The fourth most invested city in Europe: Istanbul

Erkam Tüzgen, Secretary General of Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA), working under the coordination of the Ministry of Industry and Technology, said: “Istanbul has become the fourth most invested city in Europe in the first quarter of this year, after London, Paris and Berlin. In terms of gaming investment, Europe and MENA ranks first in the region. mentioned.

Tuzgen answered his questions about the entrepreneurship ecosystem and financial support programs.

Recalling that as ISTKA they have launched a total of 6 different calls in 2021, including 4 financial support programs, 1 feasibility support and 1 call for regional venture capital funds, Tüzgen said: “We started to implement projects that deserve support. As ISTKA, we are providing support of TL 276 million to 158 projects in 2022. We are allocating TL 400 million to the regional venture capital program to ensure that our technology and innovation-driven startups have easy access to financing. used expressions.

Tüzgen said he has implemented various projects and activities to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Istanbul since the day of their establishment, and made the following assessments:

“We conduct in-depth studies to prepare new business ideas for commercialization, to open our national technology companies to global markets, to increase cooperation between players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and to develop permanent collaborations with institutions and national and international organizations Startup Genome, to which our agency contributes its data and expert opinions.We continue to work on the company’s GSER 2022 report.

Details of this report, which focuses on the world’s leading entrepreneurship ecosystems, are expected to be announced to the public soon. In the new period, we are contributing to 12 projects with a budget of TL 13.4 million under our financial support program for entrepreneurship. From the gaming industry to social enterprises; We support projects aimed at making Istanbul an international center of attraction for entrepreneurs, from health technologies to women entrepreneurs.”

Highlighting that Turkey’s first mobile games and esports incubation center, GamesUP, was established with the support of ISTKA, Tüzgen said, “Entrepreneurs with business ideas will develop their first games, and companies that need marketing and internationalization support will benefit from the accelerator program. Cybersecurity initiatives will find success in the global marketplace. The Cybercube Project, the cybersecurity acceleration and incubation program we support, provides access to infrastructure, training, technical mentors and consultants.

With the Investor Acceleration Platform project, we aim to support startups in terms of internationalization, access to financing and the establishment of collaborations. With the Trade Acceleration Platform project for Istanbul healthcare SMEs and startups, we aim to facilitate the sales and marketing processes of healthcare SMEs and startups in Istanbul. With the “International Entrepreneurship Center Istanbul” project, we aim to provide infrastructure, methodology, consulting and mentoring services to international entrepreneurs so that they can easily enter the market in Turkey.”


“We created the first Turkish pavilion for Turkish tech entrepreneurs at CES 2022”

Tüzgen said that a contract has been signed with 2 funds under the regional venture capital support program, to which TL 400 million has been allocated by İSTKA.

Stressing that this support programme, which will contribute to the development of regions and increase their competitiveness by providing capital to companies with rapid growth potential, initiatives based on technology and innovation will have much easier access to financing, and continued his remarks as follows:

“At the same time, we will make an important contribution to Istanbul’s vision of becoming a regional entrepreneurship hub. We aim to create new unicorns and decacorns that encourage and inspire other entrepreneurs in our country with the support of On the other hand, we signed a first for our country this year to bring our technology entrepreneurs to international markets.

We created the first Turkish pavilion for Turkish tech entrepreneurs at CES 2022, the world’s largest consumer electronics show, held from January 5-7, 2022 in Las Vegas, USA. At the Istanbul pavilion, 28 startups from Turkey presented their new products and technologies to the world for the first time. Among our startups that met customers and investors in the United States, there were companies that concluded cooperations, concession agreements, first sales-exports and received distribution offers.”


Supporting compliance procedures for the digital transformation of companies

Tüzgen noted that they have implemented 36 projects with a budget of TL 86.1 million to increase the competitiveness of industry in Istanbul with Istanbul’s innovative financial support program.

Explaining that companies in Istanbul have mechanisms in place that will increase their awareness of digital transformation and speed up their compliance processes, Tüzgen said:

“We support projects that will increase our city’s R&D and innovation capacity, from aluminum to healthcare, from smart city studies to commercialization-focused university-industry cooperation. The Biocube Incubation Center , which we support for entrepreneurs working in biotechnology, medicine and medical devices, will go live very soon.

We are bringing Istanbul OSB Leather Testing and Innovation Center to Istanbul, which will meet the R&D and training needs of the chemical, leather and textile industry and increase its production capacity. We are also implementing the Istanbul Innovation and Technology Licensing Center project, which will enable SMEs to increase their R&D and innovation skills, and ensure commercialization-oriented university-industry cooperation. Work has also begun on the Personalized Medicine from Design to Product project, in which we will bring together researchers working in healthcare with innovative products and prototypes in a single centre.

As an agency, we also support sustainable studies on green transformation. We are setting up the Istanbul Renewable Energy Generation and Storage Technology Research and Development Center, which will conduct R&D studies in the field of efficient renewable energy generation and storage, within the Istanbul Boğaziçi University. We are also in the process of establishing a new center in Istanbul which will be able to carry out national and international waste recycling testing and research activities. The Recycling Testing and Research Center will be operational within Yıldız Technical University.

Stating that the Turkish startup ecosystem has grown with growing momentum despite the outbreak last year, Tüzgen said, “The year 2022 has also started productively for our entrepreneurship ecosystem. Istanbul is the fourth most invested in Europe in the first quarter of this year, after London. , Paris and Berlin. “According to the StartupsWatch report, Istanbul ranks first in Europe and the MENA region for gaming investment. This data gives us hope for the future of our entrepreneurial ecosystem.” he said.

Stating that they have started preparations for the Istanbul Regional Plan 2024-2028, Tüzgen said, “We have also started preparations for the Istanbul Regional Plan 2024-2028, which will reveal socio-economic development trends, the development potential, priority areas of intervention and sectoral objectives of the Istanbul region. We want it to be a large-scale plan that also guides the strategic plans to be prepared by public institutions, especially public institutions. used expressions.

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