Chair, TBAA Crowdfunding Committee
Born in 1956, holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the Middle East Technical University and has M.Sc. degree from Bosphorus University in Computer Science and MBA from Oklahoma City University.
He started his career at Koc-Burroughs, İstanbul as System Analyst. He migrated to Canada at 1982 and worked for General Motors and Bell Canada International as systems programmer and management consultant. As part of Bell Canada team, he involved in privatization of Malaysian Telecom from 1986 to 1992. He later established his company in Malaysia to provide system management consultancy to major international companies such as IBM, Fujitsu, Andersen Consulting and Petronas. His last achievement in Malayisa was project management for design and implementation of data&voice network of Petronas Twin Towers at Kuala Lumpur.
He returned to Turkey at 1997 and joined Turkcell, leading mobile operator, as Technical Director responsible from Planning, Investment, Implementation and Operation of GSM network. He was directing a 2BillonUSD budget for expanding 700.000 GSM subscriber base to 5.5M subscribers within 2.5 years.
Mr. Ünsal joined SUPERONLINE in 1999 as the General Manager and led a young and dynamic team in creating and providing high quality consumer and corporate Internet services, and making Superonline the leading private ISP in the Turkish Market.
Superonline has been elected as “The Best ISP of Europe” in 2000. After liberalization of telecom sector in Turkey, as the Managing Director, Savaş Ünsal and the Team have transformed Superonline as “New Generation Telecommunication Operator” providing data, voice, and multimedia to consumer and corporate customers.
Superonline is acquired back by Turkcell in 2009. After serving at the Board, Mr. Ünsal has left the operations of the company in May 2010 and launched his management consultancy company; İCE İletişim Hizmetleri Ltd. He is also founder of HOT! internetTV and crowdFON crowdfunding platforms.
Chair, TBAA Innovation & Technoparks Committee
In his 25-year-experience, Mr. Kenan Colpan has taken efficient part for two sector-leading American brands to take an active role in Turkey’s market and accomplished many export-based projects. Mr. Çolpan has worked as a managing partner in his start-ups which later he successfully managed their exits.
Graduated from Economics Department at Istanbul University, Mr. Çolpan still works as the General Manager of Istanbul Technical University’s Sciencepark, İTÜ ARI Teknokent and ITU Foundation’s subsidiary company, 3M R&D Inc. While being the General Secretary of the ITU Foundation, Mr. Çolpan is also the board member of ITU’s Technology Transfer Office, İTÜNOVA TTO, and Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Turkey.
Currently, Mr. Çolpan and his team show an intensive effort to establish “Istanbul Technical University’s Entrepreneurship Hub” in which it is aimed to be the regional power and the center of attraction.
Co-chair, TBAA Incubation Centers Committee
Gulsum Ciraci has extensive experience in entrepreneurship in Turkey. She developed the first research activities on entrepreneurship. The books published by these activities include the findings on effects of entrepreneurship on unemployment and entrepreneurship climate in 9 Turkish cities. She was given a social responsibility award when she developed a project locating Istanbul based technology companies to different incubators in Asia Minor. She also helped creating four incubators just for women. She developed the largest entrepreneurship training project, where she trained more than 8000 people. She also co-created a first project for entrepreneur seeding with Avea, a major mobile operator in Turkey. Gulsum Ciraci is a managing partner in Startupbootcamp Istanbul. She is also the founder and CEO of Istanbul Startup Angels.
Chair, TBAA Start-up Committee
Dr. Deniz Tunçalp is Assistant Professor of Management at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Management Engineering Department, Chief Marketing Officer at ITU ARI Teknokent, the technology development zone of ITU and the executive board member of ITU GINOVA Entrepreneurship Research and Application Center.
Dr. Tunçalp’s research and teaching interests include entrepreneurship, technology and organization studies. He has studied adaptation to technological change in different organizational situations at different levels of analysis. His research has appeared in academic journals, such as Operations Research, Journal of Organizational Ethnography and the Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research and a number of edited book volumes.
Dr. Tunçalp holds a Ph.D. in Management from Sabancı University, Graduate School of Management and had been a post doctoral visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University. He also has two M.Sc. and one M.A. degrees in the fields of Industrial Engineering, Information Systems and Law, from Middle East Technical University (METU) (2) and Istanbul Bilgi University, respectively. Dr. Tunçalp has a B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering also from METU.
Currently, Dr. Tunçalp actively mentors start-ups at ITU Çekirdek Incubation Center and has invested in a number of other start-ups. Prior to joining ITU, Dr. Tunçalp had worked actively in the ICT and management consulting industries. More recently, he had taken a number of managerial roles in marketing and business development at Turkcell, the leading mobile operator of Turkey. Before joining Turkcell, he had found two start-ups in information and network security industry and had one successful exit.
Chair, TBAA Exit Committee
Alper Utku is the Founding Partner and President of Management Centre Türkiye (MCT) which is a leading organisational and management development firm operating in Turkey and surrounding region since 1992. MCT has grown from a small team to a full fledged training and consulting firm with more than 50 full time staff. Recently MCT has been listed in Borsa Istanbul (BIST) being the first and only Professional services firm listed in Istanbul Stock Exchange.
Alper Utku is currently involved in business development and fund raising for a new generation University with a special emphasis on providing high quality education for less privileged young students. The University follows an Education for Employment (E4E) model providing unique employment opportunities for its successful graduates
Alper has graduated from Bogazici University Mechanical Engineering Department in 1991 and holds a Professional Doctorate degree on Organizational Change with Ashridge Business School-Middlesex University in UK. Prior to his Consulting career, he has worked for Set Group Holding, a leading industrial conglomerate in cement industry. He speaks Turkish, English and French.
Alper’s has a passion for nature and loves to spend his leisure time through running, hiking, and sailing journeys with his wife and two daughters.
Chair, TBAA Mentor Committee
Engineering in 1993, Mr. Taskent joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Polytechnic Institute of New York University for the PhD program and received graduate degrees in Electrophysics and Technology MBA.
During 1998-2005, he worked as a R&D engineer, expert consultant and instructor at Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. During that timeframe he lead major fiberoptic transmission system deployments for Verizon, BT, Telia, Deutsche Telekom, Global Crossing, Qwest, and UPC around the globe. Furthermore, he has consulted in the areas of Knowledge Management, Competency Management and Telecommunications Technologies as part of Lucent Worldwide Services (LWS) in New York
Since 2006, as Partner of Arkan & Ergin Corporate Finance, he has been working in telecommunications, renewable energy, and in startup ecosystem as company restructuring advisor in Turkey. He has presented over 50 seminars (major universities and multinational corporations) the Turkish Startup Ecosystem and the Growth of Entrepreneurship in Turkey. He has served as jury on 20+ business plan competitions and helped professionally to establish over 100 startups. He is the founding President of MIT Enterprise Forum in Turkey and an active member at the Advisory Board of the Endeavor Turkey.
Since 2012, Doğan Taşkent is the Chairman of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Turkey and Vice President of the Turkish–Swiss Business Council of DEIK (Foreign Economic Relations Board). He is founding Board member of the Ege University Technopark and founding Board Member of the Dokuz Eylül University Business Angel Network.