Technoparks run mostly by Turkish universities have been serving as incubators for tech startups, prompting investors to pay more attention to these special technology development zones.
Graduates of the central province Eskişehir-based Anadolu University, capital Ankara-based Middle East Technical University (METU) and Istanbul-based Yıldız Technical University were the pioneers and founded the most startups throughout the pandemic-ridden 2020, according to a study.
Among other prominent entrepreneurs were graduates from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul Technical University (ITÜ), Istanbul University and Koç University, all of which are based in the country’s metropolis, the study by the startup monitor startups.watch showed.
On the basis of figures, startups by METU graduates received the most investments, followed by Boğaziçi University and Anadolu University, while ITÜ, Bilgi University and METU graduates got the largest amounts, according to the data.
The entrepreneurship ecosystem across technoparks and incubation centers has a big share in this development. During the demo day events, many investors and institutions have the opportunity to meet startups. Moreover, the events that evolved into online activities in 2020 eliminated distances and increased the interest of the investors.
Gaming, financial technologies, e-commerce and cloud-based solutions have stood as the hotspots for investments.
On the other hand, looking at the universities where startups were established, research universities that provide engineering education lead the way in investor relations.
Interaktif Kredi, which provides credit consultancy services to individuals and institutions in order to enable the parties in the debt-receivable relationship to trade in confidence by bringing the financial technologies of the future to the present, has received an investment with a valuation of TL 8 million ($1.1 million) from the venture capital firm Alesta Yatırım.
The venture of ITÜ Çekirdek Incubation Center, Interaktif Kredi creates the first credit report showing how individuals or institutions can obtain loans by combining Credit Bureau reports with the criteria of banks and contributes to increasing the level of financial literacy as part of its vision.
Selected to ITÜ Çekirdek, which was among the top five in the ranking of university incubation centers in the world in 2019, the venture is still working on new financial reports that will guide leasing and shopping with promissory notes and corporate borrowing at ITÜ Magnet Advanced Stage Entrepreneurship Center.
Cesur Ölçenoğlu, one of the founding partners at Interaktif Kredi, said they met Alesta Yatırım during a ITÜ Çekirdek demo day.
Together with the venture capital firm, Ölçenoğlu said seven more investors had shown interest in their digital presentation during the pandemic period.
“During this period, the ITÜ Çekirdek team introduced us to Ibrahim Özer. In the first meeting, Ibrahim Özer made us feel that he was the right investor because of his professional approach and clear understanding of what we needed. He opened another door by introducing us to Sertaç Özinal, who we all know as the former General Manager of BKM (Interbank Card Center) and currently a Board Member of TurkishBank,” he explained.
Özinal has been investing in fintech companies at home and abroad in the fields of the finance sector, payment systems and blockchain since 2017.
“When Sertaç, who graduated from Boğaziçi University Mechanical Engineering Faculty and completed his master's degree in Business and Economics, said that he wanted to invest in Interaktif Kredi, our search for smart money ended and we became clear about who our strategic partners should be. After months of negotiations and the synergy we have created about what we can do together, we have signed this investment. With the participation of our new investors Sertaç Özinal and Alesta Yatırım, we feel much stronger. We are also grateful to the ITÜ Çekirdek team and our investors for their trust and support,” Ölçenoğlu noted.
Interaktif Kredi provided most of the resources it needed to strengthen the team with the investment it received and to launch its products on the market as soon as possible.
The startup, which aims to provide benefits to its customers by providing credit consultancy services to every institution or individual in need of working in the Turkish market by completing the credit, lease, rent a car and promissory reports they have already developed, also seeks to make a difference compared to its rivals in Europe by positioning itself as a Turkish brand in the Turkic Republics and the Middle East.
The venture, which wants to transform financial management from being a complex structure to one that everyone can understand with the high technologies it uses, contributes to increasing the level of financial literacy with its vision.
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