Sept'17 Amazon, Logo, e-society, Leadership and Jazz  

September isn’t merely the end of summer. With shorter and cooler days, it’s back to school and work. Yet, it’s not a chore. In many ways, September is like a blank slate – a new start to focus on all the things on our minds (and, hopefully, lists). We’re ready to take charge. And, boy, is there a lot to take charge of. Those headlines can make one think that there is no hope. All the more reason to dive into creation and innovation.  Let’s do this. 

A VC is born: In Turkey


That’s right. A new venture capital fund is launching in Turkey.


Logo Yazilim, a software company, Actus Portfoy, a global holding company, along with individual investors Cahit Guvensoy, Murat Erkut, Orhan Ayanlar, Alper Akcan, Cenk Coskunturk, have put together a 10 million TL fund.


The fund will focus on tech startups. 

South Korea comes to Europe – and its tech transfers #FTW

Tech and electronics giant Samsung has acquired the Athens based text-to-speech technology company, Innoetics. Since 2006, Innoetics has been working on text-to-speech voice recognition technologies from the Athena Research & Innovation Center. That’s a big deal. While everyone is crazy about startups, few pay attention to ideas being incubated at universities and research centers. One of the biggest challenges countries like Greece and Turkey have is technology transfer from institutions. 

Slovenian ad tech startup FTW

Exit dreams have come true for Zemanta, a Slovenian-founded ad tech startup.

Based in New York, Zemanta has been snatched up by Outbrain, a content discovery platform. 

Get your Prime on: Amazon in Turkey


The Seattle-based ecommerce titan is planning to open an office in Istanbul’s Besiktas neighborhood. A small team working for the company has already hit the ground running. They’ve been engaged with Turkish officials on rolling out services in Turkey. According to the Daily Sabah, the share of ecommerce in Turkish trade was 3.5 percent and the volume of e-commerce was TL 17.5 billion ($5 billion). Amazon has been operating its web and cloud services in Turkey since 2015. If they can work it out, Turks will be able to order and have items delivered all in Turkey. Why is that a big deal? Logistics. One of the reasons Amazon hasn’t branched out to the country is all about warehousing and moving products around the country. If they can work it out with Turkish authorities, it will be a huge win for all. 


Yandex to create market place



And while Amazon sets up in Istanbul, Yandex and Sberbank are plotting to launch a new ecommerce platform: YandexMarket. Sberbank is putting 30 billion rubles ($500 million), specifically to integrate a payments structure on the site.


It’s modeled on Alibaba, which offers goods and services, along with Alipay, a payments platform. While it is unlikely that YandexMarket will reach beyond Russia’s borders, it is significant in blocking other global players, such as Amazon, from making a play in Russia. And it might just work, especially if the duo is able to get Putin behind it. Cause what business doesn’t like an authoritarian on its side? 

E-society is coming 


Estonia loves all things digital. The country’s citizens can vote, pay taxes, get a license, and conduct other official business from the comfort of their homes – all online. They’re hoping that citizens in the European Union will do the same. Its pushing the EU to add data to its list of “freedoms.” Estonia would like to ensure that data can be shared across borders so that anyone within the EU can fill a prescription, regardless of where they are. It’s certainly a utopian dream. 


Uber: Can’t buy me love


Troubles at home, troubles abroad. Things aren’t going well for Uber. Last year the ride-sharing company pulled out of China – by “investing” in rival Didi. It’s doing the same in Russia. Uber is “merging” with Yandex (it’s not just a website!) According to Bloomberg, “Uber will invest $225 million and take a 36.6 percent stake in a new, yet-to-be named venture that will be valued at $3.73 billion.” While this is a blow to Uber, it is promising for local startups. Big doesn’t always win. 

After Hours


Who are you? Take the Myers Briggs test to find out what your personality type is – it makes a difference in the kind of leader you will become.


How to be a leader people want to follow


Watch these TED videos on how to be a leader


Team exercise: Cooking (it’s about leadership!)

... And Beyond

Having problems figuring out what you’re supposed to do? Listen to Getting Unstuck


You read all the books. You’ve aced all the classes. It means nothing if you don’t have emotional intelligence


To round out After Hours, we’ve got this Jazz set for you. But, it wouldn’t be right if we talked about leadership and didn’t include Aretha                                                      Franklin’s Respect.

Up coming events

Check it: Demoday on September 12 at Impact Hub - hosted by Sabanci University's SUCOOL, Girisim Vakfi, Istanbul Kalkinma Ajansi, TC Kalkinma Ajansi, and Siemens. Ali is going. You should do. 19:00. #ThereWillBeInnovation 

What got us here, won't get us there.” ― Marshall Goldsmith


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