Hülya Güler - ISTANBUL
A group of students from Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) have received the top award in a youth enterprise competition held by a leading business organization for their educational model for children with autism.
The free educational model for children with autism was developed by Hasan Zafer Elçik, Sercan Değirmenci and Can Dörtkardeşler. Their project, which was developed for mobile devices, took the top award at the “These Young People Have the Potential!” competition, which is held by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD). The Ankara-based ODTÜ students were offered a 75,000-Turkish-Lira monetary prize as well as corporate job opportunities.
Mert Zerin, Furkan Demirkıran, Cem Özer, Eda Özlem and Çağrı Eyüboğlu from Istanbul-based Marmara University ranked second in the competition with their project aiming at the purification of platinum group metals.
Yağmur Boğa, a student from Dokuz Eylül University in the Aegean province of İzmir, and her sister, Nurdan Boğa, from the İzmir Ekonomi University, ranked third with their online platform through which textile designers and brands can meet.
A total of 3,195 students from 144 universities in 70 provinces applied for the competition with 1,292 business ideas. Entrepreneurship training was offered to all students who passed the preselection process.
Finalists took the opportunity to develop their business ideas and create detailed business plans in a two-month training process with their mentors from TÜSİAD.
TÜSİAD President Cansen Başaran-Symes said at the award ceremony on May 5 that their aim was to open doors for young people to realize their business and enterprise ideas.
“We want to affect young people positively with the successful, inspiring, questioning and mentoring identity of TÜSİAD. We want to enable them get an entrepreneurial spirit and make this a career target,” she noted.
Koç Holding vice chair and TÜSİAD Vice President Ali Koç, who mentored the finalists from the Fırat University, said the new generation has a different and dynamic way of doing things.
“The business world needs to prepare itself for this. Young people should also adapt themselves to the corporate world. In the mentoring process, I realized that all ideas were good. We all need to be open to all ideas. Patents matter here. Young entrepreneurs need to develop themselves in the patent acquisition process, which is long and costly. I saw that they were a bit weak at this point,” he added.