Next to money, a good workshop can help a startup towards success.

To measure is to know. Comparing what you have measured gives you good insights. Most of the investors and mentors in Turkiye work on gut feeling. A Mediterranean habit I guess. Not saying it is bad or good, although feelings are not always that reliable.

Here are some facts by European Startup Monitor — Country Report Germany 2015

  • German founders are 87% male and prefer to start their companies in teams (average team size: 2.4)
  • In Germany, the average age of founders is 34.9 years, whereas startups are 2.8 years old on average.
  • 45% of the entrepreneurs have previously started at least one company and approx 33% had experienced failure.
  • The examined startups create an average of 17.6 jobs (founders included)
  • Almost half of the startups had an annual turnover of 250,000 EUR or more
  • Considering internationality: 10% of the founders and 22% of the employees in Germany, startups are non-nationals. Around 75% of the startups have customers outside Germany.

It is hard to get that information for Turkish start-ups, apart from some news websites and startups.watch, there is not much reliable and accurate information to be found. When I present, I always talk about an average age of 26 years old in Turkiye, just left university and most of the time 2 friends.

Same thing goes for accelerators. In Europe. In 2015 a total of €37,533,632 was invested into 2,574 start-ups by 113 accelerators. Some claim we have 29 accelerators in Turkiye but all starts with the definition of course. Based on the criteria in Europe we have 1 Accelerator, Startup Bootcamp. We also have incubators and programs of the like but not within the scope of an accelerator as defined worldwide. Universities in Turkiye are also working on accelerators now, but I don’t see where the investors are, or the expertise to run a program with a knowledgeable team.

What young startups mainly lack is business knowledge and that is why we started a lot of activities with Stage-Co Masters. We organise paid workshops by professionals in order to give usable tools for startups to get better, and ready for the real world. In that sense accelerators are a great way for startups to boost their success rate. It helps on the side of pre-seed and getting connected to the real business. Not with lists of hundred’s of names for mentors, nobody believes this or should believe it but with a handful of professionals to set them on the right path. We make the workshops paid for 2 reasons: we offer real value and we want motivated participants.

Stage-Co Masters is now focusing on 3-hour workshops but we will soon provide full day trainings and, inşallah, we will be able to provide an accelerator program. If you are interested as an investor for the acceleration program you can email me patrick@stage-co.com. We are more than ever convinced that a young startup scene is a blessing but we also need to provide solutions for the challenges we all know but nobody is really taken care of. We see today too many startups that get funding, not easy in Turkiye, but too young and not experienced to know what to do with it. Or, just as bad, well-invested startups that spend a lot of money in so-called expansion but without a solid business model. In both cases, the success rate can be guessed.

I have been giving workshops on Lean Startup for those who started already or consider to start. The enthusiasm is no problem, the lack of basic knowledge present. There is nothing wrong with that, I bootstrapped too many times and hit the wall too many times, but I wished someone told me the basics when I started. That wall would have been a bit further away and the bruises smaller.

Diana Ross also had a hit with this song, “Why do fools fall in love”, but it was Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers who composed it. Although there have been court cases going on for years to whom it really belongs in terms of authorship. The title reminded me how a lot of investors do their investment, with emotions. Secondly, the band was called the Teenagers and I guess that reminded me of the Turkish start-ups. There is nothing wrong with teenagers by the way, as they grow into adults! Enjoy here :-D

Kolay gelsin arkadaşlar (may the work be light in Turkish). 
Patrick Bosteels 
patrick@stage-co.com

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