Startup Istanbul rocked the startup stage once again
As a journalist, one of my favorite times of the year is when Startup Istanbul happens. In just a few days I learn about many great startups coming from all over the world. This year’s was no different. I wasn’t physically there, but I watched many presentations online and had the opportunity to widen my view.
Startup Istanbul is not important because it brings many people together; many other events do that. I have had enough of events that are hyped up because of their stellar speakers but lack spirit. Startup Istanbul is important because it brings many people from all over the world with a purpose together. This purpose, of becoming better, changing lives, pushing harder and being better entrepreneurs, binds people.
An attendee from Bangladesh, named Sharif and who is a social entrepreneur, posted a photo of all the finalists on stage on his Twitter account and wrote: “The greatest moment of startup Istanbul - To me not being Top 100, not even become 1. The moment the beautiful children are in the stage, I tried to capture it. End of the day, we all are a family, universal family. Children - the future, we fighting for.”
The diversity of Startup Istanbul is amazing. Some 90,000 startups from 65 countries applied for the event. The youngest finalist was 15 years old and all three winners were women.
The first was Friendbase from Sweden (with the handle @friendbasechat), the second was Neurafarm from Indonesia (@neurafarm), and the third was Iyris from Saudi Arabia (@iyris_solar).
Friendbase defines itself as a fun-filled, activity-driven virtual world where young people from all over the world play games, create content and meet new people in a fun and friendly place. Friendbase’s vision is to become a global platform for teenagers from all over the world.
Neurafarm provides affordable technology for farmers to handle crop problems. They have already launched a product called “Dr Tania,” a chatbot mobile application that can identify plant diseases using artificial intelligence and image recognition. They have reached more than 400 users in three months and have made some collaboration.
Iyris wrote in their application that they make transparent solar windows. Their breakthrough technology absorbs the infrared portion of light to produce electricity and blocks heat entering buildings, whilst remaining transparent to our eyes. Their windows invisibly produce electricity and reduce a building’s cooling load.
Every year Startup Istanbul grows, becoming a not-to-be-missed event for the region and beyond.
I hope that they will get continuous support from their sponsors and add new ones every year, because I know how hard it is to build and maintain such a network.