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Fireside chat Didem Altop & Nevzat Aydin

Didem Altop from Endeavor had the privilege -as she puts it herself- to interview Nevzat Aydin, the entrepreneur, investor and mentor who was voted “best boss” and needs no further introduction. You can read below some of the best moments of the fireside chat and his advice to startups.

“When you are an entrepreneur you actually have to create, shape and control the ecosystem that you want to work in.” Didem Altop

“The second best day of my life was not selling Yemeksepeti for 600 million dollars but announcing that 27 millions would be redistributed among the 147 employees. That’s when you touch people’s lives and make dreams come true” Nevzat Aydin

15 years ago , the word entrepreneur didn’t even exist in Turkish. Now there is education about entrepreneurship, there are 20 angels groups in Turkey and there is Startup Turkey. The biggest and most popular Angels organisation in Turkey is named the Galata Business Angels which was founded in 2010 by successful entrepreneurs such as Nevzat Aydin. As the other investors, he had this will to invest but was spending too much time on each investment. Creating an organisation was the solution they came up with to save time and get other people’s expertise. It was also a way of having entrepreneurship being back in their lives when their startups weren’t startups anymore. They get to share their know-how and transfer it to the next generation of entrepreneurs. They try to be part of someone else’s success story.

What’s the relationship between quality deal flow and access to capital?

It’s like the chicken and egg problem: better deals, better investments equals more capital invested in those deals which facilitates the entrepreneurship ecosystem and better quality deals emerge.

What are your views on the new trends in the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Turkey?

Entrepreneurs used to be unemployed or crazy people. Now more and more white collars tend to prefer becoming entrepreneurs and create a difference in life rather than having fancy jobs in multinational firms. These talented young, enthusiastic, passionate and ambitious individuals with good education are going to develop the ecosystem.

What role had local and international investors in Yemeksepeti before Delivery Hero?

We didn’t have local investors we had two foreign investors. The first one we chose because we wanted them to help us to penetrate Europe but we didn’t have a very fruitful relationship and the second one played a crucial role. It was very difficult at first, all the reporting, KPI following etc but it helped us a lot in our exit.

His advice to startups:

Compared to 15 years ago, when Nevzat Aydin founded the startup Yemeksepeti that grew into a successful business with the largest exit in the food delivery sector worldwide, there is now more access to capital but also much more competition. Here are his suggestions for the startups of 2016:

About going international, he advises to kill the competition in your region first. Wait to be a leader in your market before exploring new markets, that is what Yemeksepeti did.

For early stage funding talk first with your friends and family and then angel investors. The next step is to get in touch with local VC for network and then foreign VC for business model and strategy on the long term, private equity brings you to another level. Most of the time investors find entrepreneurs rather than the opposite.

About being in a competitive environment: Execution is king right now. Mentorship can help with execution, it can accelerate things which is crucial in this context.

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─ March 16, 2016

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