Monthly Archives: July 2014

Startup Training Program

We have many applications to our startup training program from all over the world and the selection process is still going on these days.

On 27 – 28th of September, selected 100 startups will get together at Microsoft Office in Istanbul and meet best the mentors from mainly US and Europe. On 29th of September all startups will pitch to the jury and top 20 will be selected for the final event.

On 30th of September, 20 startups will be on the stage at Lutfi Kirdar Convention Center.  All Venture Capitals and angel investors will be there to listen to the presentations.

APPLY NOW not to miss the opportunity to work closely with mentors for 3 days and pitch on the stage!

Screen shot 2014-08-12 at 12.33.28 PM



Cinaralti Tea Garden

Located in Cengelkoy, Cinaralti is one of the most famous tea gardens for locals in Istanbul. It is on the Bosphorus, and called by the eight hundred years old sycamore (cinar) tree.  Ten years ago, it was a small cafe, but now, it is full of people beneath the shadow of the gorgeous tree.  In front of the tree, there is a sign which says “This big tree is older than the Ottoman Empire according to the experiments and rumors”. I prefer to visit it, rather than many architecture, since it is a dignified living symbol of the beautiful Istanbul.



Budget Hostels in Istanbul

Since startups stay longer (between 27-30th September), hostels can be a good solution for lower costs.

You may find budget hostels here or here by this link.

As you already know, the training will be in Microsoft Building shown below and the event will be in Lutfi Kirdar Convention Center shown in a previous post.

It is better to find a hotel/hostel close to Taksim/Beyoglu to be in a good location for all the event and also attractions of Istanbul.

David Lee

As the founder & CEO of, David Lee and his 15-strong team are making great video possible for everyone. With offices in both Seoul and San Francisco, Shakr has raised over $3M in seed and Series A funding from investors including Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups, Korea’s largest internet company, NHN, and the venture capital arm of POSCO.
As a big believer in making great video accessible to everyone, David previously launched Wetoku, powering premium video interview content for Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere report from 2008 through 2010. His first exposure to entrepreneurship was in 1994, when he co-founded Avenir Internet Solutions. Avenir was an online platform that facilitated the e-barter exchange of excess inventory between large corporations such as GE and Siemens. In 1998, NASDAQ-listed ITEX Corporation acquired a majority stake in Avenir.


Transportation in Istanbul is very easy, if you are in the city center. There are several options like metro, bus, tram, small bus, metrobus etc. It is better to use metros and trams rather than buses if you are close to those, in order to skip the traffic.

We use a card called Istanbul Card, which you can buy for 10 TL (3 EU) and charge it to use. It is good for public transportation. You will be paid back, when you return the card.

By following this link, you may find a very good explanation for the transportation system.


Weather in September

Weather of Istanbul is really calm during September. Signs of Autumn are visible, but it is still warm and enjoyable. It is not a rainy season and mean temperature is around 20 C. You don’t need thick clothes, but you may need a raincoat to be on the safe side.

Before coming you should keep looking to this web site. I will also write again, 3 days before the event about our forecast 🙂

Exchange Rate

We use Turkish Liras in Turkey. (1 dollar = 2.14 TL, 1 EU = 2.87 TL today)

To exchange your money is a very easy thing in Istanbul. You will see many exchange offices on the streets. There are several offices on Istiklal Street. If you can convert your money to dollar or euro before coming, you will not have any problem to change it. You can also change other countries’ (UAE, KSA) money.

The exchange rate of TL can be seen by this web site. Just select the date.


There are two airports in Istanbul: Ataturk Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

Ataturk Airport is on the European Side. Most of the international flights arrive this airport. You can get on the airport bus to go to Taksim. To read more, follow this link, and also see the airport’s web site.

Sabiha Gokcen Airport is on the Anatolian Side. There is an airport bus to Kadikoy, and another one to Taksim. See here. There also public buses to go many places from this airport.


Istanbul is the most popular city, which settled on two continents, Europe and Asia. We call the two sides as Avrupa Yakası (European Side) and Anadolu Yakası (Asian Side). These sides provide us the loveliest trip in Istanbul, passing through Bosphorus by a ferry from one side to the other. We also have two bridges, Bosphorus Bridge, and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge to connect the two continents.

On the European Side, there is an inner sea called Golden Horn (Haliç). Four bridges were built over Golden Horn : Galata Bridge, Unkapani Bridge, Halic Bridge and Halic Metro Bridge which connect the old city and Beyoglu plateau. The most famous touristic area, Sultanahmet is located at the old city. You can visit Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet), Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Suleymaniye Mosque in the old city. Here, you may find the memories of Byzantine and Ottoman together. Actually, most of the monuments of Byzantine are located in the old city area. Besides, Galata Tower is in Beyoglu Plateau and the Maiden’s Tower is on the islet close to Anatolian Side.

Now, we will see very nice shots of the beautiful Istanbul.

The first video shows the Grand Bazaar, Ferry at Sirkeci, Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye Mosque, Rustem Pasa Mosque, Sehzadebasi Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Ortakoy Mosque, Taksim Square, Kanyon Mall, and Topkapi Palace.

Moving Through Istanbul from geoff tompkinson on Vimeo.

The second video shows mainly the backstreets of Istanbul. Fishers, cats, trams, ships also nargile can be seen together with the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Galata Bridge, Spice Bazaar, and the Grand Bazaar.

Istanbul from Cornelius Bierer on Vimeo.