A joint startup program by Facebook and Hello Tomorrow Turkey, offering technical training and monitoring academies for early-stage technology startups from various categories, has produced its first graduates.
This week, the startups pitched themselves at the Demo Day, organized within the “BAŞLAT” (START) program, in an event attended by public institutions and different ecosystem partners.
Attended by 19 startups and 21 jury members from five different categories, the event offered entrepreneurs an opportunity to present the technologies they developed to investors, corporate company leaders and important players in the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Delivering an opening speech during the online event, Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) Chairperson Hasan Mandal said the institution had closely followed the startup program from the first stage.
“We want startups to enter the ecosystem, regardless of technology or product development. In this direction, I would like to thank Facebook and Hello Tomorrow Turkey for their support with the START program,” Mandal said.
“The areas in which the startups that are entitled to participate in the program operate, appear as active areas in the world ecosystem. The experience gained by 28 startups through this program will contribute to how we, as TÜBITAK, will shape our own programs in the future. We will continue to improve the opportunities we offer in line with the feedback from the startups,” he noted.
Mandal said they are open to criticism and suggestions, stressing there will be more successful startups emerging from the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which offers new opportunities for the further development of the scientific world.
Within the scope of the START program launched in February, training was organized to support startups in all areas, including startup-corporate collaboration in privacy high technology entrepreneurship, project design, Facebook blueprint, product/market harmony, data training, patent training, startup performance management, globalization, risk and legislation management, program funding and expression design.
This training, specially designed for the needs of entrepreneurs, proved successful, with positive feedback of 95% collected from the entrepreneurs at the end of the one-on-one evaluation meetings.
In the five-month period following the program's launch, 28 startups from five categories were provided with technical training and one-on-one mentoring. Almost 95% of the startups supported by one-on-one meetings on sales, globalization, investment and technical issues stated that mentoring meetings were beneficial in moving their startups forward.
Facebook and Hello Tomorrow Turkey aim to support startups to gain insight into the ecosystem both globally and in Turkey, with sectoral reports created within the scope of the START program.
Addressing the Demo Day event, Timur Topalgökçeli, founder and president of Hello Tomorrow Turkey, and Ece Başay, manager of public policy projects at Facebook, unveiled sectoral reports, which include predictions about technology trends for five sectors within the scope of the startup program, and scientific and technology-oriented research of groundbreaking innovations in Turkey and the world.
According to data shared, the global digital health sector reached a market size of $96.9 billion in 2020, while the global smart city sector size is expected to increase from $410.8 billion to $820.7 billion by 2025.
At the same time, the global education technology sector is said to have grown 32 fold since 2010, reaching a record of $16.1 billion in venture capital investment in 2020.
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