Can You Really Build A Great Tech Firm Outside Silicon Valley?

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

Startup Turkey 2017 was an event that witnessed the arrival and presence of numerous famous entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world. These people talked to our audience about various subjects and issue that concern the entrepreneurial and business fields. Among those talks, Ferhan Cook, Ussal Sahbaz, Chad Kaul, and Numan Numan organized a short panel during which they discussed the possibility of creating another successful tech company similar to Silicon Valley, in Turkey. 

 Our panelists all agreed that in order to build a successful tech company in Turkey, then the first thing to do is to find the appropriate market. You have to know where your market is, and who your customers are in order to deliver successful services.

There is also the need to know that behind every successful tech company, there is an army of people who are working hard in order to make it as successful as possible. The entrepreneurs need to be sure of what they are doing, and why they are doing it, that would help them get and select the people that would help them get the company to the summit and level up. 

In Turkey, there is a growing exosystem currently, but there are still few things missings in this ecosystem, things that could open up many opportunities for the Turkish ecosystem. Mr. Sahbaz believes that what is missing and needs to be added is the connection between the people that are part of the ecosystem.

Investors and entrepreneurs need to start building up small relationships, since the fact that a huge number of them do not really know each other, it will cause a big distance between the parts of the community, which is a very big problem that money cannot possibly solve. According to him, Turkish corporates are really old-fashioned,  most of them are sometimes more bureaucratic than the government itself. 

On the other hand, Mr. Numan believes that it is now the role of both entrepreneurs and investors to start trying to advance the Turkish ecosystem if they do their roles properly, it will probably result in building a well-structured ecosystem, thus the rest will come afterward. 

According to Mr. Kaul, the things that Silicon Valley has that differentiates it from all the other companies, is innovation. Creative and innovative ideas are what made and is still making Silicon Valley great. They just have a ton of talent there as well as support, which is the core of their company. 

According to Mrs. Ferhan Cook, talent and innovation do exist in Turkey, the only thing they lack is that they do not have enough global and marketing experience, as well as financial experience. She believes that it is not a matter of talent also, but education matters as well.  

All of our panelists believed that governments have a lot to do when it comes to supporting and funding emerging tech companies since they do have a big role in shaping their countries’ ecosystems, that is what Turkey needs. 

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