Record From İTÜ Çekirdek: The Funds Allocated to Entrepreneurs at Big Bang Have Doubled!

Record From İTÜ Çekirdek: The Funds Allocated to Entrepreneurs at Big Bang Have Doubled!

The ‘Big Bang Start-up Challenge’, the world’s largest fund-raising activity for entrepreneurs, has beaten new record this year. 20 finalists who were entitled to take part on the stage and some semi-finalist groups in the foyer as well as İTÜ Çekirdek initiatives, that received the second round investments, reached the prize, cash and investment aggregated to 52 million Turkish Lira so the funds distributed the previous year has doubled.  While 48 million Turkish Lira out of the mentioned 52 million Turkish Lira was granted to the entrepreneurs, distribution of half of the investment received in the first 3 quarters of the 2019 Turkish entrepreneurship ecosystem at only one night revealed the power of the Big Bang. Among the 20 finalists, Parxlab, Sensemore and Earnado were the first three to receive the most support.

A new record has been set in the “Big Bang Start-up Challenge” where the best of the new entrepreneurs is determined every year by İTÜ Çekirdek, established within İTÜ ARI Teknokent and listed in the first 5 in the world under the entrepreneurship incubation centers of universities. The final event of İTÜ Çekirdek where hundreds of entrepreneurs file applications and where applications from 30 different countries have been received besides Turkey was performed at Uniq Istanbul on November 28, 2019, Thursday. At the Big Bang, setting its journey with the motto “scale-up” this year, 20 finalists who were entitled to take part on the stage and some semi-finalist groups in the foyer as well as İTÜ Çekirdek initiatives, that received the second round investments, reached a total fund amount of 52 million Turkish Lira. While 48 million Turkish Lira out of the mentioned 52 million Turkish Lira was granted to the entrepreneurs, distribution of half of the investment received in the first 3 quarters of the 2019 Turkish entrepreneurship ecosystem at only one night revealed the power of the Big Bang.

Among the TOP 20, the entrepreneurs entitled to be listed in the first three with the prize, cash and investment was Parxlab with 4 million 225 thousand Turkish Lira, Sensemore with 567 thousand Turkish Lira and Earnado with 545 thousand Turkish Lira.

Republic of Turkey Ministry of Industry and Technology Deputy Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır said, “Our overall objective is to issue entrepreneurs exceeding millions of dollars from turkey at a global level.”

Republic of Turkey Ministry of Industry and Technology Deputy Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır, speaking at the event expressed, “as the Ministry of Industry and Technology, we are showing efforts to support the technology ecosystem, entrepreneurship ecosystem and R&D and innovation Turkey as much as possible. Today in Turkey, we have over 5 thousand technology-developing companies and entrepreneurs in more than 50 Techno parks. The number of R&D and design centers of the private sector exceeds 1.500. According to the 2018 R&D and innovation statistics data, we see with pleasure that the share we allocated to R&D increased compared to the previous year 2017 and that it exceeded the threshold of 1%. Our goal is to take this much further. We hope to be able to allocate a share between 3% and 4% of the national income for R&D as in the competitor countries. All this in fact shows the establishment of a large infrastructure in Turkey. Our techno parks like İTÜ ARI Teknokent are of course the pioneers of this process and claim to be issue successful entrepreneurs at a global level. All our target is to issue unicorns at a global level and entrepreneurships exceeding the value of millions of dollars from Turkey at a global level while we carry our Republic to its 100th year. We will be experiencing a further entrepreneurship ecosystem in Turkey by achieving this with our initiatives, supporters and investors.”

İTÜ Rector Prof. Dr.  Mehmet Karaca said, “At İTÜ Çekirdek, we will continue to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in our country and to bring together the successful business ideas with the right investors.”

İTÜ Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca, making the opening speech of the event, stated, “We established our İTÜ Çekirdek Early Stage Incubation Center in 2012 to support the entrepreneurs at an early stage. Before being established, we set off by reviewing the features of major centers across the world and the improvement areas of the applications in Turkey. Thanks to our success in realizing the vision we have when we started our journey, we have become a well-known incubation center both in Turkey and across the world. According to the UBI Global data, which is the performance ranking of international university incubation centers; İTÜ Çekirdek is listed in the first 5 among the entrepreneurship incubation centers of universities in the world.

Since the year we have established İTÜ Çekirdek, we have supported more than two thousand enterprises and more than five thousand entrepreneurs  The total valuation of İTÜ Çekirdek initiatives, that received an investment amount more than 83 million Turkish lira, exceeded 956 million Turkish lira and the total turnover exceeded 65 million Turkish lira.

At İTÜ Çekirdek, which received more than 80 groups from over 30 different countries besides Turkey and thousands of applications from 63 different cities in Turkey, we will continue to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in our country and to bring together the successful business ideas with the right investors.”

İTÜ ARI Teknokent General Manager Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tunçalp said, “We are pleased to double the funds we provided to the entrepreneurs last year.”

İTÜ ARI Teknokent General Manager Assoc. Prof. Dr. Deniz Tunçalp, stating that they have established a unique ecosystem in the world as İTÜ ARI Teknokent said, “2019 is a year where we have heard the concept of start-up as well as the concept of scale-up.  It is becoming increasingly important both throughout the world and in Turkey not only to start the initiatives but also to grow them rapidly by bringing them to the scale-up level. As İTÜ ARI Teknokent and İTÜ Çekirdek, we focus on the concept of scale-up, bringing the entrepreneurs together with the investments and supports that will help them grow. With our new stakeholders and the growing entrepreneurship ecosystem, we are happy to double the funds this year we provided to the entrepreneurs last year.

By shifting up, we received applications from 30 different countries in addition to Turkey this year, so we opened our door to foreign initiatives as well. The foreign enterprises that receive investment and grants at the Big Bang will open their offices in İstanbul at İTÜ ARI Teknokent to expand their business globally. The entrepreneurs who filed applications from around Turkey will be able reach the technical expertise required by their side to rapidly grow further towards the country and the world markets from their resident provinces with the support given by İTÜ Çekirdek.  It will be a year where we will provide more support to entrepreneurs by establishing important stakeholders in the 2020 sector circumstances.”

The host İTÜ ARI Teknokent has announced that it has awarded five entrepreneurs with the İTÜ Çekirdek closed office prize three initiatives with the Innogate prize while announcing that it has awarded the other initiatives with the İTÜ MAGNET and open office prizes. At the event, Elginkan Foundation, İstanbul Chamber of Industry, Uludağ Automotive Industry Exporters Association (OİB), EnerjiSA, Anadolu Efes, Agito, Allianz, Anadolu Sigorta, PETKİM, 3M and Electricity Distribution Services Association (ELDER) also supported the future initiatives.