Top-tier speakers join Startup Turkey every year to influence the hearts and minds of the tech lovers from all around the globe.
If you are interested in a speaking, mentor or moderator role at Startup Turkey, simply complete the brief application form. If we think there could be a good fit, a member of our team will be in touch with you.Speaker Application
David S. Rose has been described as ""New York's Archangel"" by Forbes, ""patriarch of Silicon Alley"" by Red Herring, and a ""world conquering entrepreneur"" by BusinessWeek. He is a serial entrepreneur, an Inc 500 CEO, one of the world's most active angel investors., and CEO of Gust, the SaaS platform powering over 500,000 startups and 50,000 early-stage investors. He's the NYT best selling author of ""Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money & Having Fun Investing in Startups"" and ""The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business.
David founded New York Angels, runs the AREA accelerator, is on the boards of KoolSpan and Social Bicycles and has funded over 100 early stage companies, with exits to Facebook, Google, Intel, Amazon, and other industry leaders. He founded the Finance, Entrepreneurship & Economics track at Singularity University, and is a keynote speaker on the future of business and technology. Dubbed by BusinessWeek ""The Pitch Coach,"" he is a frequent guest lecturer at business schools including Yale, Harvard, Columbia, NYU and Venture for America. He founded wireless Internet pioneer AirMedia in 1988, and in 1997 was honored as a finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Earlier in his career David was co-founder of one of the world’s first computer training firms, and spent a decade developing technology-enhanced real estate. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Director of the New York office of US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
A native New Yorker, David has a B.A. from Yale (where he is an Associate Fellow of Pierson College), an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School and a D.Eng. (hc) from Stevens Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the New York City public school system and Horace Mann High School.
Chris does all sorts in banking and technology. He writes a daily blog at thefinanser.com, and consults about the future. When people want digital banking done, he brings in 11:FS. When they want to know everything FinTech, he refers them to Innovate Finance. When people want to meet, he tells them about the Financial Services Club (fsclub.net) and Nordic Finance Innovation (nordicfinanceinnovation.com). Oh, and he speaks at lots of conferences and is a prolific author of 14 books.
Global Head of Strategy of Naspers with responsibility for group portfolio strategy, identifying investment opportunities, corporate development, and special projects. Investor in and board member at various growth stage companies
Hasan Haider is a Partner at 500 Startups, the most active Venture Capital firm in the world, based in Silicon Valley, with 1,700+ investments in 50+ countries and $330m in AuM. Hasan heads up the firms practice in the MENA region, with the Arabic speaking market being a core area of focus. 500 Startups has invested in 30+ startups in the region over the course of the last 4 years, including Wuzzuf, Jamalon and fetchr. Hasan is also the CEO and founder of Tenmou, the first business angel’s organization in Bahrain and one of the first in the MENA region, and a founding member of the MENA Angel Investors Network (MAIN), an association of all the active angel investment groups in the region. Hasan’s work in developing angel investment in emerging markets through Tenmou has been picked up as a case study by the World Bank and is taught to Entrepreneurship Policy makers at Babson College. Hasan is an active support of startups in the MENA region, having invested in close to 40 of them, and looks to continue to actively invest in seed stage startups across the region.
Mr. Omar A Syed is a well-experienced private equity professional. He is managing director at The Abraaj Capital and has been working for nearly 10 years. Previously Mr. Syed took several responsibilities at American Capital Strategies and PricewaterhouseCoopers (pwc). Mr. Syed also has responsibilities at Yörsan and hepsiburada.com.
Mike Butcher is Editor At Large of TechCrunch, the biggest breaking news site about the world’s hottest tech companies. Mike has been named one of the most influential people in technology in surveys by The Daily Telegraph, GfK NOP, The Independent, Wired and The Evening Standard. He is a regular commentator on the tech business, appearing on the BBC, Sky News, and Channel 4, among others. Mike is also co-founder of TechHub, the co-working network for startups, and founder of the Coalition for a Digital Economy and a London Technology Ambassador.
"Khaled is a career venture capitalist and currently Managing Partner at Wamda Capital, a Venture Capital fund investing in technology-enabled companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. He started his career at Dubai International Capital where he supported the development of the MENA region’s first seed capital fund. Since then Khaled assumed a number of venture capital and startup roles including heading investments and strategy at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi. Khaled has centered his career around identifying and investing in disruptive businesses that displace incumbent inefficiencies in traditional sectors of the economy. His areas of interest include ecommerce, Fintech, marketplaces, digital content and enterprise solutions. Through out his career Khaled has focused on building lasting partnerships with the entrepreneurs delivering the region’s digital economy. Khaled has invested in and managed over 60 early stage transactions including Careem, Littlebits, Mumzworld, Insider and Luxury Closet."
Faruk Eczacibasi is one of the two equal partners of Eczacibasi Holding, which amassed wealth from pharmaceutical assets before moving away from drugs and into building materials, consumer products, finance, information technology, mining and real estate development. It owns one of the world's largest ceramic factories and is the market leader in Turkey for toilet paper. After graduating from the German High School in Istanbul, Faruk went on to study at the Berlin Technical University for both an undergraduate and a post-graduate degree in management. He is currently the president of the Eczacibasi Sports Club, whose women's volleyball team won the Women's Club World Championship in 2015. He has an extensive modern art collection and loves jazz music; he lives in Istanbul's historic peninsula of Galata.
"She is building O.school, a shame-free platform for pleasure education. Previously, Venture partner & entrepreneur-in-residence at 500Startups & co-founder at inDinero, led team to first $3M ARR in sales, generated $1M in sales personally in < one year through empathy superpowers. Company is now 200+ employees with 5 offices. "
Jeff Burton co-founded Electronic Arts, CardSmith, and Licence to Mail. He is currently CEO of Woodside Creek, LLC and is working on a stealth project. Jeff recently served as the Executive Director at SkyDeck Berkeley, the University’s only cross-discipline startup accelerator from its beginning until the end of last year. He was the third employee of Atari’s International Home Computer Division, responsible for its business development throughout Europe and the Middle East. Just as the Venture Capital communities were awakening to the power of home computing and the serial potential of entrepreneurs in emerging digital companies, he joined former classmates as a founding team member of Electronic Arts in 1982. There he led the company’s international expansion from inception until its IPO 7 years later. With the advent of the Internet and the dominating role of software development, he founded and/or led a series of software companies including License to Mail, Cardsmith, The Hive Group, and Just Arrive, all of which were the result of ideas and skills of recent Stanford University graduates. Jeff obtained his undergraduate education and MBA at Stanford University and has lived in the Bay Area for the past 40 years.
Mudassir Sheikha is the co-founder and Managing Director of Careem, MENA’s leading car booking service that is based out of Dubai and operates from Morocco to Pakistan. Prior to Careem, Mudassir was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients on strategy and business building. Before McKinsey, Mudassir spent a decade in the Silicon Valley building technology startups, where he was most recently the co-founder of DeviceAnywhere, which was eventually acquired by Keynote Systems. He has an academic background in Computer Science and Economics from Stanford and USC.
"Over the last 20 years he has co-founded several startups such as Araneum, one of the first Danish web-companies, with Alexander Aghassipour, co-founder of Zendesk, and with other prominent Danish IT-entrepreneurs such as Thomas Madsen-Mygdal and Nikolaj Nyholm. He serves on a number of boards of eCommerce and IT or web companies where my primary contributions comes from my unique combination of business, technology and legal insight and experience. Today, He spends a considerable portion of my time and energy on advising on legal and commercial issues related to open licensing within open source, creative commons (open content), open data, open APIs and so one. "
Internet/Media entrepreneur and CEO dividing time between the future of news and advocating/mentoring for global entrepreneurship. A few hours a day as a venture investor in US startups and VC funds and writer on entrepreneurship, innovation and emerging markets. Author of the new Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East.
In 1997, in partnership with Softbank, Teruhide Sato co-founded Cybercash Japan (now known as VeriTrans), an online payment company that went public in 2004 and later was acquired by Digital Garage. In 1999, he also co-founded BEENOS (formerly netprice) and as CEO took it public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2004. He has typically invested in commerce platforms and payment platforms in emerging markets such as Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, India, and Turkey. Notable Investments are Tokopedia, Veritrans Indonesia, Shopclues, CitrusPay, KartRocket, Akakce, Iyzico, Duriana, Paynamics, and Nearex. Member of Nippon Keidanren(Japan Business Federation), YPO and YGL(WEF).
Ross Kingsland is Communication Strategist for prestigious clients like Lamborghini, Virgin and high profile individuals. Ross is the founder of Inception Growth. Ross believes that the difference between those who succeed and those who fail is the skill to inspire others to act. Ross works with leaders and organisations who have a desire to inspire those around them and succeed. Inspiration is a key tool that has been utilised by highly successful organisations and individuals strategically. This is not anecdotal. This is not mythical. Inspiration is a science-based, psychological process as easy as turning on a light bulb – once you know where the switch is. Ross has dedicated his life to, not only the science of creating inspiration in the minds of others, but applying this to multi million dollar business strategies and high profile leaders to achieve the result they are seeking.
"Serdar Kuzuloğlu has been a journalist since 1994. My area of expertise is technology and trends.
Currently, he is consulting various companies for digital content production, communication strategies, product development, repositioning and social media. Istanbul Bilgi University has many programs licensed. He teachs Digital Marketing at Next Academy.
The most pleasant part of his speech (from my point of view) is to speak at conferences and seminars.
He founded and directed several popular websites, including newspapers, TV channels, radios, video and music services. He took part in a series of digital service purchases, sales and mergers."
Nick Tommarello is the founder and CEO of Wefunder, an equity crowdfunding platform that has funded over 100 startups with $15 million. He’s an alumni of both Y Combinator and Techstars, and also mentors many of the startups he’s helped fund. In his spare time, he climbs mountains and digs up dinosaurs.
Marie is a passionate believer in the power of entrepreneurs to transform their communities— and the world—for the better. Committed to creating opportunities for the exchange of people and ideas, she brings energy, curiosity, and creativity to everything she does. Before joining the Blackbox team, Marie served under the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of State. She was a member of the planning committee for the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, designing and executing digital engagement strategies that resulted in the largest combined online reach of any U.S. government-sponsored event in history. Marie has worked with young people from more than 120 countries, empowering them to lead the way in developing smart solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges of today. Today, Marie is focused on helping entrepreneurs connect to their own greatness through Blackbox. She leads program development and works to cultivate, engage, and maintain a top-notch global community of Blackbox alumni, advisors, speakers, and mentors. Marie graduated cum laude from George Washington University. She lives in San Francisco with her boyfriend, Dmitri, and cat, Pippi. In her spare time, she enjoys making music, cooking, and seeking out adventure whenever (and wherever) possible.
Fadi Bishara matches human capital with venture capital across the globe. With 20 years experience helping talented technology entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, Fadi is the Founder of Blackbox.vc, a globally focused accelerator located in the heart of Silicon Valley. supports the growth of change makers and innovators, connecting them worldwide with seed investors/VC, mentors, and market entrance partners. Prior to founding Blackbox, Fadi was the Founder and CEO of techVenture, building teams for early-stage, high-growth technology startups. While running techVenture, he assisted 43 startups, of which 17 exited successfully. These include, for example, Zynga, bebo, Lala, Tapulous, CubeTree, MerchantCircle and Apture. The majority of the others are already profitable and growing, for example, SAYMedia, Splunk, Blurb, and Change.org. Fadi is a sought after speaker, appearing at conferences and universities such as Stanford, UCLA, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Open University Skolkovo Foundation, St. Petersburg National Research University (ITMO), and the Presidio Graduate School of Management. He served two years as an Executive Committee Co- Chair of the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab and is currently an Advisory Board Member there.
Issa's career has focused on finance and investments for the past 12+ years with focus on early stage / growth businesses in the wider TMT space. He started his career in investment banking and transitioned into the MENA Venture Capital space in 2006 as founding members of Accelerator technologies, one of the first venture funds in the Arab world. Issa has also consulted at Yahoo! to help shape and execute their MENA growth plans from both an investment, M&A and business development perspective. He was also with N2V, a regional TMT holding company, as the Head of business development and venture investment which included him as acting CEO at one of their largest portfolio companies. His last role was with twofour54, an Abu Dhabi based government entity, where he was the Head of the investment department which oversaw their corporate venture activities as well as strategic partnerships initiatives. He also launched the most successful Incubator / Accelerator program in the UAE, Flat 6 Labs Abu Dhabi. During his career, Issa has successfully closed over 45+ investment deals (from $100K to $10M per transaction), managed over $100m in MENA Venture funds and served as a BOD member for a number of companies, providing commercial and business strategies, along with general operational, financial, and strategic support as needed. In 2015, he led the exit of twofour54's largest two investments. Issa currently runs IFC MENA venture investing activities across both Direct and Indirect investments As an elaboration for you Direct deals such as Hepsiborata in terky and souq in UAE and indirect being LP into funds such as Wamda in MENA and others in the market. Issa holds an MBA with focus on Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Mergers & Acquisition, Corporate Finance from Cass Business School (City University of London) and a bachelor degree in Commerce from Concordia University
Mr. Fares Ghandour is a Partner at Wamda Capital. He has regional insight on tech startups beyond the scope of investment. He ran the region's flagship mentorship event, Wamda's Mix N' Mentor. He served as an Investment Manager of MENA Venture Investments Ltd. Mr. Ghandour holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California.
"In the last 12 years he has been working as a journalist, at first covering current affairs and economy and then focusing on technology, writing extensively on online privacy, social media and the Internet for several Italian and international media such as Forbes, Zdnet, La Stampa and others. He also wrote several books (in Italian) on social media, online privacy and Internet. "
Kaushal is founder and CEO of Scaale Group and Managing Partner of Cross Border Angels. A true serial entrepreneur and investor. Over the last three decades, Kaushal has founded over 20 ventures across the USA, Europe and Asia with 3 successful exits and an IPO in 1987. Kaushal was born and raised in India, where he studied Electrical Engineering and Management. After that he moved to the UK, Germany and today he lives in the USA where he has been a resident for the last 25 years. San Francisco is the place he calls home, although he travels 2 weeks every month to visit the Scaale teams around the world.
"Co-founded an investment company focusing on start-up investments in Internet in CEE/Israel/CIS Current companies: guesty.com, marketman.com, shazam.com, ivi.ru, ponominalu.ru, sravnikupi.ru"
Early in his career Kentaro worked with Axiv.com (now Voyage group) and Wunderman Dentsu extensively in developing sales and marketing strategies with companies in the communications, drinks, and finance industries. During his tenure with Axiv.com he was responsible for building the west ads sales branch and mobile sites, and restructured their sales division. In 2008, he launched Samurai Incubate Inc. specifically focusing on seed ventures management, marketing, sales and human resource support. His company invests in start up ventures and he also holds the posts of external director to Japan & Israel 100+ venture companies.
Ari is an angel investor and venture capitalist. He is the the founder of Lagoon Capital investment company. Ari has been a successful technology entrepreneur 20 years and a business angel for 10 years. He developed his company Komartek into an international success story. Komartek was bought in 2004 by WM-data (presently CGI). His position in WM-data was Vice President. Within the last 10 years, Ari has made angel investments in 24 companies in which all investment rounds total up to 80. These include MariaDB, DealDash, Surveypal, Miradore, In4mo, Thirdpresence and 360 Cities. From the above mentioned investments, he has had three successful exits from Severa, Paytrail and The Switch. Ari is also an investor in venture capital funds which include Seedcamp, 500 Startups, True Global Ventures and Spintop Ventures. In Spintop he is also Senior advisor and Investment committee member. He is also a member of Seedcamp Investment commitee. Ari is an Investment council member in Finnish Industry Investments. Ari was nominated by EBAN as European Business Angel of the Year in 2009 and elected by FiBAN as Business Angel of the Year in Finland in 2014. He is a co-founder of FiBAN and Vice Chairman of the Board during 2010-2012. Ari has been EBAN board member and Vice-President since 2012. He is also a member of EstBAN. Ari has been featured in several business magazines and blogs. He holds a Master of Science degree in engineering from Lappeenranta University of Technology. Ari currently hold but also seek new board, advisory board and investment committee memberships as an independent member. Specialties: Contact: [email protected], tel. +358 400 652 627
Anil Advani specializes in the representation of early stage startup companies, venture funds, institutional angel investors and many prominent angel investors in silicon valley, India and other startup jurisdictions around the world within his 17-year law career Mr. Advani has represented more than 2,000 startup companies and numerous founders, venture capital investors, angel investors, investment banks and venture debt investors in silicon valley and across the world, on issues relating to formation, founder issues, consulting and advisory arrangements, capital structuring, angel financings, venture financings, debt financings, leasing, strategic licensing and customer arrangements, and mergers and acquisitions. In aggregate the M&A transactions Mr. Advani represented is over $2 Billion, in New York, Los Angeles, Arizona, Chicago, India, Singapore, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Croatia, Iceland, Czech, Hungary, Romania, South Africa, the U.K. and other world jurisdictions in setting up operations in Silicon Valley.
Bill Kenney is Founder at Test My Pitch. Test My Pitch is an online platform where entrepreneurs and business professionals draft, share, and receive feedback on their idea pitches and self-introductions. Mr. Kenney is event ROI expert, business networker and change agent.
Ramzy Ismail is the Program Manager at Techstars Connection, in partnership with AB InBev and ZX Ventures. Previously Ramzy was the Program Manager and Interim Managing Director at Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, a $10M early stage fund and accelerator. Prior to relocating to the UAE, Ramzy worked for EnterBridge Mobility, a SaaS product company as the Director of Business Development. Concurrently, Ramzy served as the Co-founder and CEO of Venuable.com, a mobile and web-based unique venues marketplace that was accelerated through Lighthouse Labs' Spring 2013 class. Before becoming a founder Ramzy was an Associate in Genworth Financial’s Leadership Development Program where he rotated through M&A and expense analytics roles. His experience also includes corporate strategy and product development roles with VeriSign, Capital One, and the CFO of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He graduated from VCU in 2012 with dual degrees Finance and Entrepreneurship.
In 1989, I started to work as CEO for Erikli Water, then a small family company. After Erikli became the market leader, in 2006 I led Erikli to a merger with Nestle Waters Turkey and then became the CEO and the local share holder of the JV. During the JV period, even greater targets have been achieved : we have reached a market share twice as high as our nearest competitor. In order to focus on Angel or VC Investments in high growth Digital Economy space, I left my CEO position in May 2012 and later completely exited from JV. As Aslanoba Capital, we have already made 42 angel or VC investments to internet based startups and to even some funds, mostly targeting Turkish market. Besides, we are also growing our internet based ventures, Tazedirekt and Webnak in our own Aslanoba Gida company. As a true believer of internet, now I would invest for nothing but the Digital Economy business models.
Aamer Khan is a U.S. Diplomat, Entrepreneur, and Technologist. He is a 18 year veteran of from the Tech Industry, having worked in IBM, HP, Rational Software, and a variety of startups in Silicon Valley and Boston. Aamer has been involved with early stage startups, major open source projects, and is an expert in software development process and tools. Aamer received his BSc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Middle East Technical University (Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi) Turkey, and MSc. In Computer Engineering from Auburn University in the United States. Aamer is a naturalized American, born in Karachi, Pakistan. Aamer is married to Alvera Khan and they have two girls, they live in Ankara Turkey.
Chad is a startup strategist with over a decade of experience in early stage venture. Since leaving private equity, he’s been an entrepreneur as a founder, co-founder, and founding team member. He has advised, consulted, and mentored over 60 startups backed by leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms like Sequoia, Founders Fund, Google Ventures, and other notable investors. His work has generated over $100M in funding and exits. Prior to Blackbox, Chad led Startup Design Strategy, an advisory service working with entrepreneurs to build enterprises the world needs. Over the years, he has developed tools, frameworks, and techniques to help entrepreneurs minimize time spent starting up. At Blackbox, he leads program, business, and strategic development. Chad is a passionate innovator. He has developed 120+ patents with entrepreneurs and inventors across the globe, from London to Chengdu to San Francisco. He grew up internationally in Taipei, Athens, and Jakarta and loves working with born global entrepreneurs.
Yousef Hamidaddin leads an Innovative Strategy Initiative from Jordan, and was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Oasis 500. His current focus is on developing funding models for startups and SME’s across the region to be launched this year, and creating innovative funds that can deliver the rebuilding requirements for distressed countries such as Syria, and Yemen. For the last 3 years he has been focused on building and deploying a regional innovative strategy starting from Jordan and worked on developing innovative funds to deliver solutions that address the a region to be well positioned to be an "open lab” - a term he coined for early adoption that can take solutions globally. Yousef launched the Creative industries Fund for Jordan, the Oasis 500 Space Venture Initiative in partnership with the European Space Agency, and the European Investment Bank, the Yemen Startup Fund.
Sam Mallikarjunan is a Principal Marketing Strategist at HubSpot and a former Head of Growth at HubSpot Labs, the somewhat-secret experimental arm of the world's #1 Sales & Marketing platform. Sam teaches Advanced Digital Marketing at the Harvard Division of Continuing Education, and is the co-author of the book"How To Sell Better Than Amazon" (which, yes, is ironically available for purchase on Amazon).
When Oklahoma-born Jon Crawford went to the University of Kansas for college, he couldn't settle on what he wanted to study. He churned through seven possible majors -- including studies in film, law, music therapy, computer science, and journalism -- before winding up with a business degree in marketing. After college, he started a web design company where he built websites for small businesses. He found himself annoyed that there wasn't an easier way for people to set up their own stores online, an idea which sparked his current company, Storenvy. Started in 2011 with seed funding from Spark Capital, First Round Capital, and KPCB, Storenvy is an online marketplace for shoppers and merchants to sell unique, and oftentimes quirky, products. Storenvy has launched more than 75,000 online merchants from its San Francisco-based office and is quickly growing.
Samar Singla, Founder and CEO of Jugnoo is a serial entrepreneur and a technology fanatic. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and a Physicist by education, Samar sold his first company, Prodigy foods and chased it with his second venture Click Labs, a profitable SaaS technology solution provider. Jugnoo, his third venture, aims to double the income of every auto rickshaw driver in the country and be an instant on-demand mate for all the daily needs of its customers.
Numan Numan, currently a Managing Director at 212, has a solid background in enterprise systems, global technology services and international management. Numan utilizes his 20 years of experience to analyze technology venture companies, identify their needs, and provide customized solutions for each enterprise. Specialties: Enterprise Technologies, Mobile, Infrastructure Engineering, Global Infrastructure Management, Infrastructure Architecture, Strategy and Planning, Global Program Management, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Emerging Technology, Virtualized Computing, Virtualization, Trading Systems, Remote Connectivity, Regional Deployments, Data Center Projects, Global Team Manager, Enterprise Management and Monitoring systems, Team building, Leadership development.
Nazareno Mario Ciccarello, Italian, is an IE Business MBA 2008 and B.A. in Political Sciences from University LUISS in Rome, Italy. His working career started at the age of 19 in the military, being a lieutenant of the Italian military police. After having worked for different multinational companies in HR, Marketing and international business development roles in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device sector and after having travelled the world in over 50 countries he: 1. In 2013 he founded Functional Gums, a company specialized in development, marketing and distribution of functional chewing gums and confectionery products. 2. He is offering international business development consultancies in healthcare sector helping companies develop their business internationally. 3. He is visiting professor of entrepreneurship at IE business school. Simultaneous to his professional career he has been a professional athlete (Olympic diving) for more than 20 years. He is a native Italian speaker as well as fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French and he still loves diving and volunteers part time as a diving coach for autistic kids.
iyzico founder and CEO Barbaros Ozbugutu has more than 10 years of experience in global companies which focus on payment systems and telecommunications. After his first professional experience in Telefonica, Barbaros Özbugutu started working for FIRSTDATA which is world leader in credit card transactions. Ozbugutu was responsible for Small and Medium Enterprises market as a part of Telecash. Ozbugutu and his team gained %50 of all the revenue of Telecash in 2009. After that, Ozbugutu started working in KLARNA, one of Europe’s leader alternative payment companies. Ozbugutu managed to set up the country organization for KLARNA in Germany from scratch. At this period he managed to open 3 offices in Nuremberg, Cologne and Berlin and create a sales team which consists of 70 people. He brought his experiences in the field of online payments to Turkish market in April 2013 by the establishment of “iyzico” which is totally adapted to Turkish market structure and proceeding with a vision to become the “payment champion of the Orient”.
Born in 1980 in Istanbul, Y. Emre Güzer started his professional career at Pamukbank in 2001. Holds a master’s degree on Management Information Systems, Mr. Güzer worked at Assist Line A.Ş between 2002 and 2004 and participated to the establishment process of Boyner Back-Up card. Y. Emre Güzer met Electronic Commerce at Garanti Bankası in 2004 and conducted the operations of B2B platform, CRM infrastructure and improving customer relations at Hedef Alliance Holding afterwards. After joining Teknoloji Holding in 2007, he took part in the Business Development process of the “one and only” price comparison project that incorporates the purchasing function. In the mean time he actively took part in “Secure Database Integration in E-Commerce” project, supported by TUBITAK and TTGV. Within Garanti Payment Systems, Mr. Güzer played active roles in the establishment of many payment and verification systems that are used in Turkey as the e- Commerce Products Director. His articles were published in various academic resources that focus on the online world and he provided training that focuses on theinvariables of Electronic Commerce at various institutions including Interbank Card Centre. As of 2011, Y. Emre Güzer was appointed as the CEO of PayU Turkey. Fluent in English, Y. Emre Güzer is married and a father of 1 son.
After careers in teaching and IBM he has spent the last twenty-five years focussing in the development of entrepreneurs. Having run his own advice centre and business incubator in Oxford, England, he embarked on an international consultancy career developing business centres and business incubators in Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. He has a particular interest in entrepreneurs and has written the book ‘Creating and Entrepreneurial Mindset”. Having worked across Turkey he has made his home in Antalya although at present he is implementing a new business incubator in the South of Turkey. His favourite quote is ‘Remember the Bumblebee’!
Tim Draper is the founding partner of Draper Associates and DFJ. Tim’s original suggestion to use viral marketing as a method for spreading a software application from customer to customer was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail, Skype, and others.
Tim has been recognized as a leading supporter of entrepreneurship with numerous awards and honors. He was listed as #46 of the most outstanding Harvard alumni, #7 on the Forbes Midas List, #1 of the Most Networked Venture Capitalists by Always On, and #98 in Worth Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful People in Finance. Tim also received the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s “Entrepreneur for the World” in 2015.
Adora Cheung is currently a partner at Y Combinator.
She previously served as the CEO and Co-Founder of Homejoy Inc. and was on the Board of the Homejoy Foundation.
Prior to Homejoy, Adora worked at Slide (acquired by Google) as a lead Product Manager where she had the opportunity to learn about startups.
When Adora left Slide to start her own company she joined forces with her brother Aaron Cheung to form Pathjoy, a startup connecting life coaches to clients online. With Pathjoy the duo were accepted to the Y-Combinator, a prestigious incubator in Mountain View. After two years the duo founded Homejoy in July 2012 and since then Adora has successfully grown the Homejoy team from just her and her brother, to a team of over 120 employees and platform that serve hundreds of thousands of households in over 30 cities across the US, Canada, UK, and Germany.
Adora holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Rochester and Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Clemson University.
Mike Butcher is currently Editor of TechCrunch Europe. In addition he is involved in a project to bring European technology entrepreneurs and investors together in a club environment called TechHub (@TechHub), in London initially. A long time journalist, Mike has written for UK national newspapers and magazines including The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The New Statesman. He is a former editor of New Media Age magazine, the leading new media weekly in the UK, and the European edition of The Industry Standard magazine.
Since 1996 he has launched or re-launched numerous media web sites and in 2000 he was nominated as NetMedia’s European Internet Journalist of the Year. In 2004 he was voted ‘One of the 100 Innovators of the UK Internet Decade’ by GfK NOP, the fourth-largest custom research business in the world. In July 2008 he was put at No. 47 out of the Top 100 people in London’s creative industry by The Independent newspaper and The Hospital Club.
In August 2008 TechCrunch Europe was awarded the best “Web 2.0 and business blog” in the UK, by the readers of Computer Weekly magazine. In 2009 it was named as one of the Top 10 blogs out of the UK. Also in 2009 he was named one of the Top 10 bloggers on Twitter in the UK. In October 2009 he was named one of the Top 50 most influential Britons in technology by The Daily Telegraph. In April 2010 he was named as one of Britain’s Top 100 “digital power-brokers” by Wired UK magazine. Mike is a regular commentator on the technology business, appearing on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 and Bloomberg. Mike’s personal blog is mbites, while he Twitters as @mikebutcher.
Robert Schwentker is a technologist and blockchain educator based in Silicon Valley. He recently joined the UN Women Innovation team to explore how blockchain technologies may improve the efficiency and effectiveness of international assistance for women refugees. He has extensive training, startup relations, programming & systems experience at financial service organizations like PayPal, American Express & Citigroup. As Founding President of Blockchain University & DLT Education, Robert has educated over 1,000 entrepreneurs & intrepreneurs, and inspired over 200 blockchain projects in the US, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore & Japan. He serves as adviser to several VC funded blockchain startups, to Cisco's Blockchain Innovation Lab, and to the BSafe.network blockchain neutral research project for universities globally.
Scott Hartley is a venture capitalist and former partner at a $2 billion Sand Hill Road investment fund, and author of the best-selling book THE FUZZY AND THE TECHIE, Financial Times business book of the month and finalist for the Financial Times and McKinsey & Company's Bracken Bower Prize. He has worked at Google, Facebook, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and the White House, as a Presidential Innovation Fellow. He holds three degrees from Stanford and Columbia, and is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Mr. Kaspar Korjus (29), as Managing Director of e-Residency, is building the first transnational digital identity platform in the world. e-Residency is a new fully digital nation for global citizens, built on inclusion, transparency and legitimacy to empower citizens globally and to achieve world-wide digital and financial inclusion. Kaspar is listed by Forbes Estonia `30 under 30´ people as #1 in Technology and Finance and elected by US CTO Megan Smith as one of the 20 global digital leaders. Kaspar is also the founding curator of World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community in Estonia and board member of multiple blockchain and fintech related companies.
Bill Kenney is a founder, convener and connector. He is the founder and CEO of Test My Pitch, an online platform that develops communication skills. He has started and built 6 companies. Bill is an active community builder and a member of the Startup Champions Network. He and his wife live in Essex, CT, USA and both enjoy sailing and cycling.
Eamonn Carey is a Managing Director at Techstars. He recently ran the Techstars Connection in partnership with AB InBev program in New York City. He was formerly an entrepreneur in residence on the Barclays/Techstars Accelerator in London and an advisor, mentor and occasional investor in multiple startups and accelerators around Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In the past, Eamonn started, succeeded and failed with several startups in Europe and the Middle East - including Farmvillain - an app which some described as the 'South Park of Facebook'. He first started building games (as an eight year old) to impress girls in the late 1980s. His efforts were unsuccessful. His love for games lived on in spite of that fact.Since then, he has worked with Kiip - helping them win their first clients and establish their footprint and offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Currently, Eamonn is a board member and advisor at Lingvist, where he helps with product, marketing and business development.
Amal is a passionate professional in designing experiences, guiding corporates and startups to innovation and customer centric design, providing creative solutions, achieving mastery in service industry, manipulating the tools of marketing to evoke customers emotions. She is also immersed in working on corporate innovation to instill the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing social and business environment leading to great rewards and returns
Throughout her career Amal gained a diversified range of experience in management and marketing related roles particularly in education and consultancy. Currently, Amal is part of the Entrepreneurship Center in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in a number of roles including the New Ventures Acceleration and Corporate Innovation program. Prior to that she worked in the KAUST Seed Fund where she developed marketing and events, while also providing a range of services to startup clients. Amal has previously managed an educational organization; during that time she designed programs and started several innovative initiatives to be implemented by the educators to improve the mindsets in order to foster creativity in the work place and the educational tools.In parallel to this she started her own business, which organized sports events and offered commercial consultancy to large organizations. During her masters degree research period in the University of Wollongong she managed to be exposed to large organizations and built marketing strategies to several entities such as Dubai government departments, Kempinsky hotel, Infiniti Cars and other service providers. She was also involved in a joint venture with another start up in Dubai focused on creating media and production services to other agencies including Starcom Dubai, Yahoo Dubai and many others. She also co authored two business articles focused on services marketing during her masters .
Omar Syed is a Managing Director at The Abraaj Group and has over 16 years of private equity and consulting experience. Mr. Syed is focused on developing the Firm’s operations in Turkey, having recently raised a Turkey dedicated fund in excess of USD 500m focused on providing growth capital to mid market companies across diverse sectors.
Having joined The Abraaj Group in 2007, he was a part of the team that led the Abraaj Group’s first acquisition in Turkey, the Acıbadem Healthcare Group, as well as the Group’s most recent acquisitions in Turkey including Yörsan Group, Hepsiburada, and Fibabanka. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Yorsan Group and a member of the Board of Directors of Hepsiburada.
Prior to joining Abraaj, Mr. Syed was a Vice President at American Capital, a publicly traded US private equity firm with over US$ 21 billion in assets under management. Mr. Syed spent six years at ACAS comprehensively developing his PE track record, transaction execution capabilities and portfolio management skills, focusing on US mid-market buyouts, growth financing and financial restructurings with investments ranging from US$ 50 million to US$ 500 million across various industries and sectors including industrial manufacturing, engineering and construction, transportation and logistics, consumer products and chemicals.
Mr. Syed began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Canada, working in their Assurance and Business Advisory and Transaction Services practices, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute.
Mr. Syed holds a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering with a Minor in Management from McGill University and a Masters in Accounting from Concordia University.
Hans van Grieken joined Deloitte as of August first last year coming in from the Office of the CIO research team at Gartner where he was a global Research VP. As a Director Digital Business Innovation, Hans joined the Deloitte EMEA Technology eminence team and is also the co-author of an extensive upcoming research note on Digital Era IT Operating Models. Over the past 17 years Hans has addressed numerous conferences across the globe on digital transformation and innovation, thereby helping corporate C-level management navigate the evolving digital innovation landscape, identifying potential business opportunities and threats. Hans is also a Fellow at Deloitte's Center for the Edge and an Executive Lecturer at Nyenrode International Business School in the Netherlands.
Ozan Sonmez is Managing Director at T-Jump Startup Hub in San Francisco. Mr. Sönmez is also Europe and MENA Coordinator & Facilitator at Angel Labs. Mr. Sönmez previously managed 9/10th Startup Accelerator Program KAUST of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.
Yousef Hamidaddin leads the Innovative Solution Board an initiative from the Foundation of HRH the Crown Prince of Jordan, and was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Oasis 500. His current focus is on developing funding models for startups and SME’s across the region to be launched this year, and creating innovative funds that can deliver the rebuilding requirements for distressed countries such as Syria, and Yemen.
For the last 3 years he has been focused on building and deploying a regional innovative strategy starting from Jordan & worked on developing innovative funds to deliver solutions that address the a region to be well positioned to be an "open lab” - a term he coined for early adoption that can take solutions globally. Yousef launched the Creative industries Fund for Jordan, the Oasis 500 Space Venture Initiative in partnership with the European Space Agency, and the European Investment Bank. He also launched a dedicated fund for Yemeni Entrepreneurs, and worked on exporting the Jordan model where he worked on launching Startup Jamaica in partnership with the World Bank, and is a reference on startup trends in the region. A board member of ICTAC (ICT Advisory Council) to the Minister of ICT, a board member of [email protected] (Information & Communication Association of Jordan) which is a voluntary non-profit, private organization representing, promoting and advancing the Jordanian software and IT services industry in the global market. He sits on the Technology & Innovation Cluster Committee under the Ministry of Planning & International Cooperation, & appointed as part of the Jordan Technology Relaunch Team labelled as Reach 2025.
Previously Bakhrom was leading investments in European and the US technology companies with Virgin Green Fund as a Founding Principal and TLcom Capital as Investment Director. Bakhrom also was Internet Finance Director and Associate Director of Planning and Analysis in Virgin Media. Bakhrom started his career as technology investment banker with Cowen & Co and CSFB/DLJ. Bakhrom holds two Master degrees on academic scholarships from the London School of Economics and Cambridge University, and an honors Bachelor degree from Tashkent State Technical University in Uzbekistan.
Asra Nadeem is the Entrepreneurship Programs Director at Draper University, an incubator and entrepreneurship education program located in Silicon Valley. She primarily works with entrepreneurs and stakeholders to design and implements programs that build and grow global startups tackling the world’s most intractable problems. In the last 2 years alone, these startups have raised $40M in seed funding and have gone to YC, Techstars and 500, amongst other accelerators.
Asra has over 15 years of experience with product and market development for startups in the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia. She was the first female product manager in Pakistan for Rozee.pk, led Bayt.com's special projects team to build web infrastructure for government organizations and MNC's in the MENA region and successfully launched the first dating website for Muslims; Naseeb.com.
She frequently speaks and writes about empowerment through technology and automation and mentors entrepreneurs in emerging markets to enable social change. Asra can be found reading and funding research to build vertical cities or inventing new recipes for world's best hummus.
Prior to joining Citus, Utku served in senior business development and strategy roles at Intel and Oracle in EMEA, building regional collaborations, leading strategy development and assisting software sales.
Previously, Utku worked as a consultant at McKinsey's Business Technology Office in London, working on various strategy projects in enterprises across Europe. Earlier in his career, Utku worked as a Product Manager at Google and as a Systems Engineer at Alcatel-Lucent.
Utku holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from London Business School.
Vera Shokina is a Managing Director with Silicon Valley Banks’s Global Gateway group. In this role she assists international venture capital funds and innovation companies in the emerging markets with their US and international market expansion. Prior to joining SVB Vera was a Partner, CFO and COO of Runa Capital, $200MM venture capital fund, where she was responsible for all finance, legal, operations and investor relations functions.
Prior to joining Runa in 2010, Vera spent five years as a VP with Silicon Valley Bank where she was responsible for building relationships with technology start-ups and oversaw a $50M USD venture debt portfolio for early-stage VC-backed software and services companies. Additional Silicon Valley experience included work at GE Capital and Goldman Sachs & Co. Before moving to the US, Vera worked for Citibank Moscow where she managed a portfolio of loans and traded Russian equities for institutional foreign investors.
Active in both professional and civic communities, Vera is a former president and board member of the American Business Association of Russian Professionals (AmBAR), a non-profit business association of more than 10,000 Russian-speaking professionals based in Silicon Valley, and founder and board member of ArtWeekend, European Children School of Higher Arts. As part of her work with AmBAR, Vera organized a delegation of 20 prominent Silicon Valley investors representing firms managing $60+ billion and brought them to Moscow to meet with Russian business and government leaders to cement ties between the high tech communities of the two regions.
Vera holds an MBA from the Moscow Finance Academy and a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages from Moscow State Linguistics University.
20+ years as a commercial banking executive, most of which were focused on financing high growth technology, life sciences and clean tech sectors, with extensive international experience.
My goals for the SVB Global Gateway are to faciliate cross border business for venture capital firms and technology companies between the US and the major innovation hubs globally, which include Brazil/Latam, China, UK/Europe, Russia, Turkey and Australia. We provide market entry assistance and introductions to accelerate international expansion, and banking solutions for technology and innovation based businesses seeking US market entry.
I also seek to establish banking relationships on behalf of SVB Global Private Equity Services, including debt finance solutions for VC and PE firms outside the US.
Specialties: Global commercial banking solutions, cross border debt financing, international market expansion
Globally-minded change-maker. I have built my whole career in private-sector-focused economic development. I am a big believer in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world -- and great investors to help them do it!
I run Endeavor's San Francisco office, where I lead our efforts to connect a portfolio of 700+ high-growth companies with US-based mentors and investors. I oversee an awesome team running the Endeavor Investor Network – a program designed to connect venture capital and growth equity investors with high-impact entrepreneurs and local investment partners across Latin America, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia. In the past few years, we've helped Endeavor companies raise more than $1B in equity capital.
I am also a Managing Director of Endeavor Catalyst, an innovative co-investment vehicle through which Endeavor can invest into its portfolio companies. Launched in January 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has raised more than $100M across two funds and made 50+ investments to date in 20 different emerging markets across Latin America, EMEA and Southeast Asia. Investments include Globant (NYSE:GLOB) in Argentina, Yemeksepeti.com (acq'd Delivery Hero $589M, 2015) in Turkey and Fetchr in the UAE.
Amy is an actress turned Performance Coach who uses her unique blend of acting and transformational experience to change the way you communicate your business forever. She will share her insights to creating a Winner's Pitch so that no matter whom you are talking to, you will own the “stage”.
Amy has worked with a multitude of entrepreneurial leaders in London, San Francisco and Istanbul, including TEDx speakers, CEO's and high-profile actors.
Dan comes from an entrepreneurial background. He has been involved with technology startups across the world and is an innovation community leader in Europe. In the recent years, he focused more on enterprise innovation management, specifically on the changes large organizations need to make to allow for new ventures to be built in a corporate setting. He has worked with companies like Deutsche Telekom, Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover and Allianz. A big proponent of the ecosystem approach to innovation, Dan has also worked with various government bodies, in Asia and Europe, helping developing national innovation ecosystems and implement national innovation strategies. The work experience gathered from the public and private sector has been translated into various experiential courses that Dan has delivered for universities worldwide.
He graduated from Bilkent University Computer Engineering in 2014. He currently holds a master's degree in Hacettepe University Information Systems Department. After 6 months of System Engineering experience, he joined Oracle Sales Consulting team and has been working on Middleware technologies for 3.5 years. He is Oracle Social Media Champion and Blogger, He has been awarded with innovative projects for 2 years in Oracle's internal innovation initiative and he has 5 projects using in Oracle’s business processes.
Oracle Cloud Digital Domain Consultant Computer Engineer with Master Degree, 15 years of experience on Oracle Technologies, Former Application Developer, Sales Consultant for Oracle Cloud Technologies, helping customers on their journey to Cloud.
Mario Aguilera is the founder and CEO of Tespack. Tespack is a company specialized in providing the most innovative energy generation solutions and Smart Wear in the military and consumer market. They have been able to combine and develop the latest ultra-fast-safe charging technology for charging devices on the go. Tespack is the first company in the market to implement IoT in the energy generation consumer sector. Their customers include Vodafone, the UN and Defence Forces while they work and cooperate with companies such as TomTom and GE.
Mario is an ex-Special Forces Officer with a background in military operations, international economics, international business and renewables. Mario has founded several companies and prior to Tespack, he was the Co-Director at a renewable energy company while writing research publications for the Foreign Ministry of Finland.
Mario has won numerous awards and distinctions in the military, martial arts as well as in the business world. He is the winner of Startup Turkey 2017, White Bull 2017, New Energy 2017 and Caixa Bank Top Technology award among others. He has also been chosen as one of the Top 4 Entrepreneurs by Forbes Midas List Billion dollar company maker Neal Dempsey who is also his personal mentor and board member at Tespack. Tespack has also been awarded more than +20 international awards including Top Energy Startup in EU in 2017 by European Parliament and European Commission.
Due to his knowledge in wearables, hardware, renewables and technology, Mario has been invited as a keynote speaker at top tech events including Hardware Massive, White Bull and Red Herring while he has served as an advisor for Foreign Ministries of Finland, Bolivia, Kazakhstan and Taiwan.
Ferruh Mavituna is the founder and product architect of Netsparker, the only proof based web application security scanner with dead accurate vulnerability detection and exploitation features. He has a background in development (C++, ASP, ASP.NET and PHP) and has been working in the web application security industry since 2002.
Before founding Netsparker, Ferruh was a freelance security consultant and has worked for the Turkish Army, Police, and several other big customers from the USA, Canada and UK. Ferruh mostly focuses on web application security research and automated vulnerability detection & exploitation. He is a frequent speaker at web application security conferences and podcasts, and has released several research papers and tools.
Ferruh's deep understanding of both the attacking and defending aspects of web application security was the driving force behind Netsparker's success. Netsparker has pioneered several cutting edge technologies that changed the world of automated web application security. Today Netsparker is used by thousands of companies around the world and is considered as one of the leading players in the industry.
Dayioglu got his degrees from Hacettepe University Computer Science (BSc) and Middle East Technical University Computer Engineering (MSc) in 1998 and 2002. A proud founding member of Turkish Linux Users Association, Dayioglu has started his career in cyber security mid 1990s.
He founded Innovera in 2007, Turkey's largest pure play cyber security integrator by 2016 revenues. After a decade of experience in building and supporting security operations centers (SOCs) in the region, Dayioglu and his partners decided to focus on solving some of the most difficult challenges in cyber security operations today and founded ATAR Labs.
ATAR Labs works with banks, telcos and central government agencies to improve effectiveness of SOCs and streamline security operations today. ATAR Labs recently raised 2.5M Euro from DCP as seed investment.
I have over 15 years of experience managing investment and business development for multinational technology institutions – including serving as Managing Manager at Karabiner Capital, and CEO at Rock Climbing Partners for the Impact Investment project.
I am also the Chair on board of the Global Angel Investment Network for Business Angel Investment, and a serial entrepreneur. Then sits on the board of several major international startups, and serves as a transnational mentor for innovative companies pioneering new developments in a variety of industries.
My mission is being pioneering across the regions for the Social Impact industry. Our Project finance portfolio is major international startups in Europe, Japan, and the Middle East to foster innovation and corporate development.
I was twice time to exit own startup which distributed digital VRM/CRM system for a service industry and digital simulation platform as like as DMP to using A.I agent based technology for a contents business were acquired several $M.
Richard McGuinness is the Regional Vice President of Sales for Salesforce across Turkey, Med and Africa. Prior to joining Salesforce, Richard was involved in hyper-growth companies across Europe and Asia. He has a passion for keeping customers at the centre of every business decision, and enjoys helping companies grow by serving their customers at scale.
Yinal is Country Manager for Amazon Web Services, Turkiye (AWS). He brings expertise in enterprise architecture and specializes in the design of strategic systems and cloud architecture. His experience with various large scale enterprise projects has helped him build a strong foundation of knowledge in risk management, information security management systems, financial systems, utility computing, and complex internet scale solutions. Prior to joining AWS Turkiye, Yinal was in charge of AWS Financial Services Technology. In the past, as an advocate of information security community, Yinal has consulted for several Fortune 100 companies. He is the co-author of the book "Advanced Check Point Configuration," published by Sybex Publications.
Claus is part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) global startup Business Development Team, taking care of the Startup Community in Scandinavia, CEE and Russia. He guides startups in their journey to the cloud, helping them achieve their goals through cost and performance optimization, and enabling them to utilize AWS solutions efficiently. Claus also advise startups on how to navigate in all the different parts of Amazon. In his previous role at AWS as an Account Manager, Claus assisted with the cloud deployment of high-growth startups such as Trustpilot, Vivino and ISSUU. Claus also has extensive enterprise sales experience from working for SAP and AWS with Danish and Icelandic Enterprise customers.
Erhan Erkut received a BSc in Industrial Engineering from Bogazici University in 1980 and a PhD from the University of Florida in 1986. Dr. Erkut taught at the University of Alberta School of Business during 1985-2005. During this period he received nine teaching awards, including the INFORMS Teaching of Management Science Practice Award and the 3M Teaching Fellowship, and five practice and service awards from the Canadian Operational Research Society. Dr. Erkut established a Centre for Excellence in Operations to facilitate know-how transfer, and served as the founding editor of the journal INFORMS Transactions in Education.
After returning to Turkey in 2005, he served as Dean of the Business School at Bilkent University (2005-07), the Founding Rector of Ozyegin University (2008-13), and as Vice-Rector of MEF University (2014-). Currently he serves on the boards of three local education associations and works actively to promote skills development for youth and entrepreneurship.
İhsan Elgin is currently Founder of Core Strateji; a strategy firm that specializes in entrepreneurial transformation at leading companies and lean startup coach. "Entrepreneur in Residence” at Özyeğin University. He is also Co-founder of Startups.Watch (Turkey’s first and only early stage market analysis platform) & FinTech İstanbul (leading organization in the financial technology sector). Prior to these jobs he started Climateminder as the Co-Founder after 8 years of corporate life. Upon sold their business in the USA. He founded Fit Start-up Factory (Özyeğin University’s Accelerator Program for techno start-ups). Elgin also teaches courses on “Business Model Innovation”, “Corporate Start-up Engagement” and “Lean Start-up Management”. Furthermore, Elgin has several angel investments in FinTech and RetailTech sectors.
Zaya comes from a broad advisory experience in the technology, media and telecom sectors in EMEA. Previously, Zaya was a TMT investment banker with Morgan Stanley based in London, where she focused on internet, online classifieds, media and digital media clients, having worked on a range of deals such as private placements, IPOs, and leveraged buyouts. Additionally, she has extensive experience advising and mentoring start-ups in the UK. Zaya holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Onur’s MS journey started 17 years ago, 3 different countries, 5 different roles, 11 different houses, flew 500.000km a year leading international technology projects. Onur has worked in Microsoft Intelligent Cloud and Xbox product teams as product development director, leading engineering teams. He has returned to Turkey 3 years ago as Microsoft Turkey CTO. In this role Onur is responsible for defining opportunities new technologies are creating for companies and individuals in Turkey, and implementing programs to enable them.
He was born in 1961 in Gaziantep.
He graduated from Istanbul Istanbul Yıldız Technical University, Faculty of Architecture in 1984. Attended "Business Administration” courses at Marmara University in 1985, and took foreign-language and business-administration courses at England in 1988.
Mr. Buyukeksi is currently the Chairman of Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) and at the same time Member of the Board at Turkish EXIMBANK, President of Establishment Committee and Vice Chairmen of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), Member of Assembly at Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO), Member of the Board at Istanbul Development Agency, Member of the Board at Istanbul Leather and Leather Products Exporters' Association, Member of the Board at Energy Efficiency Association and General Coordinator of Ziylan Group.
Previously, he has been a Member of Board at Turkish Leather Foundation (TURDEV), TOBB–BİS Organized Industrial and Technology Regions Inc., and TOBTİM International Business Centers; He has been a Member of the Board at Turkish Airlines A.O. (THY) and Turkish DO&CO since 2002,Chairman of Turkish Shoes Industrialists' Association (AYSAD), Chairman of Istanbul Leather and Leather Products Exporters' Association (IDMIB) between 2000 and 2006, and also Founder Chairman and Chairman of Turkish Footwear Industry Research, Development and Education Foundation (TASEV) between 1997-2006.
Mr. Buyukeksi is married, with three children and has a good level of English.
Oliver is the founder and CEO of Blockchain HELIX AG. He has been working as an IT specialist, consultant in the fields of IT security, enterprise Java portals, social media, intranet/extranet, IT infrastructure, databases and virtualization. Oliver is an expert in digital identity management and distributed authority.
In addition, Oliver is the initiator of the HELIX LAB in Frankfurt and the financial network FinTech Headquarter. Oliver is also active in politics as a co-founder of the Federal Association for Blockchain.
The association represents the interests of the blockchain industry against politics and legislators.
Aslı is the Director of Entrepreneur Search and Services at Endeavor Turkey, an international non-profit that supports high impact entrepreneurs. In this role, she is responsible for identifying high potential entrepreneurs, coordinating the search process and mobilizing appropriate support services for companies that join the Endeavor portfolio. She started her career in finance and consulting in Chicago.
Aslı is a Kauffman Fellow, which is an educational and training program dedicated to developing venture capital professionals and cultivating innovation in high-technology, high-growth, high-impact companies.
Asli holds an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University with a double major in Economics and Learning and Organizational Change. She received her Master’s degree from Columbia University in Social-Organizational Psychology.