Monthly Archives: August 2015

Startup Here, Startup Now: Training and Mentorship at Startup Istanbul event

Startup Istanbul event offers to the selected startups the opportunity to receive mentorship and training from very experienced mentors, entrepreneurs and investors. The startups will receive 2 days of training. On 1-2nd of October, selected 100 startups will get together at Istanbul and meet best mentors from mainly US and Europe. Every startup will pitch to the mentors and get feedback. 2 full days, startups will get the chance to work with the best mentors. In the end of second day, a special dinner event will be organized for startups and mentors.

The Demo day: On the 3rd of October, 50 selected startups will pitch to the jury at the room full of investors. Only investors are invited to the demo day. In the end, top 15 will be selected for the finals to pitch on the Startup Istanbul stage on 5th of October.

Vitaly Golomb was one of the speakers and mentors at Startup Istanbul 2014 event. Watch his stage presentation at the event in the video below.

Vitaly Golomb is Ukrainian-born and Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, investor and award-winning designer. He is also a mentor at 500 Startups, Happy Farm, ZIP, Tech Peaks, Etohum, and Innovation Nest accelerators and a keynote speaker at many different conferences on startups and entrepreneurship. Vitaly Golomb is founder and CEO at and General Partner at CCC Fund, which is popular startup ecosystem builder.

If you want to meet with the mentors of the event and embrace the chance of becoming one of the top 15 startups to pitch in front of the investors, fill your registration form here.

The mistakes entrepreneurs shouldn’t make…again

Failure, as scary as it sounds, can be actually constructive experience that teaches entrepreneurs a lot about their startup and the business world in general. But constant failure without any lesson learned and any progress achieved, is a bad sign that something is really wrong. Entrepreneurs should be careful not to follow specific failure pattern by making the same mistakes over and over again.

Mistake: Concentrate on the profit

Of course, profit and revenues are important, but they don’t have to be your main goal. Entrepreneurship is a work of vision, mission and innovative approach that creates value and offers problem solutions. Entrepreneurs who concentrate on profit more than on the value of their products and services often fail more than once.

Mistake: Much talk, less action

Ideas can be great but without an execution plan they stay just ideas. Entrepreneurs who tend to talk a lot about their startup, but do less every single day are doomed to fail.

Mistake: Self-doubt

First time entrepreneurs often have some self-doubt, even if they try to look very confident. Constant self-doubting can harm your startup’s future because it leads to inconsistent decision making and unstable leadership.

Mistake: Accepting the first deal

Entrepreneurs often feel desperate when they constantly hear no from investors and lose their spirits faster than they should. In their lack of patience, many startup owners rush to sell their companies or give up to 60% of the company for starter investment. Entrepreneurs who believe in their businesses can’t accept less than their business is worth of.

Mistake: Overlook the need of growth

Growth strategies are essential for every startup and many entrepreneurs make the mistake to overlook the importance of it. Entrepreneurs should learn how to develop comprehensive growth plans and strategies and how to work towards achieving them.

Mistake: Trust the detractors

Many people are being unsupportive and even harmful to entrepreneurs. As business owners all entrepreneurs must be careful about who they trust and who they listen to. There are many false advisors and bad mentors and you should learn how to make better judgments about the people you surround yourself with.

Mistake: Fast surrender

Many entrepreneurs surrender before the actual battle has begun. Entrepreneurs need to believe more and work harder in order to become successful. Never surrender before you have given all you can for the success of your dream.

How to Give Productive Feedback

The ability to give and receive productive feedback is essential skill for entrepreneurs. The existing necessity for entrepreneurs to be able to take positive and negative feedback not just from the investors and customers, but from the team members and the employees as well makes it even more important subject for startup owners. This is one of the key elements of the flexible and open-minded startup culture, built by visionary leaders, who understand the importance of feedback for the future growth of the company.

Receiving feedback can be difficult and challenging. Often entrepreneurs hear not so great things about their products, customer service or their personal business approaches. But, as far as the leadership mindset is on the top of the business vision of the company, there is no need to worry. Visionary entrepreneurs actually appreciate negative feedback better than the positive feedback, because it gives them the chance to see what they are missing, what can be improved and actually to get to know what their customers need.

Receiving feedback from the team members is a little bit different and many entrepreneurs forget the importance of it. Being able to hear what your employees have to say is one of the first steps to eliminating micromanaging and starting to delegate and encourage the intrapreneurship at your startup.

Be specific

Always be specific when you give feedback in order to avoid confusion and mislead the person you are talking to. Make sure that you say the things you have to say clearly and emphasize on the particular part of the work that needs more attention. People are more likely to positively respond to feedback if they have it specifically pointed out so they can analyze the problematic part better.

Suggest, don’t demand

Make sure that your feedback is well-understood from the person receiving it. Make your suggestion and argument yourself, but always let the person explain why they have made the specific decision. May be you, as an “outside project person”, have missed something important and your feedback actually is not really constructive. As a leader, you should be able to suggest your ideas for the better outcomes, but to be able to hear the other person as well and admit if you were wrong.

Timing is important

When you give feedback make sure that you keep it in specific timeline. Being late with giving feedback can basically send the wrong message that says: I was not happy with your work for long time and now I’ve decided to share it with you. No employee will be happy to hear a something like this. So, make sure that you share your opinion in regular basis and emphasize on the importance of immediate feedback.

Deliver the information carefully

Make sure that you give the feedback in the appropriate environment without to put all the attention on the work of the employee when there is no need for that. Receiving feedback can be stressful and if you decide to send yours via e-mail, it can be accepted as a criticism or less important and your otherwise constructive message can be overlooked.

Suggest further action

You can always give feedback to your employees and team members by encouraging them to keep their good work but with a slight suggestion how they can actually improve their performance. Offer your comment by sharing why you think it will help, but still appreciate the opinion of your employee.

Bonus: Include Giving feedback in your startup’s culture

Make it known that receiving and giving feedback is something important for the work process and is essential for the startup growth. Your team members must know that receiving feedback is actually something really good. This will make them understand that nobody has something personal against them if they decide to share personal opinion about their work.

Andrew Tsao Will Be at Startup Istanbul on 03-05 October

Andy_tsaoAndy Tsao, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Bank, will be one of the speakers at Startup Istanbul 2015 event. Andrew Tsao leads SVB’s Global Gateway, which assists innovation companies in the emerging markets with their US and international market expansion, and VB Global Private Equity Services, working with SVB’s international private equity and venture capital clients, particularly those in the emerging markets.

In his stage talk at Startup Istanbul 2014 event, Andy Tsao encouraged the entrepreneurs to think big in the Silicon Valley and to aim with their startup ventures not only to build successful companies, but also to create businesses that will change the world.


Five Habits That Will Make You Smarter

Many entrepreneurs admit that entrepreneurship, more or less, is a creative process, in which original business ideas, that inspire action and innovation, are being turned into reality. Every startup owner takes important business decisions in a short period of time, solves complicated and unexpected problems and always needs to be in the best shape when negotiating. All of this requires good concentration and strong brain power. This is why it is important to train your brain regularly, which will help you to have clearer mind, to take decisions faster and to boost your creativity.

In order to overcome the troubles of working under constant stress, which can lead to burnout, all busy entrepreneurs can do these very simple five things – and try to turn them into daily habits – that will help them to increase their knowledge and improve their logical thinking process.

Break the routine

Spend 5-10 minutes each day to do something that you don’t normally do. Read a book, which is not related to your work or field of regular interest. Listen to a podcast on an unknown for you subject. Find an interesting YouTube Channel, which introduces you to an enthralling topic. Break the routine and try to think out of the box in order to stay inspired and to continue your day with sharper mind.

Learn a new language

Learning a new language is not just interesting and inspiring activity, it is also very good method to boost your brain power. If you are not already learning a foreign language, here you can find very helpful list of online language course platforms, which are very easy to use and extremely useful.


Keep a journal and write down new ideas, thoughts, quotes, basically anything that you think deserves attention. Often go over the written notes and you will probably find inspiration and interesting ideas and topics from your journal. Create a milestone for yourself: for example, write down every day at least five new ideas that have crossed your mind and soon you will have a rich list of things and ideas that can actually be very beneficial to your startup.

Start an online course

There is good amount of online courses, which every entrepreneur can sign up for and participate in their own pace. For just half an hour per day you will be able to gain quality information and knowledge from top universities from around the world. Check this useful list of online course sources and choose the courses that suit your interests the most.

Network with the right people

Try to establish close relationships with people who are interesting and who know how to inspire others. Nothing is better than an engaging conversation with a person, who has valuable knowledge, interesting experiences and is also willing to share them. 

Discover Istanbul: Famous Restaurants You Should Visit

There are many restaurants in Istanbul offering a sumptuous variety of cuisine from traditional Turkish to modern Japanese. Each restaurant below is great destination not only because of their delicious food, but also because of the authentic experience they offer.


Nusr-et is the best steakhouses in Istanbul. This restaurant can be described as meat lovers’ paradise thanks to its wide selection of delicious meat such as lamb T-bone, T-bone steak, lamb chops and other varieties of the red meat. The meats have specific names at Nusr-et like ‘lokum’ (Turkish delight) and ‘ceviz’ (walnut).


Sunset is located on the hills of Ulus and has one of the greatest views over Istanbul. The food at Sunset is very delicious mixture of international cuisine and Turkish dishes. It also has Sushi Bar where the food is cooked by Japanese chefs, trained in their homeland. If you are not a sushi person, you can order other appetizers including foie gras on mandarin brioche, octopus carpaccio or salmon tartar.


Mikla is a sleek and stylish restaurant located on the roof top floor of the the Marmara Pera hotel. Mika has a funky retro style with chrome 70’s and 50’s furniture and a stunning wooden rail-sleepers bar. With its outstanding food, breathtaking view towards Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace, proper service and inspiring music, Mikla is one of the best restaurants in Istanbul.


If you are around Taksim Square and looking for a quick bite, you definitely should visit Bambi. It’s a humble establishment but famous with its freshly sliced döner kebab and freshly squeezed orange juice. It’s open 24/7 and prices are very acceptable.


If you are vegetarian you can still taste amazing dishes during your visit and Zencefil is one of the best 100% vegetarian restaurants in Istanbul. Zencefil is a lovely restaurant with colorful atmosphere. Its menu changes daily and for your non-vegetarian friends there is only one meat dish on it.

From Failure to Co-founding a Million Dollar Company

Varun Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur, film maker, designer and author. In his highly inspirational INKtalk, he reveals how, after breaking the stereotype that engineering is the only way to success, the only thing that mattered was to stop overthinking everything and to actually start doing it. Varun Agarwal’s story is very inspirational, especially for first time entrepreneurs, who are bothered by the (sometimes discouraging) question: What do you know about business? Nothing.

This young entrepreneur shares his insecurities along his way to success and how he learned to deal with his critics. He proves once again that failure is an inevitable part of every success and that it only matters if you let it matter. What do you think about Varun Agarwal’s story? Do you find it inspirational?

Rethinking Commitment in Entrepreneurship

John Jantsch is an entrepreneur, a writer, speaker and marketer, who specializes in assisting small businesses and startups on their way to success. He is the author behind Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine and The Commitment Engine. In his inspirational TEDxKC Talk, he helps us to rethink commitment and gives the answer to one very interesting question: Why some not that successful entrepreneurs feel completely fulfilled and others, who have achieved success, feel like complete failures?

Discover Istanbul: Bars and Clubs You Should Visit

After a very tight programmed productive day and networking with hundreds of new people at Startup Istanbul event, it’s time to relieve your tiredness by diving to Istanbul’s vibrant night life.


Anjelique is a three-storey mansion that offers something exciting for everybody. It offers good food, rich menu and fascinating view. The night club is located on the top floor. There you will find good music, exotic cocktails and very dynamic atmosphere.


Blackk is special destination for Istanbul visitors, because it offers something for every taste: stylish lounge, club and Green Tavern. You will find 18th century Rococo style with nice touch of modernism in the restaurant, huge variety of cocktails in the club and unique view over the Bosphorus.


Reina is located by the Bosphorus and has been one of the best clubs in Istanbul since it opened its doors back in 2003. Reina can be described as a night life complex with its several bars, restaurants and dance floors. You will find different tastes from all over the world in Reina’s five restaurants. Reina is having entertainment concepts so often and hosting worldwide stars like Bon Jovi, Kylie Minogue and U2.

Al Jamal

If you are looking for something from Asia, Al Jamal can give you a night to remember with its Middle Eastern style food, harem-like concept, mixture of oriental and western music and great Bosphorus view. Don’t forget to wait until the magnificent belly dancing show starts.


Babylon has been the one of the most multi-purpose performance centers in Istanbul for more than 10 years. It features very large variety of music including jazz, reggae, electronic, pop, rock, etc. There is no food service in Babylon but they offer very rich cocktail menu.

Living Indigo

Living Indigo has 400m² clubbing space with capacity of 600 people. Indigo focuses on simplicity, but it has state of the art technologies, which allows spectacular light shows, dynamic visual experiences and very high quality of sound.


SuAda plays in a league of its own. SuAda is not located by the Bosphorus, but it’s situated on a private island. Located 165 meters away from the Kuruçeşme shore, SuAda is a three-storey mansion with night club, six restaurants and a pool.


360 is located in the penthouse of a 19th century apartment building and gets its name from 360 degrees amazing landscape views of the Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea. The club only comes alive on the weekends.

Three Books That Will Change The Way You Think About Money

Having a strong financial culture and understanding on how money works will help all people not only to build better business ventures, but also to secure the prosperity in their lives. These three books will change the way you think about money and will help you on your way to building your personal wealth.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Amazon review: “Rich Dad Poor Dad, the #1 Personal Finance book of all time, tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads—his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad—and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.”

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Amazon review: “Build up your money muscles with America’s favourite finance coach. Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s with The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition.”

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Amazon review: “The ancient Babylonians were the first people to discover the universal laws of prosperity. In his classic bestseller, “The Richest Man in Babylon,” George S. Clason reveals their secrets for creating, growing, and preserving wealth.”