closely following Startup Istanbul’s evolution into a leading startup gathering of the region, receiving applications from thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world. I would also like to congratulate the entrepreneurs, who are together with us today. After an intensive vetting process, you deserved to be here. Many of you have travelled here from long ways to validate your ideas, pitch to investors, and expand your networks. And here now, you are ready to create something powerful enough to disrupt our habits, the way we think and ultimately, the way we live.”

- Why İstanbul a center?
Stating that that 80 percent of those attending TOBB Startup are from other countries, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Perhaps they are visiting Istanbul for the first time in their lifetime. Many multinational companies manage their operations in several countries from here. Why? First, it’s the business center of the 18th largest economy in the world. Total foreign trade volume reached 350 billion USD.The value of foreign direct investment stock exceeded 170 billion USD. Second, it has a very convenient geographical location. In less than three hours almost every corner of Europe and many locations in Asia are reachable by plane. Thirdly, the city can offer high living standards for its non-Turkish citizens. A multicultural city where everybody could find a reason to feel like at home in Istanbul.”
Hisarcıklıoğlu went on, “Just as Martin Luther King said, ‘If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.’”

- What is TOBB Startup İstanbul
TOBB Startup İstanbul is an international organization which has brought the prominent investors and entrepreneurs of the world together. A thousand entrepreneurs were invited to the organization after vetting. The final 50 entrepreneurs found opportunity to pitch their ideas to the biggest investors in the world. The organization is held by TOBB and the investment firm Etohum.


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