İTÜ Çekirdek Early-Stage Incubation Center is the right address for all entrepreneurs and start-ups that have technological and innovative business ideas, and believe their ideas can be converted to innovative and commercial outputs!
Established by ITU and ITU ARI Teknokent in collaboration with ITUNOVA TTO in 2012, İTÜ Çekirdek has supported 540 initiatives and 5432 entrepreneurs to date. Sponsoring many projects in various fields from financial technologies to health technologies, augmented reality and hardware, İTÜ Çekirdek stands as an extensive entrepreneurship platform bringing more than 40 shareholders together with entrepreneurs, companies, angel investors and industry professionals under the same roof.
İTÜ Çekirdek’s tailored program comprises 3 stages:
1. Pre-incubation: Initiatives accepted to İTÜ Çekirdek are entitled to use the 800 m2 open office area located at ARI 3 building in Maslak as their offices for free, develop prototypes at the lab equipped with R&D-required hardware, and get one-on-one appointments from more than 250 Çekirdek mentors. “Entrepreneurial Training” enables them develop canvas business models, financial models and market penetration strategies.
Pre-incubation Acceleration Program: Initiatives that pass final jury of the “Entrepreneurial Training” may continue to receive trainings, seminars, consultancy and mentorship services for commercialization of their projects, and benefit from R&D funds to develop prototypes. Throughout this process, they will be supported by Çekirdek mentors and trainers on first-time customer interviews, sales procedures and investment procedures, and receive special trainings and consultancy.
2. Big Bang | Start-up Challenge: Aiming to be a leading entrepreneurship event around the world, Big Bang brings early-stage technology initiatives to the business world. “Entrepreneurship Stage of Turkey: Big Bang” where technological initiatives are staged with high competition and pace annually placed on November pushes entrepreneurs to the focal of investors and funders and allows entrepreneurs receive fundings on their way to incorporation and meet investors and potential customers, and makes it possible for entrepreneurs to get rewards and investments worth of TL 5,000,000 (incl. 2016 data).
Entrepreneurs developing their ideas in the early-stage incubation center are elected to Big Bang based on their proximity to the market; other potential entrepreneurs and investors attending Big Bang as audience get to know innovative ideas and business models, and emerging initiatives.
Entrepreneurs to stage in Big Bang will be introduced press and shareholder meetings, cooperation opportunities, investor meetings and a unique environment to reach potential customers. Moreover, staged initiatives will be entitled to get 1-year access to incubation program of the early-stage incubation center.
3. Incubation: Entrepreneurs who succeed in İTÜ Çekirdek Big Bang and establish their companies can benefit from “İTÜ Çekirdek Incubation” for 1 year to continue developing and expanding their initiatives. Entrepreneurs may show İTÜ Çekirdek as their corporate address, have any privileges hereto as an ITU ARI Teknokent company, and benefit from any material and immaterial possibilities arising from such privileges.
Starting from the synergy of the initiatives and ITU, ITU ARI Teknokent, ITUNOVA TTO and İTÜ Çekirdek, entrepreneurs may go on improving their projects.
Incubation Acceleration Program: Mentors dedicated to entrepreneurs closely follow monthly performance and sales figures. Regularly organized investor-customer meetings, initiative-tailored trainings and consultancy aim to improve initiatives.
İTÜ Çekirdek continue to provide more opportunities and support to more entrepreneurs every year in partnership with over 40 shareholders including Elginkan Foundation, Istanbul Chamber of Industry, Automotive Industry Exporters’ Association, EnerjiSA, ING Bank, TTGV and Microsoft.
İTÜ Çekirdek: Facts and Figures at 2020