Techstars Startup Weekend FoodTech Edition

    Friday, February 21 - 23, 2020

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend FoodTech Edition

Friday, February 21 - 23, 2020

Friday, February 21 - 23, 2020
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Facebook İstasyon
Maslak Mh. Ahi Evran Street No:6/200
Istanbul, Turkey 34485

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FoodTech Ideas Come to Life!

You have a FoodTech idea that you’d like to test out or a solution to the problems within the food systems, but don’t know how to start or where to start? Here are your first steps to your startup!

Techstars Startup Weekend FoodTech is a full weekend-long experience filled with training, mentorships sessions, and lots of ideation!


Food Production
Agriculture, AgriTech, WaterTech, Urban Farming, Vertical Farming

Food Processing and Distribution
Food Processing, Food Preservation, Food Packaging, Supply Chain, Logistics

Food and Beverage E-Commerce Platforms, B2B&B2C Food Platforms, Food Delivery

Consumer Packaged Goods(CPG)
Food and Beverage Products, Healthy Snacks, Healthy Energy Drinks, Performance Food and Drinks, Sports Nutrition, Supplements

Food Concepts
Restaurants, Events, Service Concepts

Food Waste, Renewal, Sustainability
Agriculture Waste, Food Production Waste, Food Waste, Sustainable Solutions

Social Impact
Education, Community Building, Impacting Disadvantaged Communities

About Techstars Startup Weekend: 
Techstars Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Techstars Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on an idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Techstars Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

See what it's all about

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Friday February 21st

6:00 pm
Arrive at the Venue and Get Checked In

6:30 pm
Opening Presentation
Presentation about Startup Weekend FoodTech Edition and the Selected Food System Challenges

7:00 pm
Keynote Speaker: Can Algul, Pubinno
Can Algül, the co-Founder and CEO of the Pubinno will be delivering a keynote talk about startup journey of Pubinno and the foodtech ecosystem of Turkey.

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

8:30 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday February 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:30 am
FoodTech Business Model Canvas Training
Business Model Canvas training focusing on FoodTech and food sector companies by Semi Hakim, Kök Projekt.

12:00 pm

2:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

4:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

Sunday February 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

1:00 pm

2:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

3:00 pm
Final Presentations

4:30 pm
Judging & Feedback

5:00 pm

5:00 pm
Go Home!


Can Algül
Co-Founder&CEO, Pubinno

Can is co-founder and CEO at Pubinno, has realized 2 start-ups and 3 hardware projects for beer and Horeca.

Can has been recognized as a leader in the digital adventure of perfect beer. Can dropped out of college to focus on his first start up project called Digi Pubs. 
Now, he is leading the team of Pubinno. In Pubinno, they all do is to design The Future of Draft Beer. To learn more 

Event Judges

Hilal Nur Gerçek
Entrepreneurship Program Director - Habitat Association

Hilal works as entrepreneurshi direcotor for Habitat Association. Habitat is a non-governmental organization that works in the field of sustainable development since 1997. Hilal previously worked for Vodafone Turkey Foundation, BinYaprak and AFS, ITU Science park amd METU Science park for various kinds of projects in terms of empowerment of women, children and disabled people, technology based entrepreneurship and incubation centers. She is also very interested in social entrepreneurship and volunteered for IEEE, SOGLA, TurkishWIN and Social Investment Platform. For the last two years she is the Vice Chairman of JCI Kadikoy.
She studied physics at Middle East Technical University. During her university years she find out that her real passion is to create a sustainable social impact for society and take initiative for that.

Ozan Sönmez
Startup Ecosystem Advisor, YellowX

Supports and Invests in Startups, Provides Services to Investors and Accelerators through various engagements and initiatives in Silicon Valley, Turkey, Middle East, South East Asia and Europe.

Startup Mentor, Judge, Program Developer, Instructor
Sharks Tank SF, Growth Circuit, Grow My Business Beirut, Angel Labs SF, Global Startup Battle, MIT EF Pan Arab Startup Competition, GCC Startup Mena, Intel Business Challenge MENA, Global Innovation Through Science and Technology (GIST) CRDF Global, MIT Enterprise Forum Turkey, LeanStartup Machine

Speaker, Master of Ceremonies, Presenter.
PreMoney Mena, Galata Business Angels Investor Meetup, STEP Conference Dubai, 6th Annual Saudi Technology Incubation Conference, Startup Istanbul, Startup Turkey. NBIA Annual Conference Boston.

Unıversity Startup Judge & Mentor of
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Startup Factory, Global Social Venture Competition

Learns, Practices and Teaches at
University of Europe MBA, National Business Incubation Association Member and 1st Certified Business Incubation Manager in Turkey, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Trainer, Junior Achievement and Young Enterprise JA-YE Head Trainer, SME and Entrepreneurship MBA Course Instructor, British Council Social Enterprise Trainer.

US State Department International Visitor Leaders Program on Social Change 2013 Participant.

Ask me About:
Angel Investing, Venture Capital, Social Impact Investments, Universities, Value Added Business Networking, Entrepreneurs&SME’s, Business Model Generation, Sustainable Business Planning, Financial Planning & Investor Relations, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), Responsible Investment (PRI)

Had a clue about
CSR, Environmental Social Sciences, Environmental Sustainability, Biogas&Composting, Climate Change.

Shirley Kaston
Co-Founder&CFO, Kök Projekt

What does auditing business has to do with culinary, how can an airline security experience help in the kitchen and where do information systems can come in for a different culinary approach? Let me introduce myself, who did all of the above just to find my passion in food industry.

This is Shirley Kaston. Thanks to my curiosity I have a diverse background. My professional journey started when I received my degree in Economics. I was pretty good with numbers and had an eye for detail. Auditing was my thing. But I was born into an age that technology was the key, so I felt the urge dig deeper. I had to learn and become proficient in that field. That unsatisfied eagerness to learn followed by my Masters Degree in Information Systems. But all these educational efforts had to be financed. This is where my career in airline security came in. I was in my mid twenties and sleepless nights at the airport didn’t seem so bad to support my education and pay the bills. After three long years, I ran out of gas. My energy levels started to decline. But why? Was it malnutrition? What should I eat? How should I eat? Where were these things coming from anyway? As soon as these questions popped up in my head, guess what happened? I was at Culinary Arts Academy of Istanbul for my culinary training in 2012. All along the way I knew and dreamed that all these would come together for me to shape my future and hopefully the whole humankind.

We established Kök Projekt as a business development company. We are focused on food, agriculture and water industries. I like to understand entrepreneurs challenges and good at adding different perspectives to projects, searching for regulations and encouraging entrepreneurs.
My personal interest is circular design and how to integrate it into everyday life.

If you are interested in any of the topics, send me a message and we can talk. I am always open to learn and to guide if you need guidance.

Erman Turan

After graduating from Sabancı University in Mechatronics Engineering, he got accepted to Chalmers University in Sweden for Biomedical Engineering. Following to this masters program he started Entrepreneurship and Venture Creation masters degree in Gothenburg University.

He worked as an intern and short-term scholar in different countries as Japan, Netherlands, USA, Sweden and worked within interdiciplinary projects. Acted as founder, mentor, consultant and angel investor to startups. His first investment Voicegem (YC'12) acquired by Palantir. He has invested in Vispera and Zeplin after his first exit.

Currently, he is investing in global-minded entrepreneurs and founding a venture capital fund for early-stage technology startups.

Angel investments, Investment Cycle, Strategic Business Development, New Business Development, Business Modelling, Customer Development, Competitor/Risk Analysis, New Venture Creation, Startups, Entrepreneurial Problem Solving, Scuba Diving and Snowboarding.

Coaches and Mentors

Duygu Kutluoğlu Kılıç
Co-Founder&CEO, FineDine Menu

Duygu Kutluoğlu Kılıç was born in 1984, in Istanbul. After completing her secondary and high school education at Kadikoy Anatolian High School, she completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electronic Engineering Department at Istanbul Technical University. She worked as a research assistant in Istanbul Technical University and Koç University, and in Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland from 2008 to 2010.Duygu Kutluoğlu Kılıç, who started her career in the private sector in 2010, worked as a Software Engineer, Solutions Architect and Team Manager in Huawei Turkey, between the years 2010 and 2012. She worked in China for about 1 year for the projects she undertook within this company.In 2012, she began to work in Pozitron, a rapidly growing venture in Turkey, as a Project Manager, and as of 2014, she started working as a Project Management Director within the same company.Duygu Kutluoğlu Kılıç, who founded FineDine initiative with her partner Adil Burak Kılıç in 2015, still serves as a General Manager within this initiative.FineDine is a restaurant technology company with one base in America, serving more than 500 restaurants in 45 countries.

Olcay Silahlı
Co-Founder&CEO, Fazla Gıda

Co-Founder and the CEO of the Fazla Gıda, aka Whole Surplus. Whole Surplus, was founded  in 2015, by Olcay Silahlı and Arda Eren with the idea of ​​finding solutions through a technology-based initiative to the Climate Action. Food waste causes 8% of the carbon emission that leads to climate change. Our founders officially established Whole Surplus in 2016 with the aim of creating technology-based solutions to reduce food waste in the food supply chain by 50% until 2030. From the first day, they have started to create food waste awareness in the private sector, and aimed to set an example for the formation of new start ups.

Volkan Doğan
Creative Director, Pubinno

I was born in İstanbul, in 1992. After the graduation of Industrial Design in Eskişehir/Turkey, we founded a multidisciplinary design studio with my two colleagues which called Yuva Studio in Bursa/Turkey. Subsequently, we did more than 15 design projects in Yuva Studio, I moved to Milan for studying Master in Industrial Design with full scholarship in Scuola Politecnica di Design. After professional experiences in Studio Marco Piva in Milan, Italy, I transferred to Pubinno and I am working as a creative director in here for about 1 year. I describe myself as a multidisciplinary designer because I believe that good design occurs from the creative industries’ intersection points.  

Didem Mahsunlar
R&D Leader and Consultant for F&B Sector

Ms. Didem Mahsunlar is experienced R&D leader and consultant with 20 years of experience in multi-national food and beverage companies. She is graduated from METU Food Engineering Departent and holds working technical expertise on Food Technology , Innovation and R&D on grain/ F&V based snacks, juices, cereals, sauces. She has a a history of successful F&B product launches and multiple market expansions in Turkey , Balkans, UK , West Europe , Middle East and Russia. 

Aslı Gülbay
Program Manager

Program Manager at Viveka Accelerator

Yashar Kardar
Business Development Specialist

Experienced Business Developer with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in User Experience Design (UED), Business Development and directing technology and Social innovation. Strong business development professional with a Master's degree focused on value management in communities from Industrial and Product Design department of Middle East Technical University. 

Richard Madzar
Head of Food Operations

Head of Food Operations of Kök Projekt

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend FoodTech Edition team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.


Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Istanbul is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Richard
  • Shirley
  • Semi
  • Semi


Baris Okur

Emin Okutan

Event Staff

Lale Çırakoğlu
Food Designer at Kök Projekt

Food and Product Designer for Kök Projekt and the Food Incubation Manager for Maide Mutfak

Gizem Buse Değer
Head Chef at Maide Mutfak

Head Chef of Maide Mutfak's kitchen incubation program.

Özlem Tanca
Community Director, Kök Projekt

Community Director of Kök Projekt

Yekta Kuseyrioğlu
Content Manager, Kök Projekt

Content Manager at Kök Projekt

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