Bilkent CYBERPARK continued to thrive in 2017, with one prominent
project being internationally voted the Most Inspiring Solution of 2017.
So, what is it that they’re getting so right? Find out here.
How would you describe Bilkent CYBERPARK?
Bilkent CYBERPARK, Turkey’s first private Science and Technology Park, was established in 2002. Beyond providing office space for promising tech entrepreneurs that is conducive to achieving brilliance, the value-added services provided are the most powerful facet of CYBERPARK’s operations. As a result, CYBERPARK holds a significant position in Turkey’s technology-based entrepreneurship ecosystem.
What are CYBERPARK’s greatest strengths, and what do you mean by “value added services”? As Bilkent CYBERPARK, our fundamental purpose is to help small new enterprises deal with the many difficulties that come in the earlystage phase; and then to foster our more mature companies’ business development activities to scale meaningfully in both local and foreign markets. In efforts to fulfill this purpose, we consistently provide value-added services that have proven their success in a range of markets. When we talk about value-added services, we refer to a spectrum of supports to startups and entrepreneurs that include info days, seminars, trade delegations, pre-incubation and incubation services, clustering activities, accelerators, and more. In 2017, we organised more than 150 events to add value to our businesses – that works out to about 3 events per week! All these activities empower new entrepreneurs and support startup growth.
I need to emphasise that CYBERPARK was awarded first-place as a worldwide prize by IASP (International Association of Science Parks) for one of its projects that capacitates companies to go global.
How many companies are located in Bilkent CYBERPARK?
We host 250 high-tech companies, including 60 startups and 6 Research Centers.
In addition, every year we take in over 100 candidate entrepreneurs – most of whom are students – as part of our pre-incubation programme, providing them with entrepreneurship mentoring.
What kind of programmes do you provide for entrepreneurs and their companies?
We have several distinct programmes designed for different levels of entrepreneurs. I will describe the foremost of these programmes.
Our Pre-incubation Programme serves simply to convert students’ and academics’ business ideas into successful business plans. This is an inception phase support.
The CYBERPARK Accelerator Programme (CAP) is a collaborative project between Bilkent CYBERPARK and Plug&Play in Silicon Valley. CAP is a 16 week long, mentorship based, customised business development programme for ICT companies that specifically intend to enter the US market. In 2015 it was recognised by the International Association Science Parks in its ‘Most Innovative Solutions’ contest.
In addition to CAP, Bilkent CYBERPARK has recently launched a tailored local-focused accelerator programme named DOPING. The priorities of DOPING are to identify the commercialisation and growth obstacles faced by entrepreneurs, and to overcome or remove them.
For the purpose of internationalising our companies, we established the BİLTEL Cluster – one of Turkey’s prestigious business clusters that is lauded for its significant contribution to Turkey’s Information and Telecommunication sector. BİL-TEL activities are funded by the Turkish Ministry of Economics. To date, BİL-TEL ICT Cluster members have attended many international B2B networking events, organised by Bilkent CYBERPARK to commercialise members’ products internationally.
You mentioned that Bilkent CYBERPARK was awarded a firstplace prize by the International Association of Science Parks (IASP). Which project was it that was recognised by this award?
The project was our B2B Matching Methodology, which is a business development programme that facilitates the creation of international partnerships. Given the means to attend the Ethiopia Business Forum, the Silicon Valley Trade Delegation, the Malaysia-Kuala Lumpur Business Forum, and the London Business Forum; companies are given a strong chance to meet prospective customers and partners.
The programme was selected as the Most Inspiring Solution of 2017 after a vote by some 400 IASP members from 76 countries. We are incredibly proud of bringing this prize to Turkey. The award is a demonstration of the value created by Turkish technoparks in the international arena; and is a welcome response to all of our hard work.