What happened this year in the startup arena?
After I wrote about entrepreneurship recently, I had the opportunity to be able to speak to Ayşe İnal about the topic.
Inal is the general secretary of Galata Business Angels (GBA), the premier Angel Investment Network in Istanbul.
According to the information she provided, in the first half of 2015 in Turkey:
A total of 130 Startups were founded,
Four new startups - Kapgel, Mentornity, Tapu and Likya Tarım - raised money,
Nine startups accelerated,
A record acquisition in the Turkish digital ecosystem occurred with Yemeksepeti ($589 million),
Evim.net, limango and lokum shut down,
A new technology accelerator fund, DCP, supported by the European Investment Fund, started operations,
The Doğuş Group’s new venture studio arm, DMS, launched two products,
Tübitak (a research funding organization of the Turkish government via grants) accredited 18 companies and universities for a pre-selection period management of young entrepreneurs who wants to establish R&D-based startup and need seed stage financing,
The number of accredited Angel Investors reached 308 (there has now been 33 new angel investors so far in 2015),
And 196 non-accredited Angel Investors in angel networks.
It is obvious that entrepreneurship is taking roots in Turkey. İnal says in the U.S., 90 percent of the new employments in the last five years had been done by firms which were founded in the last five years.
Turkey is very far behind in job creation by startups. Youngsters usually choose safety and steady income over excitement and possible big gains. Inal believes Turkey will soon catch up with the U.S. She said entrepreneurship is a trend to stay and improve. She reminded me that it was only in 2007 that Endeavor was founded in Turkey. All the other networks were founded after that, which means that the whole industry is still extremely young.
İnal believes that in time both investors and entrepreneurs will mature and we will have more world class startups.