İTÜNOVA TTO Entrepreneurship and Incorporation Division provides support services on converting an innovative idea or a competitive invention into a product with commercial value. Performing activities to reinforce the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Turkey and provide projects with added value, İTÜNOVA TTO and ITU ARI Teknokent stand by projects that aim to create higher added value at all levels through pioneering practices, including “ITU Seed Early-Stage Incubation Center”, “BIG BANG Entrepreneurship Competition”, “ITU GATE International Acceleration Program”.
Focusing on founding and supporting academic companies in addition to providing young entrepreneurs with pre-incubation and incubation services, İTÜNOVA TTO has been doing research on Academic Incubation Center in partnership with ITU ARI Teknokent.
Celebrating its 5th year in 2016, ITU Seed has been defined as a 360-degree support platform. As a center that provides physical facilities to entrepreneurs and is open for any industry, ITU Seed has the capacity to swiftly move entrepreneurs to commercialization thanks to the acceleration program. Moreover, ITU Seed has been chosen a “First-Stage Implementer for the 1512-Technology-Based Venture Capital Support Program” as part of TÜBİTAK’s 1601 program. Entrepreneurs who want to benefit from TÜBİTAK’s 1512 Techno-Venture Program can apply to ITU Seed throughout the year. Their applications will be evaluated as per program schedule.
Technology-intensive companies and SMEs are given the opportunity to access international funders and customers in USA through ITU Gate, the international entrepreneurship acceleration program, after intensive training and mentoring. Through foreign offices of ITU ARI Teknokent in San Francisco and Chicago, innovative companies that develop technology can expand abroad and form partnership with new companies, and technology-developing entrepreneur companies from Turkey can easily penetrate into the American market and receive international funds.
What We Do For You?
- We provide incentives and support for development and commercialization of technology-intensive projects.
- We give ITU academics and students knowledge about entrepreneurship (meaning, basics of a successful venture, etc), and promote culture of entrepreneurship at our university.
- We provide programs, platforms and physical infrastructure to entrepreneurs, enabling them to realize themselves, their ventures, ideas and their companies.
- We provide consultancy on the basics of a successful venture to allow entrepreneurs develop their tech-intensive projects in the best possible way.
- For commercialization of their projects, we provide entrepreneurs with opportunities to achieve funds and seed capital, establish start-up and/or spin-off companies.
- Through international acceleration programs and foreign offices, we help Turkish start-ups reach funds and customers.
- We establish partnerships among related divisions in our university.
It is of the essence that youth of today take entrepreneurship (tech-intensive entrepreneurship in particular) as a career opportunity. Youth equipped with culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and R&D will create billions of added value to our national economy, growing their companies into key actors to develop know-how that can contribute to our national competitiveness.
For these reasons, ITU Seed aims to make tech-intensive entrepreneurship a career choice, and commercialize it into an important factor that can contribute to national development. This will be considered as an essential success criteria by İTÜNOVA TTO in the future.
TTOs establish and promote entrepreneurship support platforms at universities, which is important because entrepreneur support centers like ITU Seed where academic knowledge is commercialized now facilitate the process. We also want to adapt a similar model into academic entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs with ideas or projects can be categorized into certain globally-accepted titles. These categories are pre-incubation, incubation and incorporation, depending on the maturity of the project or idea. Entrepreneurs receive the strongest support from ITU Seed, particularly during pre-incubation.
Within ITU Seed, we provide logistic opportunities such as office, infrastructure, seminar and convention halls and laboratories in our 800m2 Pre-Incubation Center, to entrepreneurs that need assistance with realizing their creative, tech-intensive ideas. We provide R&D funds, training-consultancy services and networking opportunities through our Acceleration process. Thanks to the only Incubation Center Laboratory in Turkey, we provide a fertile environment for projects, from electronics to mechanics, chemistry and software developing. And our Incubation Center offers the most suitable environment for performing company activities.
We support projects accepted to ITU Seed, from gestation to incorporation. For other projects that reach incorporation stage, we provide relevant trainings and seminars, and investment, market and company analyses to help them grow. We also help companies have a head start through trainings at ITU ARI Teknokent.
Fundamental criterion for an idea or project is R&D. Since ITU is the first technical university in Turkey and has a certain mission and vision, we are seeking projects and ideas that contain technology and R&D value.
Innovation and commercialization are among other factors that set the quality of an idea or project. Qualifications of the entrepreneur or group of entrepreneurs are also effective on success at least as much as quality of the idea.
Within the İTÜNOVA TTO Entrepreneurship and Incorporation Division, all projects –from early ideas, designs, prototypes to ventures at incorporation stage– can be supported without any sectoral limitations. Innovative, practicable and marketable technology projects fulfill our quality criteria.
An acceleration model that works accurately and efficiently is the most essential factor such an increase. ITU Seed Acceleration is continuously optimized in comparison to other examples in the world.
Trainings that are based on Berkeley and Stanford methods and Lean Initiative and Design Thinking last for 8 weeks. Networking opportunities also determine the level of success. We find correct human resources and funds for the entrepreneurs and projects at the incorporation stage using the networks of ITU and ITU ARI Teknokent. ITU Seed Mentorship Services are yet another boost provided to the entrepreneurs for success increase.
Moreover, ITU ARI Teknokent has an R&D funding pool of ₺100,000 for entrepreneurs within ITU Seed. Thanks to this pool of funds and raw material equipment by ITU ARI Teknokent, entrepreneurs who want to improve their project and idea but do not have access to adequate funding can have a chance.