How many people should the start-up contain?

A start-up can be made up of groups of at least 1 and at most 4 people. If your start-up has more than 4 group members, you can only declare 4 of them to İTÜ Çekirdek. There is a limit to the number of team members so that all start-ups can use İTÜ Çekirdek’s capacity efficiently.

Would it be disadvantageous for me if I apply on my own?

Of course, the jury takes the competence and skills of the team member(s) into consideration while evaluating your project. Within this scope, it is possible for you to apply on your own and it is not a sufficient reason for rejection. On the other hand, it would be beneficial if you presented your convincing justifications that you will not experience problems in interdisciplinary management of a single-person project.

Can I apply with multiple projects as a group?

Yes, you can apply with multiple projects. You can apply with the same registry number by raising the number of projects (adding new project) without the necessity to perform a new registration in the system. However, only one project per group will be qualified for funding.

Can I apply to İTÜ Çekirdek with multiple projects and win multiple awards/investments?

No. Even if you apply to İTÜ Çekirdek with multiple projects, you can only be admitted with your project with the highest score.

Can I be a member of multiple groups and apply to İTÜ Çekirdek with different groups and projects?

No, you have to decide on the group you will take part in as a member at the outset.

Is there an age limit to join Çekirdek?

There is no problem unless you are at least an undergraduate.

What happens when one or more members leave the entrepreneur group after being admitted to İTÜ Çekirdek?

As group members is also a criterion in the evaluation made to admit you into İTÜ Çekirdek within the scope of your application, you might be changing your reason of admission to İTÜ Çekirdek by changing your group members. Just as you can’t change your project after application, you cannot change your members after application. However, if you have some personal or obligatory grounds, you need to explain your situation with a petition to be filed to ARI Teknokent. However, even if it is a very reasonable cause for you, it does not mean that it will be accepted. The increases and decreases in the group members may lead to your disqualification from İTÜ Çekirdek.

Can we leave İTÜ Çekirdek as a group?

Yes, you can waive your rights and leave İTÜ Çekirdek as a group but you will prevent another group that will benefit from the mechanism instead of you from being selected and not be able to use your right in this way. Your achievement, errors and any kind of attitude in the İTÜ Çekirdek process which incorporates many jury members, investors and institutions and is followed curiously by them will be important references in your future.

I have a job. When can I use Pre-Incubation if I gain admission to İTÜ Çekirdek?

İTÜ Çekirdek Pre-Incubation will be open 24/7 so that both working and studying entrepreneurs can benefit from İTÜ Çekirdek. Furthermore, training and coaching meetings will be organized in the evenings on weekdays and at the weekends depending on hours.

If I have won an award in BigBang but do not want to establish a company, what will I do?

İTÜ Çekirdek was primarily established to serve commercialization of successful technological ideas. You will be expected to establish a company at the end of the process. Otherwise, it will not be possible to commercialize your product or project. However, if a situation arises that makes it impossible to establish a company due to the nature of your position and/or project, you have to notify ARI Teknokent Administration about this together with your İTÜ Çekirdek application. (For example, studying in a military school or developing a project directly for the Turkish Armed Forces etc.)

I have won an award in BigBang. Can I receive the office and money award if I do not establish a company?

You can get your award by periodically submitting a progress report to İTÜ ARI Teknokent Administration about your project’s progress. You do not have to establish a company..

Can I apply to İTÜ Çekirdek as a company?

No, legal persons may not apply to İTÜ Çekirdek. Only natural persons can do so. At the end of the process, a company which have the members of the winning group as shareholders is established.

If a win an award, how and when will I get the money?

BigBang awards are deposited into the bank accounts of entrepreneur companies that have recently been established in line with the financing requirements provided for by the entrepreneur groups within the framework of their “business plans” on quarterly basis within one year on the condition that they are requested by “reasoned petition”. Provided that the projects of award-winning entrepreneurs develop within the scope of the business plan, İTÜ ARI Teknokent Administration will evaluate the reasons in the petition and the performance outputs obtained in mentoring meetings and pay the total award in fragments. In the event that the company does not show development or performance outputs are found insufficient within the scope of mentor feedbacks, İTÜ ARI Teknokent reserves its right to not pay the award (partially or completely) to the entrepreneur company. The awards won by entrepreneurs in BigBang should not be deemed as an award price that can be spent in any field. İTÜ Çekirdek is responsible to all the sponsors funding the awards for ensuring that the entrepreneur company continues its operations successfully.

Can I win multiple awards with my project?

Yes, you can win multiple awards and/or investments if the jury sees it fit.

Can I also apply to İTÜ Çekirdek with a project with which I participated in another contest/centre/funding mechanism in the past or simultaneously?

Yes, you can do so by providing this information in the application form.

Can I apply to İTÜ Çekirdek even if I win or do not win an award from another contest?

Yes, you can do so by providing this information in the application form.

Can we add a new shareholder to the company after winning an award?

You can add a new shareholder by informing İTÜ Çekirdek and İTÜ ARI Teknokent Administration.

Who will own the intellectual property rights of our project?

The intellectual property rights of your project belong to all members of the group. If there is a special contract signed among group members at the establishment stage of the group, these rights may also belong to a part of the group members. If that is the case, it should be indicated in the application form. However, the fact that the intellectual property rights belong to the group members throughout the İTÜ Çekirdek process does not mean that they cannot be transferred or sold afterwards. This matter is at the discretion of the entrepreneur group provided that it is submitted to the approval of ARI Teknokent.

Can I reapply the next year with my project which I applied to İTÜ Çekirdek with and was not admitted?

If you are admitted to İTÜ Çekirdek and get eliminated, you may not reapply with the same project. If you are eliminated in the Pre-Qualification, you can apply again.

How will our confidentiality rights remain reserved?

All jury members reviewing the application forms and business plans sign the confidentiality agreement. Furthermore, intellectual property rights applications of all projects will be lodged by Yalçıner Danışmanlık free of charge before the entrepreneurs present their projects in İTÜ Çekirdek Contest.

I would like to participate in İTÜ Çekirdek from outside of İstanbul. Then how will I solve the problem of attendance to pre-incubation and Mini MBA?

If you have a group member who lives in İstanbul, (s)he can represent your group or project. If none of the group members lives in İstanbul and there are limitations to transportation, this situation is indicated in the form of application to ARI Teknokent and submitted to approval with an additional petition.  If ARI Teknokent finds the reason acceptable, the relevant person/people are held exempt from İTÜ Çekirdek attendance. However, it should not be forgotten that İTÜ Çekirdek was modelled as a whole in attaining success. Your failure to attend the trainings and events may turn out to your and your project’s disadvantage. Of course, ALL group members are obliged to attend such events as jury presentation day, acquaintance meeting, and final day. Being outside the city is not considered an excuse.

I graduated from the university in the past years and now I am a freshman in Open Education Faculty. Can I apply to İTÜ Çekirdek?

The prerequisite to be a junior or senior is not sought in people who already have a bachelor’s degree and receiving university education again to obtain a second bachelor’s degree. However, these candidates will be required to certify their first bachelor’s degree in addition to the application acceptance documents.

I graduated from the university 15 years ago. Can I apply to İTÜ Çekirdek?


When I apply to İTÜ Çekirdek, my project will be opened to evaluation of the jury. Will this project be declared to the public and will I lose my patent application rights because of this sharing?

As evaluations of the jury are carried out within the scope of the principle of confidentiality (by signing contracts of confidentiality), the declarations made to the jury are not considered to be declared to the public by law. However, patent application should be lodged before the presentation to be made publicly and this procedure will be executed free of charge for all İTÜ Çekirdek entrepreneurs.

We reside outside of İstanbul. Is participation in trainings obligatory?

Entrepreneur group members are obliged to participate in the trainings at a rate of 90%. Entrepreneur group members residing outside of İstanbul should report their current status to the executive board by petition when they become entitled to enter İTÜ Çekirdek.

I now have an office in İTÜ Çekirdek. Can this be adequate for me to be exempt from taxes?

Unfortunately, it is not adequate for tax exemption. Entrepreneurs who wish to be a Teknokent company should lodge an application with İTÜ ARI Teknokent’e or İTÜ Magnet regarding the relevant matter.

I competed in İTÜ Çekirdek finals and won an award. Can I apply again in the new term?

No, you can’t .

Important Note:

All the above-mentioned questions were answered in line with İTÜ Çekirdek procedures. However, ARI Teknokent reserves the right to alter the rules with İTÜ Çekirdek Executive Board decision in exceptional cases it deems necessary depending on the personal statuses of entrepreneurs and obligatory conditions brought by the agenda.

(For ex: If a group which has won an award in Çekirdek Contest should not have established a company yet in order to apply for state fund, even if the rules indicate otherwise, ARI Teknokent  may transfer the award to the entrepreneur group with Executive Board decision.)