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IFC Event Supports Financial Technology (FinTech) Startups in Turkey


In Istanbul
Basak Pamir
Phone: +90 212 385 3075
E-mail: BUlgen@ifc.org

Istanbul, Turkey, June 22, 2016 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, hosted today a roundtable for senior finance industry executives, as part of an effort to expand financing for startups and boost innovation in Turkey.

The gathering brought together representatives from IFC, the Istanbul Borsa, Turkey’s leading banks, and Girisim Fabrikasi, an accelerator program at Ozyegin University. Participants discussed the impact of fintech on traditional banking models and also explored ways they could channel more financing to fintech startups, which often struggle to get the loans that are so vital to their growth. The roundtable was followed by the Innovation Marketplace, where 12 promising financial technology startups pitched their ideas to potential corporate partners.

“Start-ups not only develop the national economy but they also play a vital role for corporates which are seeking continuous innovation,” says Ihsan Elgin, the founding director of Ozyegin University Girisim Fabrikasi and co-founder of FinTech Istanbul. “We are hoping that the Innovation Marketplace becomes the first step of collaboration between the startups and corporates that attended the event."

The Innovation Marketplace focused on technology that would make banking more accessible to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the backbone of Turkey’s economy.

“With rising wages, low-value added manufacturing in Turkey is losing competitiveness, leaving technology upgrading and innovation as critical avenues for growth.” said Aisha Williams, IFC Country Manager for Turkey. “Events like this support Turkey’s natural entrepreneurial spirt and promote private sector development by providing the resources, know-how, and training to encourage new business development opportunities for Turkish companies.”

The roundtable and marketplace are part of an effort by IFC to promote innovation, encourage the development of SMEs and spur job creation. IFC has focused especially on financial technology. A potentially revolutionary field, which includes services like mobile banking, financial technology helps extend services to SMEs, which may not have access to conventional banking systems and loans. Globally, access to finance remains number one challenge for SMEs and IFC has invested over $160 million in equity and debt in early and growth stage financial technology companies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America since 2010.

This was IFC’s second annual Innovation Marketplace in Turkey, an effort to match entreprenuers with established coporates. Last year’s  IFC Innovation Marketplace focused on healthcare, smart energy, and industrial data management, resulting in two new partnerships between the start-ups and corporates that attended the event.

About Ozyegin University Girisim Fabrikasi
Girisim Fabrikasi was founded in 2011 as part of Ozyegin University. A start-up accelerator program, it supports entrepreneurs with innovative, technology-based business ideas. The first startup accelerator in Turkey, Girisim Fabrikasi has received more than 3000 applications, supported 200-plus startups and incubated 61 startups, creating an economic impact of 9 million Turkish lira since 2011. For more information, visit www.girisimfabrikasi.com  



About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org