Asli Kurul Turkmen

Raising Venture Capital in Silicon Valley

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

Mrs. Aslı Kurul Türkmen is a representative and staff member in the Turkish branch of Endeavor Global. Mrs. Türkmen gave us a brief introduction concerning Endeavor Global, and allowed us to know more about how to get the best amount of financial support from investors in order to guarantee the success of one’s company, as well as how to raise Venture Capital.

Endeavor Global was established in 1997, and is a non-profitable organization that aims at leading the high-impact entrepreneurship movement to catalyze sustainable economic growth all over the world. We welcomed during Startup Istanbul 2017 Mrs. Aslı Kurul Türkmen, who has been with Endeavor for the last 10 years. She is responsible of organizing work with entrepreneurs, and managing the funds for the istanbul activities.

Endeavor’s main belief is that entrepreneurs can change the world, and have been seeing it happen during the last 10 years. They also believe that investors are keystones in this field, they are not the main factor, entrepreneurs are, but without investors, Endeavor would certainly not be where it is now. 

Endeavor Global currently has branches in 30 countries, 60 cities, and more than 400 staff members. They have helped more than 5000 entrepreneur globally. However, they do have selection processes. They only launch themselves in emerging markets where potential is found.

The largest startup hubs were mostly in emerging markets such as Israel,  except for a couple of European countries which could be called re-emerging countries. They now have 1000 entrepreneurs from each of these countries, that is why they do own the most diversified market entrepreneurship portfolio than any organization in the world does.

Few years ago, Endeavor realized that if they invest some of their own money in entrepreneurs, investors would be interested in doing that too. Therefore, they launched the Endeavor Catalyst program. They first tried this hypothesis with $5M, then with $35M, as well as more than $50M, and ruled that this idea is successful. Endeavor Catalyst made up to 60 co-investments so far, investors are interested in doing this too, and entrepreneurs are doing great thanks to this program. It made Endeavor attain $100M of global fund, and 100% of emerging markets.

Mrs. Türkmen stated that “raising money in Silicon Valley is not impossible” if you are good and have the right network, since In the last 4 years, 120+ Endeavor companies have raised $800M+ in equity capital. She also emphasized on the fact that most of the investors usually come from an entrepreneur’s own community, and that If she or he has the right local investor, it’s their job to know every potential co-investor out there.

Investors usually prefer companies that have gone beyond their local market, they want something that will differentiate them, and this would help Endeavor reach its main goal; that of creating a community of investors globally.

Mrs. Türkmen gave then to all the entrepreneurs few tips concerning fundraising, such as showing investors that you are able to deliver what you say, and aim at building a long term relationship with them. She also mentioned how Venture Capitals evaluate deals through reviewing the innovation factors for example, and reviewing the business fundamentals.

Although Venture Capital may not be for everyone, but it can surely be the road the chance that possibility that everyone needs to try in order to be a successful entrepreneur thanks to Endeavor.

─ May 26, 2019