Deniz Tuncalp
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Istanbul Technical University (ITU)

This article is written by Milambo Kabeleka, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Dr. Deniz Tunçalp is an Associate Professor of Management, Advisor to the Rector on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Istanbul Technical University. Dr. Tuncalp is also Board Member of ITU GINOVA Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and CEO at ITU ARI Teknokent, aiming to develop entrepreneurship and innovation.

Istanbul Technical University (ITU) is one of the main supporters of Startup Istanbul and has been for a number of years. It provides a large pool of talent for startups to establish and grow their teams. It is for startups that are looking for engineering talent in Istanbul to create the best team to carry your startup forward.


Within the University is a Science Park called The Global Technopark of Turkey, located in the heart of Istanbul, it has a lot of advantages in terms of tax, as companies are exempted from a number of taxes. The Science Park has, over130, 000 square meters of office space in 10 buildings and 260+
companies with more than 7000 personnel.

It is proudly the largest civilian cluster of startups in turkey with USD 1 billion total cumulative tech exports. The Science Park also houses other multi-national companies and startups from different sources providing them with the infrastructure needed for the smooth running of a company.


As Turkey is a large market for any business to set up in, some companies may not find it easy to tap into it, there is help for provided for startups with either B2B or B2C business models to get established through facilitating relationships with clients.


Ecosystem programs


Istanbul Technical University (ITU) has a number of incubator programs for startups from early-stage to the up and running companies that want to grow beyond what they currently are. Some of these programs include;


ITU Magnet, an advanced scale-up incubator program for startups with scalable business models but are having scaling problems and failing to attain the desired growth. This program will help you solve your scaling problems and strike a balance between your growth on paper and on the ground. This program also provides a soft landing for startups from other countries that want to enter the Turkish market rent-free office facilities.


INNOGATE, a program where the best technology startups are selected and trained in the Turkish environment and are sent to silicone valley. Startups are helped to get traction in the US and attract American investors as US entities while keeping their engineering base in Istanbul. Istanbul makes for a good stepping stone for startups to enter in to the US market. This program has for the past years had an average of 5 startup success in the US.


Having been selected as the second best incubator in Europe and third best University affiliated incubator in the world, Istanbul Technical University (ITU) boasts of hosting the World’s largest demo day in terms of total investment and awards. It has office and partner locations in 9 other locations in North America and Europe in places such as Austin, Boulder, Chicago, Denver, New York, Cambridge, Berlin and Istanbul.


Some of The Istanbul Technical University (ITU alumni students have grown to be successful entrepreneurs running known companies, including the founder of Startup Istanbul.This institution is definitely offering the much needed help that is essential for most startups to grow.

─ March 29, 2019