This is a guest post by Kevin Kraemer, a curator for Istanbul and founder of the Turkish startup community platform StartupNerede. Kevin works as a business consultant and frequently travels between Berlin and Istanbul.
At StartupNerede (Turkish for “Where is the startup”) it all started with an everyday problem.
I was working on a Turkey-related consulting project for a startup and I spoke to investors, entrepreneurs and industry professionals from outside of Turkey. While some of them had a good understanding of the country’s startup culture many of them frankly just didn’t know a lot.
What they all had in common was a genuine interest for the country’s market characteristics and potential, its key players and the question of how well developed the online-ecosystem was. I happily referred them to existing articles in Turkish startup-related media like Webrazzi and shared the humble insights gained from my own experience and conversations with friends.
After repeating this procedure a couple of times, I finally decided to create StartupNerede as a personal project in order to accomplish three things:
- I wanted to give partners, friends and other interested people from outside of Turkey an easy-to-grasp, comprehensive overview of the startup landscape in Istanbul. That is why I initially decided to use the simple form of a map and subsequently added an information section in English.
- I thought of the strong connections between Germany and Turkey, which also are apparent in the startup world. Developing a platform for a bilateral exchange of ideas is one of the goals of the project.
- I wanted to continually educate myself about the city’s startup environment.
Starting off with that idea, I am happy to have received positive feedback early on and we will now be supported by more people. It’s still in the beginning stages and even though we uploaded just a small part of the database, we’ve already been asked for more detailed information about certain startups and are happy to establish a direct connection between interested parties.
Although our platform was recently launched, I think the development up until now demonstrates the necessity to publish content about any given startup scene in the English language.
First of all, it definitely helps to attract a broader audience to your community. Although we were intending to focus on an exchange between Berlin and Istanbul, we now see interest from people in the U.S. and other countries, which we didn’t expect in the beginning.
We think that publishing English content also can help to get local startups in touch with outside investors, cooperation partners, potential access to foreign (human) capital. Especially in Istanbul – a very international city with lots of expatriates thats not fully recognized across Europe as the vibrant startup hub that it is.
Another point is to see if and to what extent English content about your community already exists. If it does, why not focus more attention on it – it can only be positive for everyone involved.
Based on the feedback we’ve received at this early stage, I definitely recommend publishing updates about your community in English.
A German with a Turkish background, Kevin founded StartupNerede in order to create more attention for Istanbul’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and nurture an international exchange of ideas, especially between Berlin and Istanbul.
Photo Credit: screen captures from startupnerede.com