New Businesses New Ideas (YFYİ), which is being organized by ODTU TEKNOKENT since 2005, is Turkey’s first and largest technology-based entrepreneurship program. Its fundamental aim is to encourage entrepreneurship throughout the country and to infuse this culture by motivating young people, especially the university students, for entrepreneurship.
New Businesses New Ideas Contest that is organized in cooperation with ODTU and ODTU TEKNOKENT, provides the appropriate environment for students and new graduates, who have innovative and technology-based business ideas, to implement their ideas and support them to become successful businessmen.
The winners of the contest, in addition to the venture capital support, are given free office space at ODTU TEKNOKENT and benefit from any training and consultancy services for free. What is aimed with this contest is to provide the support required by an entrepreneur for the realization of technology-based ideas hence the formation of high value-added technology companies. Therefore, the success of the competition is determined by the number of successful companies and how far these companies achieve.
The biggest difference of YFYI from other similar competitions, besides the tangible rewards, is the provision of miscellaneous training, counselling and mentoring supports to entrepreneur candidates. Each year, more than 100 entrepreneurs, by taking advantage of the mentoring and training supports, are able to render their business ideas more appropriate and realistic for the market and express more accurately their business ideas. Since 2014, a US Camp is also added to the supports given. This camp is organized in ODTU TEKNOKENT T-Jump Business Accelerator Center in San Francisco and entails training by expert trainers and successful entrepreneurs and networking opportunities.
While in 2005, YFYİ was initiated in the General Category only, in 2015 various categories such as health, energy, defense industry, information technologies, and consumer electronics have been included. Within these 11 years, the number of entrepreneurs have increased from 195 to 1243 and the number of applications from 195 to 1096. The fact that the applications have grown apace during the years of organization is a demonstrator of the fact that each day more entrepreneurs are reached and that the interest in entrepreneurship has grown. The number of business ideas has also grown rapidly from 65 in 2005 to 705, reaching more than 10 times of the initial in 2015.
YFYİ, that has facilitated the incorporation of more than 50 companies within its lifetime of 11 years, besides creating employment, has been useful both in short and long term, by enabling technology development and spreading the culture of entrepreneurship.
In 2014, 8 successful teams have been awarded with the US Camp hence they had the opportunity to take trainings, to find business partners for their ideas through networking and to create customer relations. After this step, the teams made a debut in front of the investors to develop and grow their companies.
In 2015, in its 11th year of organization, YFYİ has undergone a structural change to include two separate segments as YFYİ Idea and YFYİ Pro, and to address different target participant profiles.
YFYİ Idea aims at bachelors, masters or PhD students and alumni with a maximum of 5 years graduate history who do not have a company but a good technology-based idea. On the other hand, YFİ Pro aims at 0 to 3 years old technology-based startup companies, and the goal is to develop companies that can succeed in the international markets.
For detailed information, please visit www.yfyi.com
ATOM (Animation Technologies and Game Development Center) was established in 2008 by ODTU TEKNOKENT to promote entrepreneurship among university students and it serves as a pre-incubation center where students can develop their software ideas and projects with the possibility to establish their own companies. This structure was formed to inhibit the extinction of ideas and projects on digital gaming and animation owing to the lack of necessary finances even before the start of their commercial lives. Within the 600 square meters of open office space including the meeting rooms, this center provides the students, who are talented in the field of gaming, with the infrastructure, superstructure and trainings for development of games, animations and simulation as well as the possibilities to partner with companies in projects. In the end, the target to be achieved is to enable an ecosystem of university-industry collaboration in which new companies are formed and human resources are recruited in this field.
For teams that can survive the elimination phase, ATOM provides a one-year, three step support mechanism. The entrepreneurs, who can benefit from free office space until the incorporation of their companies, have the opportunity to study the sector and analyze the requirements of the investors and consumers to update their products or services with regard to the demands, while safeguarding their products against the hardships of the market. Within the scope of ATOM, which is the first pre-incubation center of Turkey, 22 of the 65 teams have been incorporated to companies. The center did serve more than 150 developers and young entrepreneurs, and until today, they have developed more than 65 games of different scales and reached more than 40 million game fans.
For detailed information please visit www.atom.org.tr
In 1992, with the main goal of establishing incubation centers for technology development, ODTU KOSGEB TEKMER was founded in cooperation with KOSGEB. ODTU KOSGEB TEKMER, which continues its operations to support technology-based businesses within ODTU TEKNOKENT, provides the entrepreneurs with infrastructural services such as office space, Internet, meeting and conference rooms, technical, administrative and financial consulting services, University facilities, and the support for R&D, innovation and industrial projects.
In addition to ODTU KOSGEB TEKMER, other thematic incubation centers are also present. ODTU MEMS that hosts enterprises involved in Microelectromechanical Systems was initiated in 2007 and assists the start-up companies to survive under market conditions with the services and financial supports provided. The technology-based start-up companies are supported for two years and continue their operations as technopark companies upon graduation.
In “Teknogirişim Incubation Center” physical space, office and necessary infrastructure is provided to newly established companies that are in incubation stage, hence the Teknogirişim companies, which are supported with appropriate training, mentorship, consultancy and financial support, since, within the scope of Teknogirişim and TUBİTAK 1512 Entrepreneurship Multi-phase Program are eligible for this support.
In addition to the existing incubation programs, ODTU – Halıcı Software House Incubation Center was set up in 2013, to contribute to the development of young and new enterprises that are especially involved in information technologies. In this center, individual or corporate entrepreneurs are provided with office services, hardware and management support, access to financial resources, critical business and technical support services. Entrepreneurs that are accepted to this center receive training, consultancy and mentoring services as well as consultancy in publicity and marketing. Moreover, financial and legal support is provided in addition to networking activities to raise funds for their businesses. ODTU – Halıcı Software House Incubation Center started to accept first batch of its entrepreneurs as of 2014.