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The Missing Link and The Connection

This article is written by Munira Hussein, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

There are more people and businesses outside of the Silicon Valley than there are in the Silicon Valley yet the world market and business economy is still not as strong. There are several reasons for this weakness. 

For example, in the Turkish ecosystem, there are things that are missing but there are also great opportunities. One of the problems is that the entreprenual ecosystem does not know each other. The corporates don’t know the entrepreneur and the entrepreneur doesn’t know the corporate or the investors. 

There are extremely thick power distances within this structures. This is not good for business. They don’t speak the same language and that is a problem. Turkish corporates are really old fashioned. They are more bureaucratic than the government. In the ecosystem, both corporates and startups need each other. They need to all play roles and build the systems properly. This will be good for all parties. It will mean access to funds for startups and profit and returns for investors.

Turkey is still a young market. Position yourself strategically in your target market. In support of the local businesses and entrepreneurship, the government should create some platforms money to entrepreneurs, and sustainable programs. The corporates can create platforms and get to open innovation and get out of the closed innovation mentality. Startups can also make use of the internet and work with the customer and create a platform that will sustain your product.

There is the fear of ideas being stolen and that makes startups afraid of presenting their ideas. To avoid this, you can use middlemen or companies that connect startups to the right investors.  This process is safer but you should be ready for a long cycle. There will be a chain of communication and that might take a while. However, there is the risk of losing your idea but it is rare. The big corporations have rules and compliance. Your advantage is the agility.

As a startup, you should also look into the networks and the platforms for the customers. Slowly build a community around your product. There is a pool of techies in Turkey but there is need for designers to customize products and market it. So the pool of talent is lacking. In such situations, take a global view. Reach out to talented people outside of your region.  There is always a solution out there somewhere. You just need to solve your problem bad enough.

─ June 6, 2020