Get Mentorship From Ozan Sönmez

As an entrepreneur you will want to build something and you will feel that you know exactly what you are doing and where you are going. Be careful about this, you might be trusting yourself too much and you might fail miserably. Don’t fail by just thinking you know everything. Don’t worry about making mistakes, we all do. Just make sure you can make mistakes.

Why are you building a startup?

Why are you and your co-founders doing it? You might think everyone in your team is in the same boat for all the same -and right- reasons but that is not always the case. You most probably have different motives and they might be the wrong ones. Don’t do it to get rich or because you think you can do something better. Do it to solve a problem.

Don’t fall in love with your product, it is not going to love you back. Who loves you back? Your customers! And if they hate you it is equally strong, listen and understand what not to do.

It doesn’t matter what your product is, what matters is what your product does.

Don’t hire too fast

Even if they are free be very careful with the 3 first people you put in your company (after co-founders). If half of the people are there for the wrong reason, the other half won’t go to the right place.

FOCUS and Wake up!

Don’t try to do a lot of different things at the same time: you will be harshly criticized. You don’t have enough resources, you don’t have enough time and you don’t have enough money. Wake up to that fact. You can’t run after every rabbit you see. The man who chases two rabbits will starve to death. Find your focus and your customer market. Focus on ONE customer market, on ONE product. Your most difficult task will be to say no to things that seem very promising.


Every combination is dangerous: Getting too little money or too much money too late or too much money too early. Unfortunately if you don’t have your own funding, if you can’t bootstrap your business every combination can be deadly and you will understand it much later. Despite your first impression, raising money at the first step is not always the best thing you can do.

What is happening in the Silicon Valley is not comparable to what is happening in your local market. It will take a long time to get there. Not any money is good, there are good and bad angels. Some angels might want to take control of your business so be careful who you’re accepting money from.

Taking advice

People are all going to have a different input about what you do. Your task is to define what advice you believe in. What will you embed in your startup. You can’t blame anybody but yourself if you made a wrong decision. You’re building a startup, it’s tough, welcome to life.


Before pitching to investors there are a few important things you should do. Fix your value proposition statement, fix your pitch and try it in front of different people. Get your energy up to a level that is higher than usual, it is very important to get attention and make a good first impression.

Be shy & go home or Be bold and go Big. You can Watch the full mentorship session from Startup Istanbul here.  ]]>

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