I've been in the world of entrepreneurship for a year. Throughout the process, I learned about startup needs and what Garage Innovation Hub can provide. I was aware of the startup world, but I had no idea what it meant to be a part of it. Garage Innovation Hub helped me understand this ecosystem and its significance much better. I would like to summarize what I've learned this year.
Before I explain myself and what I learned, I would like to share my current viewpoint on the ecosystem. After a long learning process, I can see that the Turkish ecosystem is progressing in a more productive and experienced manner. The best examples of these processes that I have witnessed are the Insider, Getir, and Trendyol growth and investment processes. Furthermore, I believe that publicizing these investments in mainstream and social media fuels the fire not only in the ecosystem but also in Turkey for people with an entrepreneurial spirit but who are hesitant.
Who I am?
First of all, you may be wondering what I'm doing in the Garage Innovation Hub. My journey with Garage Innovation Hub began as a community manager. To be honest, I didn't think it was appropriate to introduce myself in this manner because I didn't know the ecosystem or its stakeholders at the time. I am aware that there are many subjects to which I still need to go and learn about their processes. Because this ecosystem, like innovation itself, is always alive. That is why I doubt I can confidently declare, "I am an expert in this subject."
For a long time, I defined myself as a content creator, but now I'm actively trying to understand the needs of startups. I consider how we can support startups through our community and those that contact us, primarily through mentors, partners, and other stakeholders of the Garage Innovation Hub, as well as through social media channels and communication. In order for startups to connect with the relevant individuals through my team or me, I try to assist them in any way I can.
We are attempting to strengthen the bond between our community and the Garage Innovation Hub by collaborating with startups in our own venture projects, mediating cooperation between startups and Arçelik, and even taking an active role in the processes of cooperation between our startups and igniting these processes.
What did I learn?
Thanks to the Here2Next platform, which we are a part of as the Garage Innovation Hub, I realized that almost every corporate company that has interacted with startups wants to play a facilitating role by providing support structures and systems. In addition, through our 5G@Endtech and BiGG3 programs, I was able to witness firsthand the Turkish government's efforts to support startups and new technologies. I met with global ecosystem players through Hack the Normal and saw how important it is to grow not only locally but also globally. In short, we require platforms such as Here2Next, hackathons such as Hack the Normal, and programs such as 5G@EndTech and BiGG. We are in an ecosystem that requires not only financial but also mentoring and support from the government, corporations, and non-governmental organizations.
Speaking of mentoring, I can't help but mention one of our other programs. I also had the chance to meet the mentors who received training through our Innovation Champions program as well as our startups who meet with these mentors on a regular or topic-specific basis. The 45-minute talks provide incredible value to both parties. I believe that being able to communicate with experts in their fields, get their opinions and comments, and taste a little bit of their experience is invaluable. Also, the mentoring is the best way for mentors' to stay up to date on the latest technology, pave the way for them to constantly improve themselves, and meet future business partners.
Within a year, I was directly involved in these processes. Meeting with individuals and organizations actively involved in the ecosystem at the Here2Next Summit and What's Next event I attended, as well as the Ankara Ecosystem Meeting event we organized, went beyond confirming my learning and broadened my perspective.
Thinking about what we can do as a Garage Innovation Hub isn't enough on its own, and it's only a first step. My intention is not to minimize our efforts as individuals or the Garage Innovation Hub. However, I realized that collective learning and cooperation, as well as one-on-one contact with startups and listening to their needs, are the most crucial aspects of the ecosystem.
By communicating with our community of startups, we are taking solid steps to understand startup needs and what we can provide, and my learning process is ongoing.I learn something new from startups, my team, our mentors, and other ecosystem players everyday. I would like to state that this is the point in the process provided by this ecosystem where I'm the happiest. In the entrepreneurship ecosystem, I believe the sky is the limit in terms of knowledge and startup success