Soon as I finished with my work at Yazane, I rushed through the door for my second meeting for that day. I needed to go from Karaköy back to Bebek, so this time around I was advised to take the bus to get there faster. However I was late again (blame it on the traffic jam at Ortaköy), but at least here in Istanbul, nobody seems to get irritated when someone is late…
We got in touch through startuptravels (in case you didn’t noticed, yes this is one of my favorite startups to date) and I was eager to meet in person this startup enthusiast, building up his first startup in Istanbul. Meet Çağlar Ekim the C0-Founder of DitoSpace – a platform, marketplace for co-working spaces or as he likes to call it “The AirBnB for office spaces”.
“While I was studying I had some attempts for starting a startup, but then I started working as a project manager at one incubation center, where I also got valuable insight and advices on what I want to do now with DitoSpace. Co-working spaces, shared offices are very popular right now and our platform will provide you with easy, fast way to discover and book the ideal space for your work. Curated meeting, work and event spaces where you can boost your productivity, do your best work, organize creative workshops, impress your guests or meet great like-minded people. “ – says Çağlar about his startup that is in pre-launch phase.
While he was explaining to me in more details about his plans for launch, traction and future growth, we ended up discussing about his views on the startup ecosystem in Istanbul.
“The startup community is getting crowded over here. It is definitely becoming a trend in a way. Almost every day there is some event around startups. Locals and expats in the community are always interested in helping out and startups in my opinion are the biggest opportunity to the economy. Even though the startup ecosystem in Istanbul is still developing, there should be more VC funds, big corporations should be more supportive, the government as well should do some legal framework and tax advantages, because it is a struggle. Not that much for starting a business, but if you are in a position to need to do closing on your business, then it is a real headache with all the administrative work” – says Çağlar.
Hopefully you won’t be having this type of headache Çağlar. Through our conversation I’ve noticed that he is indeed a typical startup enthusiast and I was very interested to hear his opinion on corporate vs. startups.
“Most of my friends are working in a corporation, even though they have ideas about businesses, they are hooked in the daily routine and are scared to take the risk and develop a startup. I think that the best time to start a startup and experiment is while you are still in college or right after graduation, go to a co-working space, explore the options, find team mates and do the work. Get involved in the community and be prepared for sleepless nights, less and less free time, but also fun times and getting amazing experience. I hope that I will not end up working in a corporation. I generate ideas all the time and will always try to find a way to build up some business. If you are not about that startup life or you don’t believe you got what it takes to be an entrepreneur, than freelancing is always an option. Focus on mastering one skill, something you just love to do and be location & time independent by doing freelance work and enjoy what you do in life”. – adds Çağlar.
As we were finishing our cup of coffee in one of the most prettiest locations in Istanbul – Bebek (definitely worth checking it out) I was left with the thought that I do this blog as a hobby and I do not consider my meetings or typing the stories as a job, as long as I can enjoy beautiful sunsets and all I do in general with #StartUpSelfie.
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