The New Ideas New Businesses (YFYİ) Acceleration Program, jointly organized by the Middle East Technical University (METU) and METU Teknokent, aims to promote and support technology-based entrepreneurship. Now in its 15th year, the program continues to accommodate innovative ideas.
At the 15th YFYİ 2019 special event held at the Sapanca Elite World Hotel, several startups introduced their projects that focus on or use artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, internet of things (IoT), robot software and big data technology. The startups operate in different sectors, including health, manufacturing, agriculture and game development.
Startups working on projects that focus on eliminating human error received seed investment support and technical support packages. On the other hand, 13 different startups won advertising, technology support, international support and cash investment support packages.
Some of the technology startups at the program that in particular use AI and machine learning look to reduce the error rate in the detection of thyroid cancer, while others focus on managing quality control in textile and ceramic production. Startups that emerged either at the seed stage or with the aim of growing participated in a series of trainings. They covered many different subjects until Demo Day, when the projects were finally evaluated for the YFYİ startup acceleration program. They also received intensive mentoring support within the scope of the YFYİ program.
Successful YFYİ graduates got the opportunity to reach their first customers, receive seed capital support from YFYİ cooperation organizations, use office facilities at METU Teknokent Incubation Center and access YFYİ's long list of partners and wide communication network.
BIG MARKET, SMALL DEMAND
The ventures that presented the stage said they are struggling in a market worth billions of dollars, explaining they only want support worth a few hundred thousand Turkish liras.
Algadocs, for instance, said the global automatic identification and data capture market is estimated to reach $99.36 billion in 2026, but the sector demands small investments. Although they found seed-stage investment in Turkey, the expectations of growth-oriented startups are quite low.
However, they have to take more risks for rapid growth.
Algodocs delivers fast, secure and accurate document data extraction services, saving organizations from error-prone manual data entry. In its first year, Algodocs successfully handled about 1 million paperwork processes of its customers.
ROBOT FINANCIAL CONSULTANT
Having won a technology package of TL 30,000 from Koç System, Akıllıfon offers tailor-made optimal asset allocation and dynamic investment recommendations based on algorithms for risk profile, expectations and constraints. Akıllıfon's AI-backed portfolio optimization and robo-consulting platform that monitors and manages the portfolio provide accurate and rapid evaluation of financial investments. In addition to web- and mobile-based solutions, it offers SDK & API integrations to existing financial institutions.
PRODUCTION OF AID MOLD WITH 3D PRINTER
EarFit, which won Elginkan Foundation's cash prize of TL 50,000 and Ostim Teknopark's technology production special award, produces customized ear molds for hearing aids. The production of these molds, which must be produced precisely, is very slow in Turkey because it is based on manual labor and the error rate is very high. EarFit brings a new production method to this sector with 3D printer and scanner technology and automatic modeling algorithms. EarFit, which conducts prototype studies and achieves positive results, helps people with hearing problems communicate more comfortably.
HEALTHY PROTECTION OF GREENHOUSE TOMATOES
Chemical pollutants in food are a nightmare for consumers. The use of chemicals not only hampers Turkey's exports of agricultural products but also play a major role in health crises resulting from domestic consumption. The unimaginable damages of chemical pesticides used in agriculture allow innovative environments to turn their goals into agricultural technologies. EN / IO, which won the internationalization award from the Elginkan Foundation, aims to present a natural pesticide produced by lightning, which is nature's protection shield, to the user in the organic category. It ensures the uses of the right amount of ozone added to the irrigation water.
WATCH A SHORT VIDEO, EARN PROMOTION
Fado, which won a cash prize of TL 25,000 from TEB Venture Banking, is a platform where users can watch 8- to 18-second-long videos of different brands, answer three questions and earn a percentage discount from a particular brand. By collecting Fadocents in their account, users can use their balance to gain discounts on any brand. In other words, Fado aims to grow by providing discounts to participants from the brands to which it guarantees tracking.
QUALITY CLASSIFICATION IN CERAMIC PRODUCTION
It is now very difficult to catch errors in production with the naked eye. In some industries, it is almost impossible. Inspecthink is a deep learning machine vision system capturing errors that are imperceptible with conventional image processing methods. The priority target market has been determined as the ceramics sector, the most important aspect of which is the surface quality.
The startup, which has recently begun field studies with two manufacturers, makes it easier to set quality standards. The software working in parallel increases the accuracy of the deep learning model the team develops.
NO ROOM FOR ERRORS IN TEXTILE
Achieving high standards in production becomes easier with new-generation technologies that eliminate the chances of human error. Tuvis is developing an AI-backed visual quality control system for fabric manufacturers. This system minimizes production costs and increases product quality and production speed. Tuvis creates a revenue model where monthly service costs are received after receiving the installation costs from the customers with prepayment.
FINDS CHARGING STATIONS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES
The use of electric vehicles is becoming widespread. However, the biggest problem for these vehicles is finding charging stations. Volte, which won a cash prize of TL 25,000 from Elder, enables users to access car charging stations more easily through its application and to receive services more easily and reliably. It also aims to provide access to all stations and mobile payments with a single subscription instead of various individual subscriptions.
INCREASING THE CAPACITY OF STORE EMPLOYEES
The shopping experience in the store is changing. However, the consumer still wants to resolve everything with the salesperson in the store. With Shopi, which offers solutions to increase the salesperson's productivity in three main categories – namely sales operations, employee productivity, and store operations – retailers can provide customized services by digitizing all of the in-store processes of their customers.
The startup, supported by Türk Telekom's venture acceleration program PİLOT, can monitor the performance of sales consultants and centralize all retail channels without interruption, allowing them to manage inter-channel orders regardless of the store or device where the order is placed. Thus, while increasing the productivity of store employees, access to all stocks and product details is provided.
WINNING STARTUPS FOR AIRPRENEURS PROGRAM
The results of the Final Competition of the Airpreneurs Program, which was organized in collaboration with the Turkish Entrepreneurship Foundation and Boeing, the leader of the aviation sector, to provide new opportunities for university students, have been announced.
Within the scope of the Airpreneurs Program, which aims to make young entrepreneurs more entrepreneurial in aviation and create new ideas in the field, participants from different cities around Turkey received Plain Entrepreneurship Training in Istanbul for five days.
Following the training, 10 teams were admitted to the Airpreneurs Program, which reached 300,000 people during the application process. The Entrepreneurship Camp held in Istanbul was attended by 16 different universities from seven cities, and the teams who took startup presentation training received mentoring from leading experts in aviation and entrepreneurship throughout the process.
Among the startups that presented their ideas at the Final Competition on Tuesday, Nov. 5, Beyond won the first place with its social networking project for air passengers, while team members Orçun Doğmazer, Egecan Kumkumoğlu and Batuhan Altınyuva won the opportunity to attend the Slush Conference in Helsinki.
Another startup, ylis came in second with its product that enables unmanned aerial vehicles to make a safe flight and increase their flight time, while Airmed ranked third with its unmanned aerial solutions designed for commercial applications. These three teams also received a three-month incubation award under the program.