Startups are the stars of this show. They will shine on stage with their quickfire pitches. The audience is made of invited-only investors, corporates and tech companies who look forward to listening to the most promising startups coming from all around the globe.
Join now this spectacular show in the most beautiful city of the world.
Top startups will meet world class mentors, investors, companies and media in Startup Turkey. The most promising startups will be selected to join this demo day and they will pitch on stage.
Invited-only investors, VCs, accelerators and tech companies’ executives will be there to meet the outstanding startups.
Salman T. Jaffrey is the Chief Investment Officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (also known as Wa’ed Ventures), a $200 million venture capital fund established by Saudi Aramco. The fund invests in innovative and impactful, early-stage startups with high growth potential, that promote economic development and enhance the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in the Kingdom. Salman is also an investment committee member for the ‘StartUp Lab’, a technology and innovation-driven incubator and seed fund at the Aramco Entrepreneurship Centre. Salman has more than 14 years of experience consulting and investing in venture capital and private equity deals. He has led a number of investments across the deal continuum – from originating, evaluating and executing deals to maximizing investment value – and has managed a sizable investment portfolio. Prior to his current role, Salman was the Chief Financial Officer & Head of Portfolio Management at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, a $500 million corporate venture capital fund that invests globally into early-stage and high growth companies with technologies of strategic importance to Saudi Aramco, to accelerate their development and deployment in the Kingdom. He has previously worked at leading professional advisory and consulting firms, including PwC and Ernst & Young. Salman has completed an executive program on venture capital from the University of California, Berkeley and an innovation & entrepreneurship program from Stanford University. He holds a master’s degree in business forensics from the University of Melbourne and a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Bond University, Australia. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has undertaken several leadership programs at Saudi Aramco.
Amy Cosper is the former Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur magazine. She has been reporting and commenting on the world of entrepreneurship for 12 years. Cosper is an evangelist for innovation and disruption around the globe. Her mission is to spread the word and promise of these philosophies on a global scale and to make an impact by teaching these ideas. One of the most prominent voices in the world on the topic of entrepreneurship, Amy Cosper is the former Editor-in-Chief of Entrepreneur Media Inc. named Fast Company’s “25 Smartest Women on Twitter”, Cosper has not only been reporting and commenting on the world of entrepreneurship, she has been shaping it through the pages of a magazine that has seen meteoric growth, and become the most respected resource in its field. Over the past six years, Cosper has witnessed and gave voice to successes and failures in business, and in turn has a deep understanding of the psyche of an entrepreneur, and what it itakes to succeed in a meaningful, long-term way. Cosper’s philosophy is that entrepreneurialism is about more than owning a business, it’s about creating something from nothing in any capacity, whether employed or employer. It’s about laying the foundation for the future, disrupting known thought and going forth to create lasting change. An entrepreneur in her own right, Amy has become an evangelist for entrepreneurship around the globe as one of the most sought after speakers keynoting and judging at events, such as Disrupt Athens in Greece, the Creative Business Cup in Copenhagen, ShiftSplit in Croatia, and the GlobalEntrepreneur Network Conference in Milan. She is regularly tapped for hercommentary among her fellow journalists, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR and appearances on Fox Business, ABC News, CNN and Bloomberg Television. In addition to her perspectives on entrepreneurship, she is often asked to provide insights on a spectrum of topics from free economics, social media optimization, broadcasting, the Internet, VC strategies, media, online profiling, and user behaviors, and content strategies.
Magnus Gaarder is a technology focused venture capitalist, with a background in investment banking (M&A) and computer science. Magnus co-founded the VC fund Cidron Ventures and is the founder of nFront, bringing capital, software development and strategy support to companies across various stages of development. Previously, Magnus was an Investment Manager at VC fund Nauta Capital in London, and a member of the founding team at M&A boutique Portico Capital. He started his career as an M&A-focused investment banker in New York. Magnus has a combined educational background in computer science and finance from UPenn and NTNU, specialized in machine learning and financial engineering.
Merilin has been involved with the Estonian startup ecosystem since 2016, when she started working at Garage48 organizing hackathons in Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia. Now at Startup Estonia she is in charge of the Estonian Startup Visa programme and developing the best possible environment for startups from anywhere in the world.
Tala Al Jabri is a non-executive Board Director at Ento Capital. She has served as a management and financial advisor in over 6 countries to public, private and non-for-profit entities. Earlier in her career, Tala served as the Head of Government Strategy & Markets at Dow Chemical Saudi Arabia, and worked at Oliver Wyman, Monitor Group and The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency. Tala has received accolades for her work including being featured on Women 2030, Inspirational Women Series, Poets&Quants, Wharton MBA magazine and Young Arab Leaders. In her spare time, Tala is a mentor to female entrepreneurs at the Cherie Blair Foundation and regularly contributes to publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Wharton Impact Investing Partners, and Khaleej Times. She completed her MBA at the Wharton School in Innovation and Bachelors at McGill University in Finance and Women’s Studies. She is from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Alexey Menn is a tech entrepreneur and investor with over 13 years of private equity, capital markets and venture capital experience. Alexey was engaged in more than 20 M&A deals with total volume > $1 bn. In 2018 Alexey as a managing partner launched a $30m VC fund - Begin Capital Partners (average ticket $1-1.5m) Prior to Begin Capital Alexey invested into 13 startups as a business angel, including: (Mercaux, Generation Transfer, Soul in the bowl, ELEMENTAREE, Sdelano, Qbik, Roboretail, ParkApp, Invisible, etc.)
Erik Azulay is a technology commercialization expert and serial entrepreneur specializing in small business startups and international market strategies. He has managed commercialization and incubation projects in 12 countries around the world, and launched and sold two logistics companies based in the United States and Russia. Mr. Azulay was the director for the World Bank Innovation Program in Kazakhstan, where for two years he oversaw the creation and running of the National Technology Commercialization Center. Under his leadership the Center created a multi-million dollar small business commercialization grant program and incubated Kazakh start-ups to bring their innovations to market. He now serves as the Chairman of the International Science and Commercialization Board, which oversees the $110 million second phase of the Program in Kazakhstan. He currently runs the Nexus Innovation Hub and Incubator in New Delhi, India. Nexus is a collaboration between the IC 2 Institute of the University of Texas and the U.S. State Department to support the startup ecosystem in New Delhi and India. The Nexus Incubator showcases best practices in incubation and entrepreneurship from India and the U.S. and in just two years of operation, its startups have raised over $4.4 million in funding. Erik serves on the boards of IVeH, an international telemedicine nonprofit, the Alliance for Commercialization and Innovation Research, and as an advisor to the Polish venture firm Leonarto. Erik received his BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a MS in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas. Erik speaks Russian and Spanish.
Levent Zagra started his career at Koç Holding Strategic Planning Department in 1996. He was appointed as the General Manager of Promena Electronic Commerce in 2002. Prior to his current role Zagra served as the Energy Group Coordinator at Koç Holding. He was appointed as the Assistant General Manager for Investment and Planning at Tüpraş in April 2016. Zagra is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Mechanical Engineering and earned his MS and MBA from Cornell University.
Özgür is based in New York and advises institutional investors for their private capital investments. He is the founder of PEVCRE in New York and also an angel investor with interests in the UK, US and Turkey. He was previously heading the investment program of a family office in Luxembourg and heading the $3bn private equity and real estate (illiquids) investment program of Cardano, an investment consultancy managing over $60 billion for pension funds in the UK and Netherlands. He has sourced, structured, analysed and completed over $1.1 billion capital commitments for institutional clients spanning across strategies and geographies inlcuding seed, venture, growth and lower mid market capital to mid & large buyouts, private debt (lending & mezzanine to distressed) to secondaries & infrastructure as well as various real estate strategies from core and core+ to opportunistic mostly across Europe and the United States. He has also managed a regional fund of funds investment program for the European Investment Fund Turkey (iVCi) in 2010 and 2011, the first of its kind with a critical function in nourishing the eco-system for private capital investments in Turkey. Ozgur has a Masters in Finance degree from London Business School and he is a graduate of Bogazici University with a BA (Hons) degree in Political Science and International Relations.
Based across Paris and Singapore, Gwen is Entrepreneur in Residence at Entrepreneur First, a deep tech talent investor. She has spent 13 years across the media and technology startup sectors in Asia and Silicon Valley. Previously as a founder, Gwen built and sold tech media startup, SGEntrepreneurs to Tech in Asia. She was also a founding team member of Thymos Capital, an early stage technology investment firm in Singapore with three exits to date. Gwen spearheaded Mashable's expansion into Asia Pacific, launching its business in Southeast Asia, Australia, and China. As a professional host, she hosted a TV documentary on the Internet of Things for the largest Asia Pacific broadcaster, ChannelNewsAsia. Gwen is an alumnus of the National University of Singapore, where she graduated from its University Scholars Programme doing liberal arts. She spent a year at Stanford University under the NUS Overseas College program. Apart from Paris and Singapore, she has also lived in Vietnam and the US. She speaks 3.25 languages, and you can find her talking physics, dancing, or doing adventure sports.
Ali is a co-founder and partner at 212. He has spent his career focused on technology and communications. After graduating from the University of Michigan, in 1999, Ali joined Arthur Andersen in New York where he brokered and oversaw mid-market transactions in technology, media, and telecommunications. In 2002, he joined Morgan Staley Capital International where he managed the North American and European finance teams. Ali spent a year from 2007-2008 at Deutsche Bank where he served on the bank’s principal investments team. In 2008, he shifted his focus to the Middle East where he seized on the opportunity to work on helping companies go to scale. He worked with the Turkish government and private sector on finance and private equity projects. At 212, Ali serves on the boards of Insider, and Solvoyo. In addition, Ali currently serves on the Endeavor Advisory Board.
Michael Finkbeiner is Managing Director of Legwork Venture Groupe (LVG). LVG offers platform support to EU & MENA-based family offices investing in startups. Before founding LVG, Michael was an associate at Backplane Capital, a venture capital fund in San Francisco dedicated to early-stage cannabis startups. Before Backplane, Michael worked as Director of Operations at the Gateway Accelerator managing community, curriculum, and investor communications. Michael's work in emerging markets started in the early days of wearable tech, most notably with We Are Wearables (acquired by AWE), which he helped grow into the largest global community for AR, VR, & wearable tech. In addition to working with investors, Michael is an active advisor to startups in the consumer goods and retail sectors.
hi, i'm felipe millan. community builder at twilio.com. i mentor and advice in growth hacking, digital marketing strategies,community building, and pitch training for +100 accelerators, incubators, vc's portfolios, coworking spaces and innovation hubs in emea, india, and pakistan. as former founder, i was part of startup chile and startup wise guys accelerator, and i have pitched at dozens of events and conferences like finnovateeurope, leweb paris and many more. i'm an ethical growth hacker and loves to give a different point of view to a problem or challenge that entrepreneurs and startups are having to run lean experiments that can drive growth and scale.
Mathew Johnson is an independent venture investor based in San Francisco. He is an personal investor in companies like Outreach.io, Harbor.com, Botkeeper and many others. He is currently investing in massive trends and platforms like SAAS, Blockchain, and the global Aging Population. Mathew was a partner at 500 Startups for 4 years and was an original employee at Socrata, a successful enterprise software company based in Seattle.
Anirudh is a 4th generation entrepreneur who has been active in the investment space since 2011. He has invested in over 57 startups, participated in 100+ funding rounds, yielding a 4.2x multiple for his family fund (Artha India Ventures). Some of his investments include Oyo Rooms, Exotel, BabyChakra, CoutLoot, Tala and NowFloats. In June 2018, Anirudh launched his an Institutional Fund, Artha Venture Fund. The fund has a $30 million corpus, a life of 7 years and will invest up to $2m over the course of 3 rounds into 40-45 early stage disruptive startups. The fund made its first close in July 2018 and has made 2 investments so far. Through the fund, Anirudh works closely with founders at a stage where it is early enough to drive growth by mentoring decisions that involve sales, marketing, recruiting, finance and operations.
Atil started his career at Andersen Consulting. He has held senior management roles at Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, HealthCentral (acquired) and has deep expertise in building and growing companies, fundraising and acquisitions. As an entrepreneur, Atil founded ventures that build web/mobile solutions for consumers/enterprises. He has a track record of investing in successful early-stage ventures. Atil holds an MBA from Duke and has a continuously decreasing standup comedy audience.
Mr. Wael Aburida is the Chairman and Managing Partner of Halo Investment Management. Halo is a principal investment firm focused on developing and investing in rapidly scalable technology companies. Previously, Mr. Aburida was Chief Investment Officer and head of Private Equity & Real Estate Investments for PineBridge Investments, the $90 billion global investment management firm based in New York. At PineBridge, Mr. Aburida had overall investment responsibility for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. In his role, he served on the regional Executive Committee and regional Investment Committee. Prior to joining PineBridge in 2013, Mr. Aburida led the private equity and strategic investment activities for Abu Dhabi-based Waha Capital since 2008. During his tenure at Waha, he served on numerous boards and led the expansion into infrastructure, financial services, land development, oil & gas services, and principal investments. Prior to coming to the United Arab Emirates in 2008, Mr. Aburida lived in San Francisco, where he was Managing Director of Technology Investment Banking for Nollenberger Capital Partners and previously was Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at DCA Partners. Before DCA, Mr. Aburida was responsible for leading strategic investment activities for Intel Corporation, where he was Director of the Global Mergers & Acquisitions group within Intel Capital. Prior to Intel, Mr. Aburida was an M&A associate for Bowles Hollowell Conner in Charlotte, NC and previously, an equity research analyst in New York for Prudential Securities. Mr. Aburida has over twenty years of experience in private equity, mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, and executive management. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a BA from Lake Forest College.
Sohail has a proven track record of delivering shareholder value for principal investors thru active management of portfolio of companies. Over the course of his professional career, Sohail has built new businesses as a founder and early stage director, restructured and turned around companies as a CEO and served boards and senior executive teams of large corporations as a strategic advisor. Sohail holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, a Masters in Industrial Engineering from the London School of Economics and a bachelors degree with double major in Accounting and Computer Science from the University of Liverpool.
KEI HAREYAMA has 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.he is 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. his mission is pioneering across the regions for the Impact industry. his Project finance portfolio is major international startups in Europe, Japan, and the Middle East to foster innovation and corporate development.he was twice the 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 $M.
Ozan Sonmez is the Founding Managing Director of Growth Circuit (GCA) in San Francisco. GCA is a fully owned subsidiary of the micro fund Growth Circuit VC, a m$ seed stage investor . GCA helps international startups that have global products to launch in Silicon Valley/San Francisco area through exclusive partnerships with institutions like UC Berkeley & Draper University. Ozan is an angel investor, experienced startup mentor and an accelerator manager. He is a speaker, trainer, mentor, and judge for international competitions in San Francisco, Turkey, Middle East & North Africa & Far East. Prior to moving to San Francisco, he founded the largest non-equity seed funded Accelerator in Saudi Arabia where he lived for 3 years. He is a CPA with years in Financial expertise in Deloitte and Laureate International Network. He judged and mentored startups in the Global Startup Battle (TechStars), Startup Bootcamp (Dubai), Enpact (Germany), MIT EF Arab Startup Competition, Seed Stars Mena, Startup Istanbul & Startup Turkey, Hult Social Business Competition, Arab Mobile App Challenge, Wamda MixN Mentor, Intel Business Challenge MENA, Startup MENA, MIT GIST and UC Berkeley’s Global Social Ventures Competition.
Arnaud Castaignet is currently working for the government of Estonia as the Head of Public Relations of e-Residency, a new digital nation for global citizens. Prior to his time in Tallinn, he was working for the French President François Hollande as a digital strategist and communication officer and he has worked as an international communications consultant in Paris, advising governments, politicians and corporations. He has started his career as a business journalist in Istanbul and Mumbai.
Bill Kenney has founded 6 companies and currently leads two growing ventures. MEET (My Expo & Event Team) specializes in helping growth companies and economic development agencies effectively exhibit at trade shows. Test My Pitch is an online platform helps students, entrepreneurs and professionals develop their communication skills quickly in a safe and collegial environment. Bill entertains audiences frequently and speaks on a variety of topics, including entrepreneurship, networking, revenue generation, and community building. He also leads several community building efforts in his home state, Connecticut, USA. Bill is an active participant in the Startup Champions Network (formerly Startup America). He is an avid sailor, cyclist, and paddleboarder.
Michael is a Partner at Capstone Venture Partners (CVP), a principal investment company with interests in technology, consumer finance, agriculture and infrastructure. The firm also provides public sector advisory to States and Government Institutions. Our geographical area of investment is Africa. Prior to CVP, Michael worked at Africa Finance Corporation, an African-led investment grade rated multilateral development finance institution,and Adlevo Capital a Mauritius-based private equity fund, focused on investments into technology enabled companies across sub-Saharan Africa. Michael is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management with dual majors in Accounting Information Systems and Finance.
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.
I began my career as an equity analyst in 1993 and then moved onto portfolio management. Chief Investment Officer of a large family office and senior portfolio manager and partner of a multimibillion hedge fund. Wide international investing experience. Current Chief Investment Officer of an Emerging Market focused Multifamily office based in London.
Assistant General Manager (Marketing and Innovation) Rıdvan Uçar began his career in 1991 at TUBİTAK and became Project Engineer at Aygaz in 1996. Then he consecutively served as Bulk LPG Marketing Specialist, Marketing Manager and Marketing Group Manager. In 2008, Mr. Uçar served as the Assistant General Manager of Marketing. He joined Aygaz Doğal Gaz (a subsidiary of Aygaz) in 2010 as the General Manager. As of March 2018, he was appointed as the Assistant General Manager of Marketing and Innovation at Aygaz A.Ş.
Sukru Haskan began his career in London as FX trader and then move onto the wealth management division. He has worked in Singapore, Zurich and London throughout his professional career. His last professional position was director of a major Swiss Bank responsible for UHNW clients. After 12 years of professional career, he co-founded his own external asset management in London with Paulo Bilezikjian.
Alexander Pak is Investment Director at Jersey based TMT Investments, Plc a publicly traded investment firm. Before TMT he held various managerial positions in RBC overseeing M&A and strategic investments (Internet and Mobile: Cloud, SaaS, Productivity, Fintech services, Social-commerce, Product management software etc.). Since 2010 Alexander managed and supervised multiple VC transactions including 14 exits and sourced 1 unicorn, another pre-unicorn and a number of high growth startups from their seed stage. The main areas of interest include b2b tech services, cloud, mobile, delivery, payment solutions. MBA from Kingston University
Worked previously in prominent companies within MENA region such as Orange, MBC Group and BlackBerry enabled Lewa Abukhait to acquire solid understanding in analyzing technology solutions in business. Currently he is Chief Investment Officer at DAAL; venture capital firm in Saudi Arabia responsible for identifying promising startups and evaluating the investment opportunity within. He also Provides mentorship and business development insights to portfolio companies to guide and nurture their growth on the international stage.
Anil is Founder and Managing Partner at Unicorn India Ventures. He has been one of the pioneers of angel investments in India as head of operations and President at Mumbai Angels and Bangalore Angels, leading Angel Investment forums in India. Anil’s experience includes corporate management functions in medium and large organizations, early stage investment in start-ups, project management, joint ventures and business development.
Anil has helped close approximately 60 venture-financing deals and was directly involved in closure of over 25 deals. Anil has served on the Board of 5 companies and is involved with various incubation centers as mentor in India as well as internationally. He is very well respected and valued in the start-up fraternity and is drawn upon by entrepreneurs for advice and strategic direction. Mentoring startup is his passion and he advices Governmental and industrial bodies on the same.
Prior to joining Mumbai Angels, he headed new projects and investment in start-ups with Artheon Group, a Telecom, IT & Energy group. His early career started with heading a branch office at Century Rayon, B.K. Birla Group Company, after which he moved to Business Access India Pvt. Ltd. providing consulting services to Scandinavian companies from diverse sectors establishing their presence in the Asian markets. Then he moved to Transasia Biomedical Ltd., India’s largest manufacturer and exporter of bio-medical equipment.
Anil graduated in Engineering and Post-Graduation in Management (Marketing) and PGDBM in Strategic Finance and Control.
Karina G. Shevchenko is the Founder and CEO at VCEntrepreneurs. The company specialises in fundraising and business acceleration services for the technology innovation sector. Karina is an entrepreneur and experienced business development specialist with a demonstrated working history in the financial services industry. She has extensive experience in business strategy and investor relations development in diversified industries, from asset management firms and counter-terror organisations to technology startup companies. Today she is particularly interested in developing Estonian startup eco-system and supporting female entrepreneurship globally.
Dmitry has started his career as a lawyer. In 2006 he founded Skif Consulting, Russian legal and consulting firm that quickly became international.
Starting from 2015 Dmitry is acting as a venture investor, initially as a business angel investing in some legal tech solutions. Having made some successful investments, Dmitry decided that he wanted to expand his career towards venture investment.
Since fall 2018 Dmitry became the junior partner in Astarta Capital, Russian VC fund focusing on seed and late seed investments in hardware products and robotics.
At the beginning of 2019, Dmitry together with 2 French partners has founded Skif Ventures - the early stage VC fund with a focus on energetical technologies and industrial DeepTech solutions with the potential for global growth.
Head of Startup Lithuania, works with a startups ecosystem for one and a half year. Has more than 10 years’ experience in strategic management, marketing and B2B, working in different industries.
Liisi is the Startup Ecosystem Development Manager at Startup Estonia. She has an experience working with startups in Estonia and in the United States. With over eight years of experience in project and events management, and as someone who is passionate about staying on the leading edge of tech, she is hoping to grow Estonian startup ecosystem to a new level. She has studied Entrepreneurship and Project Management and has a Masters degree in Educational Management, both from University of Tartu. She is also one of the head organizer of Startup Week Tallinn, which is a startup community festival and last year held 62 events in 35+ locations for 2500 attendees.
Istanbul being the capital of some world’s greatest empires presents an amazing blend of history and modernity. With its key location situated between Europe and Asia, and its 18.000.000 habitants, Istanbul is an important center for many sectors. Today the city is visited each year by millions of travelers who come to catch a glimpse of its ancient city walls, enchanted churches, palaces and mosques, while savoring the delightful tastes of the city’s rich cuisine. Istanbul offers an unforgettable experience with its colorful daily life and dynamic nightlife.