Monthly Archives: December 2015

Startups are not like real estate. So why invest in them at all?

Another thing that’s a challenge is that sometimes a very simple bet on real estate has a much higher return than startups with a lower failure profile. In fact in many emerging markets investing in a real estate plays probably just an index better on the overall country’s growth and a simpler way to get access to that growth than startups. Continue reading

Deepinder Goyal will be in Startup Turkey on 25-27 February

Deepinder Goyal, founder and CEO of the international restaurant search and discovery service Zomato, will be in Startup Turkey this year. 

Indian entrepreneur Deepinder Goyal, doesn’t have a long history with startups. He graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, and start working for Bain & Company. After his nearly 4 years of experience, he founded Zomato with his co-founder Pankaj Chaddah. Past seven years Zomato grown quickly and became an international company. Zomato currently active in 23 countries including Turkey. And Deepinder Goyal continuing his CEO role.

Deepinder Goyal will be in Antalya for Startup Turkey in 25-27 February. If you want to be a part of this networking, relaxing, fun and challenge event, take your seat!

Murat Özyeğin will be in Startup Turkey 2016

Murat Özyeğin, Fiba Holding board member, is one the most experienced people in banking. He finished his MBA in Harvard University and started his career at Bear Stearns & Co. New York office.  After couple years of experience, he returned to Turkey and joined family company Fiba Holding. With the family company, he organized Business Development and Strategic Planning department in Finansbank and Fiba Banka.
Murat Özyeğin also really interested in entrepreneurial ecosystem, as a mentor and speaker in the important event.

Murat Özyeğin will be in Startup Turkey 2016. You can follow this link to join Startup Turkey.

Hasan Aslanoba will be in Startup Turkey 2016

Hasan Aslanoba is one the best on distributing and growing a company. But he didn’t founded his company. He started his career in his father’s company Erikli Water. Some people may think ‘he didn’t take risks’ but thats not true. In his career, he made a two big investment decisions and build Turkey’s biggest factory in the sector. After this successful decisions, Erikli Water became a strong brand. Continue reading

Find out how Africa’s startup scene is gathering momentum

Are you aware that six of the most rapidly growing economies in the world over the past ten years were located in sub-Saharan Africa? Internet usage especially on mobile is now growing faster in Africa than in any other continent. This has created a proliferation of startup programs throughout the continent. A number of successful startups have emerged from this new ecosystem and attracted considerable amounts in investment funding.

Kenya,South Africa,Nigeria and Egypt look to be leading the way in terms of fundraising and high number of startups.

Capetown,South Africa

Cape Town is buzzing with startup activity. It shot into the startup scene as early as 1999 with major exits such as Thawte, acquired for $575M by Verisign. Later on followed Fundamo, acquired by Visa in 2011 for $110M. There have even been nonprofits like Silicon Cape Initiative working towards increasing the number of quality startups in the Cape.


Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa today with 178 million people.This combined with the high percentage of mobile internet penetration presents a big opportunity. Local entrepreneurs like Jason Njoku have achieved major success with ventures like iRokoTV, video-on-demand platform which has taken the Nollywood movie industry by storm.


Half of the Egyptian population is under the age of 30.This group of young people leveraged Twitter and Facebook during the revolution and are now starting numerous internet businesses.Bey2ollak , an app to share real-time information about Cairo and Alexandria traffic is one such success story.


After the laying of fiber optic cables back in 2009, Nairobi burst into the tech scene with numerous startups that are solving real life challenges.A notable success is  Ushahidi,  born during the Kenya post-election violence in 2008. It’s a free and open source software that allows for mapping and data visualization.Another homegrown innovation is Mpesa,  though not a startup itself it has revolutionised mobile payments with more than 19 million Kenyans having accounts.

With the growing startup culture across all Africa it can be seen that innovation can come out of any place in the world.The potential is there but still much has to be done to enable the digital revolution to impact more lives.

In the Ted Talk below,watch Juliana Rotich, Executive Director at Ushahidi ,explain how solutions like BRCK, a modem tailored for the local African market could be impactful for the world.

Written by Paul Njoroge –  @PaulNjoroge__

5 Steps from a ‘Wantpreneur’ to an ‘Entrepreneur’

Startup Istanbul 2015 came and went by but there are memorable quotes, lessons and suggestions that surpass time and are still relevant to budding entrepreneurs everyday. A great example is Prof. Erhan Erkut in his opening address. He was quick to point out and list rare suggestions that wannabe startup founders can follow in their entrepreneurial journey. Here’s summary piece with that valuable advice.

Read entrepreneurship books

He gave recommendations of book that every entrepreneur should make a must read.Which ones you may ask, here goes the incredible list;

  • Delivering Happiness by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.
  • The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman
  • The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship:24 Steps to Success by Bill Aulet
  • The Startup Owner’s Manual:The Step by Step Guide to Building a Great Company by Bob Dorf & Steve Blank

Follow several startups closely

Choose five startups and follow their progress closely over time. This way you will get a hint of the trajectory path that startups follow. If you don’t have any five startups in mind here is a great place to start with.<> 

Offer free help to a startup

For startups this is free labour but for you it’s the best chance to learn a lot on someone else’s progress, experience and mistakes.

Work for a company for five years

It doesn’t hurt to gain some experience on the rough business world terrain before starting on your own.

Startup your own company

Now you can change titles from a ‘wantpreneur’ to an ‘entrepreneur’. And don’t forget to wear that badge with honour.

Here’s a recap of that segment of his speech if you missed it.

Silicon Valley’s Secret Revealed

Dave McClure founder of the famed Silicon Valley venture fund 500 Startups has played a key role in investing in startups around the world. 500 Startups has been instrumental in amplifying the startups ecosystem especially in emerging markets making small bets on startups that the world would probably have never heard of.

But according to Dave, entrepreneurs and investors in these emerging markets have got it wrong in their quest to be like Silicon Valley. While on stage at Startup Istanbul 2015 he broke down reasons why we are getting it all wrong.

What’s Silicon Valley’s secret is a question almost everybody is asking nowdays. Speaking on what it really is he said “The dirty little secret is that Silicon Valley isn’t really a place, it’s a state of mind. It’s a  belief in the face of insanity. It’s a belief that you will be successful in the reality of the story that 80% of sort of startups will fail.Probably more than 80% of startups”

Dave gave a classic example on what belief in taking risk is like in the Valley ”We are surrounded by crazy people who know the odds and still jump off the cliff. You look to the guy on the left that girl on the right, You know you guys gonna fail ! I’m gonna succeed!  You jump up off the cliff.”

He underlines that the key factor in these acts of insanity is that they are not just individual, they are collective. And so doing individual acts of insanity might not be seen but doing collective acts of insanity is seen in fact it’s smart.

“We have to convince other people to jump with us we have to jump off that cliff together hopefully with different types of planes and hopefully one of those planes start to fly” Dave says.

However entrepreneurs in Turkey,Pakistan,Kenya and in any other emerging market are mostly heard complaining about the lack of capital for their startups. Dave had this cracking answer to them “The biggest problem is not usually a lack of ability a lack of capital or a lack of opportunity the biggest challenge is a lack of confidence in your head. You think you’re not as good as Silicon Valley entrepreneurs”

Key takeaways from his speech are that Silicon Valley is comprised of people who have come to the Valley from other places. They are no better or worse than us. They are us. The only difference is that they have the insanity and the confidence that they might actually win and we need to capture that mindset as well.

Meanwhile he also states that it’s easy to build a business anywhere than it was to build a business in Silicon Valley twenty years ago. Twenty years ago people also weren’t excited to build businesses at Silicon Valley.

To sum it up “It’s cheaper it’s easier there’s more customers there’s more opportunity get up your ass and get started.

You can watch the whole talk here

Writer: Paul Njoroge