Thanks to the Entrepreneurship Center İzmir, which was established by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality in cooperation with TÜSİAD to develop the city's entrepreneurial ecosystem, new ideas of young entrepreneurs are brought together with industry professionals. The first graduates of the center, who determined the theme of the first year as "agricultural entrepreneurship", said that their projects did not remain on paper, thanks to the Entrepreneurship Center İzmir, but went to the production stage.
The “Entrepreneurship Center İzmir”, which was implemented by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality in cooperation with TÜSİAD, paves the way for young people. In line with the vision of Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer's "Another Agriculture is Possible", the center determined the theme of the first year as "agricultural entrepreneurship", and innovative solutions were developed regarding the problems experienced in the areas of food supply, agricultural production, marketing and rural development in the city. Young entrepreneurs graduated from agriculture program are satisfied with the service.
“It was a guide on the way from industrial engineering to farming”
Ayşegül Eda Özen, who said that the Entrepreneurship Center İzmir changed its path and goals on the way from industrial engineering to farming, said that thanks to the education she received there, she took strong steps in the sector. Özen talked about his journey to become a farmer as follows: “I decided to return to Aydın from İzmir with my family due to the pandemic and I have been farming for two years. My family is an agricultural engineer, but I was very unfamiliar with the subject. When I started to be interested in agriculture, I thought that I should take a more professional step and applied to the Entrepreneurship Center Izmir. In fact, there are many centers, but the service provided by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality united us in a single issue, agriculture.”
“We met with professionals”
Ayşegül Eda Özen, who stated that she had the opportunity to work with the best in the sector at the Entrepreneurship Center İzmir, said, “If I had started this business by reading, I could have learned the intricacies of the business, but I would not have had such a networking opportunity. Our consultants plan our path so well that our risk of making mistakes is zero. Entrepreneurship Center İzmir brought us together with professionals. Our business plan progressed more systematically with their guidance. In this way, I will make my own production in the near future.”
Saying that the name of her project is “GETA”, Ayşegül Eda Özen concluded her words as follows: “Our project is Agriculture of the Future… In order to ensure the sustainability of domestic and industrial food waste, we turn it into vegan and organic fertilizers with the help of heat treatment. We increase the enrichment of the soil in terms of organic matter and its water holding capacity. The organic matter rate of the soil in Turkey is below one percent. If we continue in this way, perhaps we will not be able to produce our own food in the future. Everyone needs to take responsibility for this.”
“We had the opportunity to meet with a serious network”
Sercan Yalçınkaya, who is a survey engineer and has a master's degree at Katip Çelebi University, said that he was able to develop his project called “Demtech” thanks to the Entrepreneurship Center İzmir and said, “We have a group of four people. While we were only dealing with the technical aspect of the job, we saw the reflections of this both financially and sectorally with the training we received here. A serious network was formed and the training process was really productive. We learned what we need to do financially, how the marketing is.”
Pointing out that they are carrying out a study to detect and eliminate diseases and deficiencies in agricultural areas with the data obtained from unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite images, Sercan Yalçınkaya continued his words as follows: “Even though we graduated, our connection with this place did not break. We come to the Entrepreneurship Center Izmir and continue our work. The team here also always takes care of us.”
“We do not have the word graduate”
Underlining that the center is a square opened for young people who have ideas to change the city for the better, İzmir Entrepreneurship Center expert Selen Trak said, “We offer online and face-to-face trainings to our entrepreneurs to improve their skills. At the same time, we provide support from experts in the business world. Although our theme changes every year, we continue on our way with entrepreneurs, we do not have the word graduate. After agriculture, we are getting ready to announce the new entrepreneurship theme of our center.”
What is being done at the Entrepreneurship Center Izmir?
Entrepreneurship Center İzmir is an incubation center that carries out studies to meet regional and sectoral needs from an entrepreneurial point of view in thematic areas determined every year, taking into account the strategic priorities of İzmir. With the Entrepreneurship Center, online and face-to-face trainings to improve the skills of entrepreneurs, expert mentor support, meetings with business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem actors, promotion of successful business ideas of the program participants to the public, Fabrication with the necessary equipment for R&D The laboratory offers opportunities such as access to Izmir.