Turkiye Is Bankasi (ISBANK) has officially launched its Istanbul Entrepreneurship Branch. The Istanbul Entrepreneurship Branch, which differs from the traditional bank branch with a different design and customized service model, will serve startups and entrepreneurs. The opening ceremony for the branch was held last Saturday, attended by Isbank General Manager Hakan Aran and stakeholders from the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Aran emphasized in his speech that they will maintain an inclusive and integrated approach to entrepreneurship, one of their areas of focus.
The bank will offer entrepreneurs whatever economic and technological support they can, Aran stated. “By supporting entrepreneurs, we support the growth of the country. The contribution venture capital to growth is approximately 10 times more than traditional capital. In addition to playing a role as a financier in the economic development of our country, we also plan to be involved in all segments of the ecosystem, from startup acceleration programs to funding, from female entrepreneurs to entrepreneurship in agriculture,” he said.
The bank filled a hole in this field by opening the Istanbul Entrepreneurship Branch, Aran said. “With this branch, we aim to ensure the maturation of the entrepreneurship ecosystem and to allow entrepreneurship culture in our country to flourish,” he added. “It is very important for our entrepreneurs to feel at home in their offices, to know that there is a bank that understands them, speaks the same language as them, supports and encourages them, that they can hold their meetings in this place and that all of their financing needs can be met by the branch. We are opening our doors to all entrepreneurs and telling them that the power of Isbank is on their side.”
A BRANCH ON AGRICULTURE WILL BE NEXT
Aran further said that they plan to open branches for agricultural producers similar to the entrepreneurship branch. “We will do this in regions where we work more with farmers. Just as our entrepreneurship branch has been designed per the spirit of entrepreneurship and the personnel was chosen accordingly, the agriculture branch will be designed specifically to meet the needs of farmers,” he said. The banking at this branch will not be done with a classical agricultural loan understanding, rather, it will be focused on production and efficiency, he added. The bank’s search for a location continues.
The journey began in 2015 in Silicon Valley
The bank’s journey in entrepreneurship began in May 2015 with their visit to Silicon Valley, where the entrepreneurial ecosystem was born, Aran said. The first step they took when they came to Turkey was to start the Workup Acceleration Program. The bank received and evaluated applications from 13,000 entrepreneur candidates. The program completed its eighth term in October of this year, officially bringing 81 startups through the program. Isbank invested USD 3.13m in five startups, while 30 of its graduate companies received USD 7.2m in investment. The Workup Acceleration Program was supported by the Innovation Centers the bank opened in Silicon Valley and China, as well partnerships with Maxis Venture Capital Portfolio Management, Turkey Entrepreneurship Foundation, and Arya Women’s Investment Platform, and cooperation with the KWorks program and Softtech Ventures.