The Startup Istanbul Experience

This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Startup Istanbul, the biggest technology convergence in Turkey saw a huge turnout in its 2018 edition, it was a 4-day event organized by Etohum from the 19th to the 22nd of October 2018, it gathered people, executives, professionals startups, investors, corporations, techies and even tourists from over 65 countries to Istanbul, the “centre of the world” to discuss international technology trends, network, learn, watch startups battle for funding, meet professionals, and strengthen the tech and startup ecosystem.

Mario Aguilera, who works with a startup in Finland was sponsored to attend Startup Istanbul 2018, he shares his experience at the convergence, thanking organizers for a job well done, Mario loved the event and was able to network with possible investors who could help him scale faster in the market. Startup Istanbul saw a mix of techies from the region converge and learn new thing, it the words of Steve Blank “It’s just an incredibly exciting place to be”.

Startup Istanbul had a host of guest speakers, ranging from government officials, to venture capitalists, to company executives, all of which had different messages to convey to the audience, some of these speakers also took part in fireside chats, which allowed them to express their thoughts on several topics even more effectively.

Every edition of Startup Istanbul since its advent has seen several startups win funding from competing in the startup competition, this year, over 65,000 startups from all over the world applied to pitch at Startup Istanbul, of which only 100 startups scaled through to the finals, the 100 startups pitched their solutions to the audience, in a bid to battle it out for the prize funding.

In the previous editions of StartupIstanbul, startups from diverse industries and countries have succeeded in winning the prize funding. In  Startup Istanbul 2017, a Nigerian startup called  Advancio interactive won the funding, Advancio is a finance startup which is a branchless/agency banking solution in Nigeria called COVr Branchless. Covr Branchless suite uses portable mobile phones, web and POS devices to automate key financial operations like account opening creation, agent-based deposit, cash withdrawals, funds transfer, bills payment and many more on the field by agents on behalf of banks & financial institutions.

Another winning startup from previous editions is HeyDoc, a startup which allows users to communicate with a Doctor when they have a non-urgent issue and need advice, a second opinion or a follow-up, by connecting them with highly qualified Doctors in their local town or in a country far away at an affordable price, or in some cases for free.

The winning startups from this edition were Friendbase AB from Sweden, Neurafarm from Indonesia, Iyris from Saudi Arabia and HERZ Medical Engineering. Friendbase is a virtual reality based game, Neurafarm identifies plant illnesses using artificial intelligence. Iyris is producing transparent solar windows and HERZ which announces heart attacks before it gets serious.

This year’s Startup Istanbul kicks off from October 18th to 21st, you find out more about the event on and get your ticket on

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