FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is there an age or schooling limitation when applying to ITU Çekirdek?

People applying to ITU Çekirdek are expected to be at least high school graduates and over 18 years of age. Students or graduates of ITU and all other universities can apply. ITU Çekirdek entrepreneurs are predominantly graduates and have 2-3 years of experience.

If I apply alone, would this be a disadvantage to me at the application stage?

The competencies and proficiencies of the founding partners and the team members supporting the founding partners are taken into consideration when evaluating the applications for ITU Çekirdek. Applying alone can be a disadvantage for you on your challenging entrepreneurship journey.

Is the company expected to be incorporated when applying?

Pre-Incubation: Being incorporated or not incorporated is not an expected criterion for ITU Çekirdek Pre-Incubation at the application stage. ITU Çekirdek was founded to serve the purpose of commercializing successful technological enterprises, and enabling them to make sales. It is targeted to incorporate companies that are not incorporated during or at the completion of the ITU Çekirdek process.

 

Express: On the other hand, in order to apply to ITU Çekirdek Express, being incorporated and being able to issue invoices within the scope of the product/service and business model applied before the application date is an expected prerequisite.

Can I apply to ITU Çekirdek with a project with which I participated in another contest/ center/support mechanism either in the past or at the same time simultaneously?

Yes, you can apply, provided that you specify this information in the relevant section on the application form.

How will the confidentiality conditions of my initiative described in the application form be met?

Application forms are read by jury members who had signed a confidentiality agreement.

Can I apply with more than one initiative idea?

Yes, you can apply to ITU Çekirdek with more than one initiative idea, but you can only continue the ITU Çekirdek process with just one initiative.

What rights will I have after joining ITU Çekirdek?

Training Process: “Initiatives that have successfully completed the ITU Çekirdek Online Evaluation and Pre-Evaluation Juries”:

After joining ITU Çekirdek, startups shall obtain many different opportunities such as participating in 25-hour entrepreneurship training, taking advantage of our pool of more than 300 active mentors, benefiting from a fully equipped working environment, attending to seminars and workshops specifically designed for you, having access to a workshop to develop prototypes/products, utilizing ITU Çekirdek Special Opportunities (AWS, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, Iyzico etc.).

 

Pre-Incubation Process: “Initiatives that have successfully completed the Post-Training Jury after completing the ITU Çekirdek training process”

In line with their performance in the training and pre-incubation processes, initiatives which are entitled to continue with the ITU Çekirdek process, shall obtain the right to many other opportunities such as appearing before investors with Investor Demo Days, appearing before potential corporate customers with Corporate Demo Days, receiving support from R&D fund, attending to special workshops, participating in national/international fairs and events as well as guidance and assistance geared towards their KPI follow-ups and their needs, as part of monthly one-to-one performance follow-up meetings with ITU Çekirdek Team, in addition to the ones listed in the training process.

I want to join ITU Çekirdek from outside Istanbul; how do I solve the problem of attending pre-incubation and training sessions?

If no founding partner and/or team member lives in Istanbul, you must indicate this on the application form. We expect you to be present at the ITU Çekirdek to benefit from the synergies among initiatives that ITU Çekirdek sees as one of its most important values and to use the opportunities such as mentoring and trainings.

Can I be a founding partner in more than one initiative?

No, as a founding partner, you can only take part in ITU Çekirdek with just one initiative.

Can I show ITU Çekirdek Office as my company address?

No, enterprises can use the office space 24/7, but the enterprises in the Pre-Incubation Program cannot show the ITU Çekirdek office as their company address. After the Big Bang process however, the enterprises awarded with the ITU Çekirdek Closed Office award and the enterprises selected according to the ITU Çekirdek Incubation Program can benefit from the endowment when they can show ITU Çekirdek as their company address according to the scope of the award.

I won an award in the ITU Çekirdek Big Bang competition; how shall I get paid?

Initiatives that win cash and/or in-kind awards in the Big Bang competition are expected to periodically meet with ITU Çekirdek Coordinators to work on identifying and improving their “Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)”. As a result of fulfilling the KPIs determined periodically, the reward payment for that period is made, new KPIs are determined for the next period and hence, the payment schedule of the remaining prize is created. These periods are decided as a result of the meetings made with the initiative team and ITU Çekirdek Coordinator. In this regard, award money is transferred to the Limited or Joint Stock company that the team of entrepreneurs established/shall establish in Turkey.

 

ITU ARI Technocity reserves the right to interrupt such payments or to never make payments to the entrepreneurial team if these KPI targets are not reached.

Can I reapply next year with the same initiative that I already applied to ITU Çekirdek but not accepted?

If you stepped up to the Big Bang stage, you cannot apply again with your same initiative. However, if you have not been on the stage, you can reapply to ITU Çekirdek as long as you progress or pivot with your initiative. With the same initiative, an entrepreneur can be included in ITU Çekirdek for 2 consecutive years.

I have a closed office at ITU Çekirdek. Could this be enough for me to have tax exemptions?

Having a closed office in ITU Çekirdek is not sufficient for tax exemption. Being a Technocity company is a prerequisite for tax exemption and you can make your application on the ITU ARI Technocity website to become a Technocity company.

Important Note:

All the above questions are answered according to ITU Çekirdek procedures. However, ARI Technocity reserves the right to change the rules with the decision of the ITU Çekirdek Decision Board, in exceptional conditions, which it deems necessary, depending on the personal conditions of the entrepreneurs and the mandatory conditions brought by the conjunctural agenda.