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Survival guide for entrepreneurs

TIMUR SIRT
ISTANBUL
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Serter Varol (L) and Emre Yılmaz founded mobile application company Mobven in 2012.
Serter Varol (L) and Emre Yılmaz founded mobile application company Mobven in 2012.

Financial technology venture Mobven's experience in trying to sell products or services to large corporations is a true lesson in survival. Entrepreneurs must always be prepared, from the establishment of the company to the investors and customer relations

"It was not easy in 2012 to leave the comfort of corporate life in Turkey and to volunteer to become an entrepreneur. In 2017, an entrepreneur has more chances," said Mobven's founder Serter Varols. In fact, he has an interesting story to tell entrepreneurs. Defining 2016 when they tripled growth as their best year, Varol set up Mobven, leaving the comforts of an international company where he had worked as an investment consultant for large corporations. Describing himself as an innate entrepreneur, Varol explained his method of task sharing with his partner, saying: "I think I can do everything. We can carry out a lot of projects together. My partner allows me to keep my feet on the ground. He plays an important role in determining the company's priorities."

Tax office

Recalling the trouble they experienced when the estate agent needed his tax number for the 36-square-meter apartment they wanted rent as a workplace, Varol said: "We went to the tax office to set up the company. They wanted an address from us. The real estate agent we went to rent the office from asked for the tax office and number. You used to invest a lot of energy in these types of situations. Now, setting up a company has become easier, but I would say the obstacles for an entrepreneur were much bigger five years ago."Even if the number of angel investors increases, the biggest problem with institutional investors without entrepreneurial experience is that they still honor classic evaluations, such as investment turnover and the profitability for investments in data-based enterprises.

Clothes make the man

On the corporate customers' side, on the other hand, there are still events that will prove the stories of Nasreddin Hodja right in Turkey, even centuries later. Pointing out that he had to grow a beard to look older, Serter Varol said: "State institutions and banks do not want to take risks by relying on a young entrepreneur. I had to visit the institution with my dad and brother after a tender in a state institution. Giving the business to a young entrepreneur instead of giant brands like IBM and HP could mean incredibly large loses. Sometimes an employee hired with a reference can even end a company. Everything from your car to your clothes is still important in Turkey. Perhaps this mentality has slightly diminished recently through the growing influence from foreign countries."

In fact, this story alone is the biggest indicator that our brand obsession is still going strong for both consumers and corporate customers. Experienced, well-known foreign brands are valued in Turkey over local entrepreneurs and institutions, which don't seem to stand a chance.

Mobven started to serve giant institutions in 5 years

Mobven is a mobile application company that was founded in 2012 by Endeavor entrepreneurs, Serter Varol (L) and Emre Yılmaz (R). Specializing in finance technologies and corporate mobile applications, Mobven produces target-oriented and fast solutions for its customers. It is currently one of the largest companies producing mobile projects in Turkey's finance technology field. Located in Yıldız Teknopark, the company provides services such as mobile wallet, mobile payment, mobile credit and mobile savings through Mobven Labs. Apart from the mobile test platform, which allows customers to pre-test different platforms and devices, Mobven Studio provides users with experience, design as well as with UI and UX support.

Mobile payment platform in Dubai

The company has taken on one of the largest mobile payment projects in the Middle East. This project will be one of the most ambitious in the region conducted by mobile payments and wallets to date. With this application, it will be possible to pay by mobile in virtually every area including: public transportation, shopping, eating, drinking and even money transfers. The large banks of the Middle East are also part of this project. The project they are conducting in London is being used in the order and payment sides of the U.K.'s leading supermarkets. Likewise, the innovative solutions developed for their customers in Chicago are in the process of being integrated and spread with the telecom operator AT&T. They are in collaboration with one of world's largest players, Ingenico, regarding mobile payment with QR code. In addition, they are also in cooperation with a leading bank in Turkey for Supremexit, one of their latest FinTech products. With Masterpass provided by Mastercard, the company succeeded in developing various projects and mobile wallets. It also collaborates with one of the largest banks in Europe with a mobile money saving product.

New adventures in gaming

METU TEKNOKENT ATOM, a great contributor to the emergence of successful game developers, announced the application process for 2017 developer team recruits. Non-team members will be able to apply to ATOM, which will accept applications until May 15, 2017. All applications are evaluated within the framework of the project, team structure and team vision. To apply to ATOM, where the teams work together and share their experiences, and to be included in the initial evaluation, you need to follow the directions at http://atom.odtuteknokent.com and fill out an application form at http://atom.odtuteknokent.com.tr.

Investment in real estate and driverless automobiles

IUGO Technology, which examines and improves driver behaviors and develops automotive technologies for advanced driver support systems, has succeeded in receiving $400,000 worth of angel investment from the angel investors of Keiretsu Forum Turkey, which is valued at $4.5 million. The company offers philological technology solutions and project consultancy services for safe driving, fuel conservation, efficiency and environmental adaptation, with the software developed over years for driverless automobiles, specifically through the use of "machine learning" and advanced algorithms.

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