Our experience in this part of the world is varied.
In February 2020, before we knew about the impact Covid would have, we were one of the sponsors of the Department for International Trade’s UK Technology Conference 2020 in Istanbul. Our next Turkish business focussed event (in May) was, of course, a virtual one. Hosted by WeConnect International, the global network that connects women-owned businesses around the world, this was a webinar in their WECope series providing advice on how to sustain your business in challenging times, very much on the topic of the power of communication.
We’ve been lucky in 2020 to work with two businesses with Turkish founders: MentalUP, the award-winning brain game app for children between 4 and 13 years with five and a half million users worldwide. Founders Resit Dogan and Emre Özgündüz met in 2001 in their first year of study at the Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul. Since 15 March 2020 MentalUP has gained 500,000 new users, 40 million games have been played on its platform and its US web site traffic has increased by 500%.
The second Turkish business is WeWALK, a startup which has developed a smart cane for the visually impaired and was founded by graduates of the Young Guru Academy (YGA), a social-tech driven non-governmental organisation established in Turkey in 2000. With its global HQ based in London, WeWALK has already reached customers in 37 countries and is on a mission to change the lives of the visually impaired worldwide.
Both are impressive businesses with Turkish heritage that are reaching way beyond their country of origin and changing lives around the world. What they also have in common is that they are great people to work with, with passion, energy and a desire to get things done. Just the kind of clients we enjoy.