On April 11-12, 2019, the TÜSİAD Board of Directors and TÜSİAD members held several meetings in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The delegation, led by TÜSİAD President Simone Kaslowski, met with members of the TÜSİAD Silicon Valley Network. The Network, formed in October 2017, consists of 250 Turkish-American investors, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, and professionals across the tech sector.
The trip featured a Demo Day, which was the culmination of the first TÜSİAD Silicon Valley Network Mentorship Program. The TÜSİAD Silicon Valley Network’s Startup Mentorship Program was designed to bring together forty volunteer mentors and multiple San Francisco Bay area startups led by Turkish-American founders. TÜSİAD President Simone Kaslowski, TÜSİAD Silicon Valley Network Chair Ayşegül İldeniz, TÜSİAD Washington Representative Barış Ornarlı, and TÜSİAD Silicon Valley Network Startup Committee Chair Sayan Gomel gave opening remarks followed by presentations from the founders of Pony Express, Chooch, Advelvet, and BillionToOne. A networking reception followed the presentations.
The TÜSİAD delegation also met with officials from Silicon Valley Bank, Stanford University’s Canary Cancer Center, and Singularity University. The delegation participated in a roundtable discussion on the innovation and investment environment in the United States, Europe, and China. The delegation included Entrepreneurship & Youth Roundtable Leader İrem Oral Kayacık, Digital Transformation Roundtable Co-Leader Serkan Sevim, and Global Relations & EU Roundtable Leader Can Yücaoğlu, among other TÜSİAD members that are involved with the tech industry.
The TÜSİAD Silicon Valley Network is formed of business professionals who have various roles in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. The goals of the TÜSİAD Silicon Valley Network are to facilitate communication and knowledge exchange between members of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) and professionals in the Bay Area. The Network supports entrepreneurship, innovation and the internet ecosystem, STEM education, digital industrial transformation and Industry 4.0 in Turkey through content and communication, helps entrepreneurs navigate effectively in Silicon Valley, and promotes awareness and interest in the Silicon Valley ecosystem.