500 Startups announces new investment team in Turkey

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500 Startups is boosting it’s presence in Turkey.

This week the venture firm and early stage accelerator announced new venture partner Erhan Erdogan and fund advisor Erbil Karaman. Turkey’s market is especially compelling.

The country has a huge talent pool, skilled mentors and a well educated workforce. Half its population is under the age of 30, according to a statement from 500 Startups.

The level of entrepreneurial activity in the country has increased significantly over the last decade. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor notes that about 6 in every 100 adults were entrepreneurs before the global financial crisis. That number doubled after the crisis. 
Erbil Karaman, left

Furthermore, the number of entrepreneurs who turned to entrepreneurship out of opportunity rather than necessity also doubled, from 3.36 percent to 6.80 percent. The share of women among early-stage entrepreneurs has also increased, and those who launch businesses in Turkey now tend to be relatively older and better educated.

Turkey’s location is especially attractive. It’s position between Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, makes it a natural access point for regional and global startups.

Erhan Erdogan, right

500 Startups was founded by entrepreneur and investor Dave McClure in 2010. Since then, the seed fund and startup accelerator has invested in more than 1,000 companies in over 50 countries. It currently offers 4-month accelerator programs in Mountain View, San Francisco, and Mexico City.

Its MENA investments include Beirut-based interactive health network eTobb, Cairo-based jobs platform Wuzzuf, and Amman-based games publisher Tamatem.

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