Building Startups For The Global Scene

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

Creating a successful startup, requires a lot of hard work, same goes for creating a successful technology company outside of Silicon Valley. To create a successful technology startup in the Turkish ecosystem the entrepreneur will need to:

  • Evaluate these six things in order to be successful; The Vision, Team, Product, Market, Business and Culture.
  • Make sure people believe the desired future of the startup. Where the business is, where it’s going and why.  give a clear strategy, tell that story effectively.
  • Ask yourself if you are a pain killer or vitamin. Know if you are solving a real pain for your customer. Don’t be a vitamin.
  • Patent your technology to mitigate your risks. Have a real differentiation.
  • Work with mentors and advisors that can help and offer guidance on figuring out how to best position their product. You can never underestimate the importance and benefit of a mentor.
  • Make sure they understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. Understand their target market, identifying it and know how to attract it.
  • Make sure they have a team around them to support them, and help them identify the gaps in the market and where they are.
  • From an investors point of view; the startup should have a small team, know their business and show exponential growth within a short period of time.
  • Be aware of the realities of things outside their sphere, taking note of the changes in development and the economy and identifying how it affects their market.

Among many other essential requirements for startup growth, is the need for a functioning ecosystem. The Turkish ecosystem has provided an enabling environment for tech startups to develop and flourish in the Turkish market. However, Turkey as an emerging market, and a young ecosystem, has a few areas to improve on, to be able to compete with ecosystems that have been thriving for a long time such as Silicon Valley and Israel. There is need for innovative ideas, technology talent and a lot of capital from investors. There should also be a lot of support for entrepreneurs, mentally and emotionally by other entrepreneurs and mentors or advisors. This allows them to exercise the muscle of memory and help them, work, make mistakes, and learn from them and grow.

Corporates also need to be actively involved in the ecosystem for them to support startups. The entrepreneurs and the corporates need to interact with each other and speak the same language. The Silicon valley experience shows that the government has been very instrumental in the success of the American startup ecosystem through the provision of sustainable platforms that have lasted for over 15 – 20 years for startup growth.

Overall, for Turkey to have a well-functioning Startup ecosystem like Silicon Valley, the Government, the Corporates and the Entrepreneurs must all play their part in both building and maintaining ecosystem.

─ May 16, 2019