What Turkey Needs to Evolve

This article is written by Nardine B. M’barek, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Cem Soysal is the CEO of Inventram, which is a deep technology investment company, their objective is to commercialize disruptive technologies and technological innovations. Mr. Soysal has 24 years of extensive experience in IT and Telecom sectors. He is also an Angel investor who invests in businesses within Turkey and beyond.

Inventram is a deep technology investment company that is very active in the field in Turkey. It is also a JV of Koç Holding, and Mitsui Holding, two of the largest investment groups in the world. The three companies provide investment and funds to companies and entrepreneurs that have creative and innovative ideas, and who are emerging from the fields of high-tech and invention.

Inventram’s main goal is to promote disruptive technology in Turkey, as well as around the world, and offers support to entrepreneurs and businesses that belong to nine major areas including IoT & sensors, robotic technologies, biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, big data & cloud, automotive technologies, electronics & durable goods, defense industry technologies.

Mr. Soysal was one of our guests during Startup Istanbul 2017, he discussed with us how Inventram got the deal with Koç Holding, and Mitsui Holding. He also gave us clues concerning how this JV will positively benefit Turkey, especially in the field of technology, since this collaboration will be bringing innovative ideas to Turkey as well.

A point that was discussed during this talk was how to make Turkey advance in this field of high-tech.  In Turkey, there are more than 2.7 Million companies established all together. Among this huge number of companies, 99.8% of the total number represents SMEs. For an emerging country to be strong, the number of SMEs should be a robust one that is always growing steadily, since more than 72% of the revenue generated in this ecosystem is executed by these SMEs in Turkey.

These SMEs also should step into the area of disruptive technology, since it will allow the country to compete with other leading ones in the future when it comes to high-tech.

Some companies are nowadays as powerful on the level of the economy as countries even. That is why if Turkey wants to advance quickly in this field, we need to invest more in these disruptive technologies, or create other technologies that are ready to be exported to other countries. That is not an impossible matter since even the Japanese investors are interested in taking technology that exists in Turkey back to Japan.

Mr. Soysal claimed that Turkey is a little bit behind, the different layers, like the business layer, for example, do not exist in Turkey and are not easily distinguished. The number of projects as well as startups that are coming to life,  should be higher and should witness an increase, for Turkey to be able to have a say, and an important position in this field of disruptive technology, and high-tech.

It is true that there are huge numbers of talents in Turkey, the human resources of the country are highly qualified The capital is there, the angel stage funding as well, not as deep as other countries, but is still existing. When it comes to other stages, the building blocks need to be there in order to receive funding from other countries, such as the USA.

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