Eurasia’s biggest entrepreneurship, investment and networking event, Startup Istanbul, was the witness of a compelling global startup competition in its second year at Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar Convention & Exhibition Center. Startup Istanbul Challenge awards were also announced at the event on October 30th.
Aiming to increase the number of digital-minded companies and create an international networking environment for the technology and internet ecosystem, Startup Istanbul hosted distinctive startups and investors from all the world. USA, Iran, Germany, Pakistan, France, Azerbaijan, India, Morocco, Egypt, Dubai, Bulgaria, Poland, Serbia, England, Moldova, Costa Rica and Sweden were among the countries represented in the event.
Startup Istanbul Challengers pitched for lifelines in front of world’s giants Microsoft Ventures, 500 Startups and Qualcomm Startups, while others pitched in parallel sessions for IBM SmartCamp Istanbul Finals.
From the training of Silicon Valley mentors to Startup Istanbul finals between the dates September 27-29, 100 startups gathered in Microsoft Turkey’s headquarters to pitch a team of mentors and investors. Following the meeting and training session, they once again came together at Startup Istanbul, but this time with only 15 selected startups to 5-min-pitch at the event in front of a strong jury consisted of Rahul Sood, Microsoft Ventures General Manager, Jason Ball, Qualcomm Ventures Investment Director, Dave McClure, Founder of 500 Startups.
Iranian e-wallet startup, Zarinpal, received an honorary award, while Jordanian stock photo site, Silkroad, got the third prize for their project committed to changing the negative image of the Middle East. Lixpen, promoted as the world’s smallest 3D printing pen from the UK, received the second prize and Turkish startup Connected2Me, free to use web service that lets others chat anonymously with users, became the winner of the startup competition and qualified to participate in the three-month 500 Startups program in San Francisco in two weeks.
Other startups, ranging their focus from wearable technologies and video editing apps to location-based customer loyalty programs and mobile app development platforms, also had a chance to promote and introduce their products and services to the world.
Winners of IBM SmartCamp Istanbul 2014
IBM SmartCamp Istanbul, where next generation and innovative companies that present solutions for the fundamental problems the world faces, including energy, health, e-government competed, also took place for the first time on September 30th during Etohum’s Startup Istanbul event.
“Borda” from Turkey came in first place for health category while “My VLE” from Morocco retained the first rank for the general category. “Bilims” from Turkey was selected as the “People’s Choice” by votes through social media and Internet.
Most of the startups applied for IBM this year were born on Cloud and advanced on “Internet of Things” field. Almost 80% are using analytic, big data and mobile to create Smarter Planet solutions.