Istanbul Development Agency seeks for a unicorn


Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA) has completed the call period for the Regional Venture Capital Program to make Istanbul a global hub for entrepreneurship. The agency operating under the coordination of the Ministry of Industry and Technology received application from funds headquartered abroad. 

Accordingly, ISTKA, which will support funds to invest in technology and innovation-based companies, has received request from 28 funds, eight of which from abroad. One of these foreign funds is headquartered in Luxembourg and other one is based in Estonia, while six of them are headquartered in Netherlands. 

ISTKA invited all venture capital companies in this respect. “We evaluate all proposals. We’ll provide diversification by supporting funds as much as possible,” said Erkam Tuzgen, General Secretary of ISTKA. 

ISTKA commits TRY 1.02m

ISTKA aims to reveal new success stories in the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem by the support of these funds. The agency created a TRY 250m budget in order for entrepreneurs to easily access financing. The Regional Venture Capital Program will give this budget to startups through funds to be chosen. 

The total commitment of those 28 funds amounts to TRY 5.3m, according to exchange rate on the application date. The commitment amount demanded from ISTKA totals TRY 1.02bn. A minimum of TRY 10m and a maximum of TRY 50m can be committed per fund with the Regional Venture Capital Program. The share of ISTKA won’t exceed 40% of the funds’ commitments.

Innovative ventures have the priority

The priority investment areas of funds to be established with the support of ISTKA’s Regional Venture Capital Program will be ventures with high added value. “Ventures having a potential to rapidly grow, export and to generate high employment will be supported,” said Tuzgen, stressing that they will invest in technology-based ventures with innovative and creative business models. 

The agency will also primarily support funds designed towards innovative ventures to transform manufacturing and services industries through development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality, big data, cyber security, blockchain, cloud technologies, energy storage, advanced material, robotics, micro/nano/opto electronics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, quantum, sensor and additive technologies. 

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