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ERSU ABLAK >3 T’s: Trump, Talent and Technology

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According to Richard Florida, there are three T’s for any nation to prosper in our time. These are talent, technology and tolerance. Florida says that when these three are combined, the general atmosphere of a city or a country becomes more suitable for innovation and technological advancements. He adds that out of those three, tolerance is more important than others as tolerance enables people to speak their minds and be innovative. Lately, in my life, I use a new set of three T’s more often: Trump, talent and technology.

I use Trump to represent the new understanding of the United States against foreigners—one that is much more intolerant and unwelcoming. In this new paradigm, most of the foreign innovators that reside in the U.S. are beginning to immigrate to more favorable countries like France and Canada. French President Macron, openly called for any U.S. scientists that are not happy with their current conditions, to move to France.

Wired writes, “According to the Kauffman Foundation, which studies and promotes entrepreneurship, young companies account for almost all new net job creation and 20 percent of the gross job creation in the U.S. The foundation has also found that roughly a quarter of tech and engineering firms are founded by immigrants and employ an average of 21.37 people per company. It’s little wonder, then, that as the United States keeps these entrepreneurs in legal limbo, other countries, from France to Chile, are all too eager to take them in. In January, France launched its French Tech Visa, and in April, Chile announced that its tech visa approval process would take just 15 days. But with its geographic proximity to well-heeled Silicon Valley investors, cultural similarities and lack of a language barrier, Canada is emerging as an attractive option for foreign-born founders seeking a foothold in North America.

That’s not by accident. Canada began pitching itself to entrepreneurs back in 2013, when the United States Congress was in the throes of a bitter debate over a comprehensive immigration reform bill that included, among other things, a startup visa. That bill died in the House of Representatives, but America’s neighbors up north took notice, piloting their own startup visa program that very year. It extends permanent residency visas to anyone who receives funding from a list of designated venture capitalists and angel investors or admission to Canadian business incubators. So far, 60 startups have launched in Canada using this visa. The pilot program ends in 2018, but the government may renew it before then.”

At this point in time we need to think of whether Turkey would also be a good destination for startups from the Middle East or Turkic countries. Can we give them enough incentives? Can we promote Turkey as a country where talent, tolerance and technology coincide? Can we attract entrepreneurs who want to go global?   

These are the questions that need to be asked and answered as quickly as possible. Why shouldn’t Turkey be a viable destination for an Iranian who wants to establish a tech startup that is poised to go global? We can do it, if we can establish the right strategies.

July/27/2017

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