Starting couple months ago, when I got selected to be a StartUp Istanbul Ambassador, I knew that October 2015, will be exciting. For those of you who don’t know, StartUp Istanbul is the leading startup event in Eurasia! Bringing together founders, investors and executives in the region, but also leading startups, internet companies, business angels and venture capitalists from Asia and Europe. In one sentence, if you are somehow startup-involved, then this is the place to be! It really is a privilege to be an ambassador to such an event and as soon as I found out that I was chosen, I started spreading the word through my network and promoting the event through national media.
As the summer days were passing by, my excitement was growing with each day. I started my research and preparations about discovering the startup scene in Istanbul. Contacting people from startuptravels, got me overwhelmed by the positive feedback I got for #StartUpSelfie, but also from the interest of almost everyone I found on the platform, was eager to meet up for a coffee and discuss startups. I would also like to apologize to those that I couldn’t meet this time. Since I was in Istanbul for a week only and the schedule was pretty busy. Hopefully we can meet in another opportunity, sooner rather than later, and I could share your story on my blog.
What is coming in the blog series from Istanbul?
Many cool selfies to start with, but also what I have learned is that co-working spaces in this city are booming. I had to check it out for myself, so I paid a visit to not one, but two co-working spaces. Also, I have met some cool young entrepreneurs and a network of business angels as well. Who did I met during Startup Istanbul main event? If you haven’t been updated through the official social media pages, then you need to leave your e-mail and subscribe to the blog so you can be timely informed about all the cool startup stories!
How my week went in Istanbul?
Since this was my second time visiting this magnificent city of two continents, I can proudly say that after this visit I could probably do a good job as a touristic guide 🙂 But, this is also thanks to my host Münire (she’s been amazing), she’s been working a corporate job in the past, but recently has joined one cool startup (in the making), so by the next time I come to Istanbul, I hope she will be featured on the blog. This time in Istanbul, I was traveling alone, but never felt alone during my stay. The agenda for each day was filled from, literally, sunrise till sunset. I’ve arrived on Friday morning and after accommodating I went straight to Taksim square to meet the guys from the only Macedonian startup accepted in the Startup Istanbul 100 startups programme. Saturday was booked with meetings from my startuptravels contacts (soon you’ll see who they are). On Sunday, we had an organized Bosphorus cruise with a group of startup Istanbul attendees. There I have met amazing people, from different organizations and professional backgrounds and had an excellent day with the #TechStars crew. Monday was the ‘StartUp Istanbul Conference’ day. Will have a separate blog post/s, but just as an advice, you shouldn’t miss the next one 🙂 On Tuesday, I have met my dear friends Paul & Kate who will be featured on the blog very very soon. They are on their startup journey, filming their documentary Startup and Deliver. We had an amazing traditional Turkish lunch at my favorite Beşiktaş area, and after that we walked to Ortaköy to enjoy the amazing view and delicious coffee, while we continued to exchange ideas and make plans for our next meet up. Wednesday was planned for visiting the second co-working space, where I also got to meet a startup founder with office in the co-working space, but also a network of business angels. They will of course be featured here in the following days…
The week in Istanbul was super hectic, but super fun at the same time. All in all I have met really amazing people, and we do keep in touch. I have learned a lot about the startup community, the overall eco-system and enjoyed being part of the leading startup event, which by far is my favorite 🙂 Thanks for the organizers, Burak & Asli for the opportunity and for being so great in uplifting the startup scene!
The first #StartUpSelfie from Istanbul is scheduled and will be a bit different from the previous ones 🙂