Top-tier speakers join Startup Istanbul every year to influence the hearts and minds of the tech lovers from all around the globe. 21 October is the final conference day where speakers create a spectacular program on stage with fireside chats, speaking slots and also panels.
If you are interested in a speaking, mentor or moderator role at Startup Istanbul, 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
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 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.
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.
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 and Producing as Creative Direction at as Paramaze production for the Impact Creative project Investment.
He is also the Chair on board of the Global Angel Investment Network in ASIA, Impact association of the Private funds, and Creative Industry incubation, as a serial entrepreneur, business producer. 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.
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.
Sten is the CPO at Topia, building products to help people and companies to work everywhere.
Prior to co-founding Teleport (acquired by Topia in 2017) he served at Skype as an early executive, riding the roller coaster for over 8 years from startup to ~300M active users, ~30% share of all international calling minutes in the world and a $8.5B exit to MSFT.
Sten started his entrepreneurial career founding the first digital media agency in Estonia at the age of 18 and has stayed on the forefront of internet, user experience design and software development scene since 1996.
Sten values a tolerant, open and creative society, speaks up for entrepreneurship, supports the startup movement, occasionally invests, pushes for better tech education. He also holds a number of management and advisory board seats and blogs at sten.tamkivi.com.
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.
Dr. Deniz Tunçalp is Associate Professor of Management, Advisor to the Rector on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Istanbul Techical University. Dr. Tuncalp is also Board Member of ITU GINOVA Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and CMO at ITU ARI Teknokent, which is the leading teknokent in Turkey, aiming to develop entrepreneurship and innovation.
Mr. Mehmet Emre Zorlu serves as Board Member of Zorlu Holding A.S. and Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Üretim A.S. Mr. Zorlu began working for the Vestel Group of Companies in 2009. Mr. Zorlu serves as a Director of Zorlu Faktoring A.S and Korteks Mensucat Sanayi ve Tic. A.S. He serves as Non Executive Director of Vestel Elektronik Sanayi Ve Ticaret AS. He serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of Zorluteks Tekstil ve Sanayi A.S. and Zorlu Dis Ticaret A.S. He serves as a member of the Young President’ Organization (YPO), the Young Businessmen Association of Turkey (TÜGIAD), and Endeavor Türkiye. He also holds a member’s seat on the Zorlu Holding board and the boards of the other companies in the holding. He served as Director of Vestel Beyaz Esya Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi since 2009. Mr. Zorlu completed Koç University’s Electrical and Electronics Engineering Program in 2006 and Finishing the Master Program in Innovation and Technology Management of the Essex University in the UK.
Since June 2017, Arnaud Castaignet is the head of public relations for the Republic of Estonia’s e-Residency programme, a government-issued digital ID offering the freedom to join a community of digitally empowered citizens and open and run a global EU company fully online from anywhere in the world. Previously, Arnaud worked for the French President François Hollande as a digital strategist and communication officer. Prior to his time at the French Presidency, he has worked as an international communication consultant in Paris, advising governments, politicians and corporations on their influence strategy and as a business journalist in Istanbul.
Arnaud is also a Board Member of Open Diplomacy, a Paris-based think tank established in 2010, a Yes Europe Lab fellow, a programme designed to build leadership capacity to implement civic projects and political campaigns in Europe, and a member of the Young Transatlantic Network of Future Leaders, a flagship initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States specifically geared toward young professionals 35 years old and younger.
Ali İsmail SABANCI serves as the Chairman of Board of Directors OF Pegasus Airlines since January 2005. He previously held several positions at Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated and Akbank T.A.Ş. between 1991 and 1997.He also served as the head of projects of Hacı Ömer Sabancı Holding A.Ş. between 1997 and 2001 and as the executive assistant general manager for strategy and business development between 2001 and 2004. Ali SABANCI serves as a member of the board of directors of Esas Holding and several other Esas Holding Group Companies since 2004. He has a master’s degree in Economics and Politics granted by Tufts University and bachelor’s degree in International Finance obtained from Columbia University Business Administration Faculty. He is the Chairman of Young Entrepreneurs Board within the Union of Chambers and Commodities of Turkey and also member to Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO), Turkish American Business Association-American Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (TABA AMCHAM) and Turkish-American Business Council (TAIK).
Fethi is the founder and managing partner of ESAS Ventures. Worked at Citi Group HQ in London as a part of the wealth management team pre-college at the age of 18. Since then, has been managing his personal public markets portfolio and real estate portfolio. After graduating with a degree of liberal arts-economics from Tufts University in the US , he pursued a course in finance at London School of Business and Finance. Then worked as a senior business analyst at BMO Real Estate Partners in London. Simultaneously, he has been an active global tech investor with investments in 5 different continents.
After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and spending an Erasmus semester abroad at ICHEC in Brussels, Marko obtained a Master's degree in Business at the University of Zagreb.
Even though Marko is a founder of TimePrep, an iOS time management app for CFA candidates, he worked as a Business development manager and a blogger for Netokracija, leading the organisation of a few 400,500 people conferences and as an Organizer at the Zagreb Entrepreneurship Incubator.
Eventually, he joined Techstars as an Associate in the London Winter 2014 program and became a Program Manager and successfully led Techstars London 2015, 2016 and 2017 cohorts before being promoted to a Director role.
Sohail has a proven track record of delivering shareholder value for principal investors through active management of a portfolio of companies. Over the course of his professional career, Sohail has built new businesses as a founder and early stage Director, delivered operational and bottom line improvements to companies in Family Office portfolios in interim positions, restructured or turned around businesses as a CEO and served Boards and CEOs of large corporations as a strategic advisor.
At home in a broad number of industries, Sohail has a deeper understanding, from the strategic, the investment and the operational leadership perspective across sectors including retail, technology, telecoms, media, education, financial services and private equity.
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.
Özgul Özkan Yavuz is the Secretary General of Istanbul Development Agency and Invest in Istanbul Office. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of European Association of Development Agencies.
Istanbul Development Agency is running grant programmes to develop innovation and enterpreneurship ecosystem in the city. Invest in Istanbul Office, as a part of the Agency, assists international investors and startups throughout all bureaucratic steps to set up their businesses in Istanbul.
Emilian is an investment professional with DiGAME (Digital Growth Africa), an Africa focused subsidiary of Zouk Capital. DiGAME makes growth‑stage equity investments in companies with proven digital strategies and visibility on revenues.
Emilian has over 9 years of successful launching, fund raising, growing, exiting more than 20 technology ventures in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Russia. Present focus on Africa. 7 years of experience with leading consulting firm in Europe, US, Africa. Joint MBA Columbia Business School / London Business School.
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.
Salt is leading a research and development company, Vestek and a corporate investment firm, Vestel Ventures both of which are part of Vestel Group. Vestel is worldwide consumer electronics and white goods group. Salt’s research company has been designing innovative products and systems in video processing and connectivity area. His company has created Pixellence video engine and SoC, focusing on enhancement, motion processing and 3D. His company owns and operates one Smart TV portal, managing content, applications, subscription and advertisement utilizing. Salt’s group has obtained around 100 patents. Salt has previously served in management positions of variant technology companies both in USA and Turkey. Salt has obtained various international patents. He regularly writes technology columns, gives public speeches and participates in Industry Advisory Boards of some universities. He contributes to a number of professional associations at board level and one of third term members of Turkey-U.S. business council.
Kaan is currently working as the Open Source Strategy Leader at Microsoft. Kaan has been involved with Open Source in various areas for over 20 years. He has worked with companies like Red Hat also being an active contributor and influencer to various Open Source projects. He is driving motions in Turkey like DevOps and Big Data on Azure. He is actively combining business and industry insights with technology know-how in Microsoft.