This week, we chatted with Alemşah (pronouned Alem-shah) Öztürk of 41-29, one of the biggest digital agencies in Turkey.
Since he started founding companies at the age of 18, Alemşah, who is also an Endeavor Turkey entrepreneur, has been on a roll- he built 41-29 into a powerhouse that was acquired by WPP in 2011 and now works with the top 30 companies in Turkey and handles 60-65% of Turkey's social media, he says. The acquisition, WPP's first globally, came during Turkey's ascent on social media; it's now #7th globally in terms of Facebook users (down from #4 in 2012), and it was #11 on Twitter in 2012 as well.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Öztürk, who calls himself "a self-educated guy," went on to launch one of the country's leading group buying sites, Grupyana, in 2010, which Intel invested in a year later at a US $40 million valuation. That same year, he and co-founder Omer Ersoy also launched Arcademonk, a social gaming company that recently launched its first game in Arabic.
Öztürk discusses how he landed his first client, the gaming and e-commerce sectors in Turkey, and his advice for entrepreneurs starting up today, urging them to fill gaps in their education by researching and connecting with sector experts online.