The First Incubation Center for Turkish Internet Entrepreneurs Opens!

303138_chicken_trinketToday I want to share news I have known for a long time and been eagerly waiting to give you. Turkey’s first incubation center for internet entrepreneurs is opening in Istanbul.

First let me explain what an incubation center for those who do not know. We see examples to incubation centers in the United States and abroad. An incubation center is an incubator environment for Internet entrepreneurs in particular. New internet initiatives are in need as a newborn baby has some needs to live.

In general, a new internet initiative gets the following help in incubation centers: Office space, office supplies, counseling-mentoring and most importantly, capital. In abroad, incubation centers are being created by especially universities, civil society organizations and investors. The incubation center in Istanbul was established by Akinon, investor of KariyerGENC and founder of Markafoni, and e-tohum, which brings Internet entrepreneurs together. This is why the name is “etohum Akinon Incubation Center” (EAIC).

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The purpose of this office is to help the emergence of new and successful Internet companies by providing the necessary resources and services. The incubation center will start to work with the 8 internet initiatives to be selected in the 2009-2010 period, and will provide the necessary office environment and consulting for the internet initiatives to turn into successful companies.

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The system works as follows: Companies to be accepted to EAIC etohum are selected at the end of an evaluation process performed from August to December each year. Before being admitted to the center, internet entrepreneurs tell about their projects to EAIC managers with 10-minute presentations, and if they are selected, they sign 3-month contract with EAIC. Entrepreneurs are obliged to report 3-month performance targets to the Board EAIC, and then they can start to work on their projects. At the end of the period spent in EAIC, entrepreneurs make presentations and are again taken into consideration by the Advisory Committee EAIC. The board aims to guide to internet companies that are in the center and to accelerate their success and consists of experienced entrepreneurs in Turkish Internet industry. Entrepreneurs regarded as high-performance can remain at EAIC, not to be more than 2 years.

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Entrepreneurs get coaching and consultancy services, and supported by seminars, panels and training throughout the duration of their stay at EAIC. Costs such as office rental costs are transferred to entrepreneurs in a transparent way by EAIC and are refund to EAIC when business ideas turn into successful companies. Therefore, it is very important for the entrepreneurs accepted to EAIC to keep tables of monthly income and expenses.

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Entrepreneurs who does not reach the level of expected performance or encounter unexpected situations have to leave EAIC but etohum continues to support these entrepreneurs from the outside.

In addition to these, it is possible to sign mutual agreements with entrepreneurs accepted to EAIC, and depending on performance status partnership agreements can be made. Although there is a minority share of partnerships, the rates of partnership may vary for each initiative.

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I am very happy to announce this development, which is very important for our country. If you wonder why there wasn’t an incubation center until today, I would say “because no one has ever shouldered the responsibility”. But today we saw that some people took the responsibility, which means the risk, to support Internet industry in Turkey which has an incredible future. We congratulate and thank first to Burak Büyükdemir and Sina Afra and all for the labor and wish them success.

Visual Courtesy: stocker

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