The Undersecretariat of the Treasury, the Small and Medium-size Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB), the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have launched the Turkish Growth and Innovation Fund in an attempt to subsidize innovative and technology-oriented companies. KOSGEB President Recep Biçer said the fund, which will initially offer a subsidy of 200 million euros, will create a financing option for business ideas with high growth potential and for newly emerging enterprises. The Istanbul Venture Capital Initiative (iVCi) has successfully completed the process and investments it promised, Biçer said, adding: "It functioned as leverage worth 1.5 billion euros with the 160 million euros it had promised. Istanbul will be a center of venture capital in the region by 2020."
The Treasury, KOSGEB and the EIF are supporting the fund with 60 million euros each, and the TSKB is supporting it with 20 million euros. The signing ceremony establishing the fund, which is guided by the EIF, was held in Ankara.
Highlighting the major changes that the economy has undergone over the past 10 years, EIF CEO Pier Luigi Gilibert said the banking and finance sectors in the country have been reconstructed and major reforms and infrastructural investments have been completed. Gilibert also said Turkey has been provided with a financial loan of TL 17 billion ($5.8 billion) by the EIF over the past decade and has become the seventh-largest beneficiary of the bank. Moreover, he defined the new fund as an assertive initiative that "will be very successful." Ali Arslan, the general manager of the Treasury in charge of Financial Sector Relations and Foreign Exchange, said the development of the venture funds sector is essential for the implementation of risky and innovative ideas. Arslan said the initiative has paved the way for the transfer of money to top funds that invest in venture capital funds, adding: "The council of ministers has entitled the Undersecretariat of the Treasury to transfer TL 500 million to top funds within five years. In accordance with the design of the system, this fund - amounting to TL 500 million - will have an impact adding up to at least TL 1.5 billion." Arslan added that this figure cannot be underestimated and that he is expecting a much larger impact.
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