Soon after my meeting with Tayga, I went down the hallway to the next office to meet the lovely ladies from a not-for-profit organization that connects investors with young entrepreneurs. I was all eager to hear about their work and concept, so I set down with Catherine Yelda Dilmener, marketing specialist at Galata Business Angels.
“Galata Business Angels is Istanbul’s premier angel investor organization. Galata Business Angels is a formal group of executives, entrepreneurs and angel investors who are interested in investing their time and money into new, cutting edge, startup companies. Galata Business Angels members have founded companies such as AirTies, Yemeksepeti.com, Mynet.com, and Markafoni.com and been senior executives at the likes of Apple, eBay, Maxim, Turkcell and DBI. Galata Business Angels operates as a not-for-profit organization and acts as a platform where member angel investors and aspiring entrepreneurs meet to exchange ideas about startups and discuss investment opportunities. We have a large number of investors from the country and the region in our network and more than 2000 entrepreneurs have applied for the academy that we are organizing. We can also proudly say that so far 17 startups have gotten an investment through our network.” says Catherine.
While we were discussing about their business model and way of doing things I was interested to find out how are they selecting startups and what is the most valuable thing for her when doing this job.
“Everyone has a chance with Galata Business Angels. If you have a great business idea, you can get in touch and schedule a pitching session. Also startups from abroad can fill in the application, get involved and we’ll take it from there. We are primarily focused on investments in Turkey, but also we take applications from the MENA region and abroad. Galata Business Angels Members will invest in these sectors with particular interest: Internet, Mobile, Software,Telecom. For me, personally, the extremely pleasurable thing is when we connect the young entrepreneurs with the investors. For some of them the mentoring they get from them regarding presentation, business model, strategy and the 1-on-1 advice session is the most valuable experience. This is when I’m most proud of doing what I do.” – adds Catherine.
It was a real pleasure meeting the ladies from Galata Business Angels and learning more about their organization. I would like to encourage lean startups to check out their program and ‘try their luck’. Even though I wanted to stay more and talk around other topics as well, my time was very limited as I was about to departure.
My week in Istanbul went smoothly, it was very exciting and fun, but at the same time I have learned so much about their eco-system, have met amazing people from different countries and backgrounds. With my posts from this visit I do hope that you will get new insight and information, that you will get inspired and motivated and maybe you will find useful contacts for networking and potential collaboration. Because, #StartUpSelfie aims to promote startups and startup enthusiasts from different cities, but also to inspire people to get in their entrepreneurial shoes and live life filled with unlimited opportunities.
The next blog post is coming very soon, so make sure you subscribe with your e-mail, to find out who I met while visiting Skopje.
Have a great Cyber Monday 🙂