41 North: a Current Business School


Conventional business models, vertical organizational structures and traditional leadership styles are all demolished by the disruptive changes in technology and social norms. You need to stay current in order to cope with today’s challenges.

21st-century learning must take place in contexts that promote interaction and a sense of community that enable a true learning. We provide a learning environment to inspire you to attain the knowledge and skills with a top-technology learning hub that the 21st century demands from us all.

Located in the heart of the Business District in Istanbul, 41 North Business School remain the first and only stand-alone Business School in Turkey, addressing the needs of the business world with the expertise of our partners; companies, opinion leaders, technology advisors, world’s leading business schools.

Together with our top business school and institution partners, we create and impart new knowledge to advance business and society, we create entrepreneurial leaders who think globally and act responsibly.

We envisioned Istanbul – a cultural heritage, a bridge between East and West, a true inspiration with its dynamism and entrepreneur energy- to become a learning hub for all those coming from not just Turkey but also from all over the world.

“Women in Leadership” Program: Starting on 13th December 2018

We have developed the “Women in Leadership” program to encourage women managers to expand their sphere of influence by maintaining their feminine reality and to become women leaders in their own original style.

The academy based leadership program is highly personalized for each woman manager and based on intensive practice.

The program consists of 4 modules, two days per module, over four months, having “self-awareness” in the center, focusing on critical skills such as communication, networking, creating impact, problem-solving. The facilitators of each module will be using 21st century’s learning techniques such as action learning sets, community learning, gamification, supported by one on one coaching and group coaching sessions between the modules.

Following the program, you will be invited to meetings where graduates of the program, program instructors and business leaders will share information and discuss important developments in their areas and inspire each other. Thanks to the “Women in leadership” program, you will become a very valuable part of a women leaders network and be supported throughout your business lives.

Join us, unleash your potential and kick the glass ceiling!

Digital Excellence Post-Graduate Certificate Program: Starting on 7th January 2019

Digital disruption affects businesses across all sectors. Corporate decision-makers have the choice whether they only take the role as followers to preserve their existing business lines in the digital age, or whether they want to become innovators, shaping industry trends and conquering new digital markets.

41 North Business School in cooperation with ESMT (European School for Management and Technology) Berlin offers the Digital Excellence Post-Graduate Certificate focusing in the areas of strategy & innovation & technology. The academically designed program supports enhancing participants’ professional development and reshapes their leadership skill set in digitalization.

The six modules of the joint 41 North Business School and ESMT Berlin Digital Excellence Program prepare and equip corporate leaders to disrupt their businesses, develop new strategies, introduce organizational changes and pro-actively seize the opportunities digitalization brings to their markets.

1st module: Innovation and a Corporate Model, Building Digital Strategy:
Gives executives a framework to generate new business models, identify key resources, partners, and organizational prerequisites.
Provides the necessary tools to develop a digital strategy.

2nd module: Ideation Workshop: Being Agile and Entrepreneurial
Gives a structure to thoroughly understand customers’ needs, ideate, develop prototypes, and generate solutions.

Participants familiarize themselves with the tools to advance new ideas inside and outside of their companies, and how to turn those ideas into successful businesses.

3rd Module: Data-Driven Organizations
Participants learn how to apply basic data analytics to test their assumptions and to derive decisions from quantitative insights.

4th Module: Understanding Leadership and Being a Leader in a Digital World
Participants learn about how to lead in a digital environment by building an adequate organizational structure and by using new ways of communication.

5th Module: Understanding, Analyzing, and Applying New Technologies in Existing and New Business Models
Encourages participants to embrace Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and IOT for process optimization and new business ideas.

6th Module: Bringing Technology to Market and Delivering on Digital
Inspires participants how to commercialize new ideas and how to successfully implement digital transformation projects.

Join us at Istanbul in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and be part of the change, today!

10 Food startups was at Impact Hub Istanbul for EIT Food

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Our followers on social media are always the ones, that get the news related to Hackquarters, first. As you are aware, Hackquarters founder, Kaan, was attending an event last week that we announced on our social media channels. The event was organized by EIT Food, which is a consortium of 50 partners with the ambition to create a future-proof & effective food sector through a connected food system. EIT Food is supported by EIT, which stands for European Institute of Innovation and Technology. The event was hosted by Impact Hub Istanbul.

Here are competing Turkish startups for EIT Food;


Batır is a company focusing on creating healthy, all-natural, nutritious snacks, which is easy to carry and packaged for daily consumption. Batır is using mostly local ingredients in their products.

Can Hydroponics

Can Hydroponics grow micro-greens using local and natural seeds without any additives, hormones, GMOs or fertilizers. Rather than using plastic pots, they are using waxed fabrics and water. Some of their products have up to 200 times more nutritional values than their traditional counterparts.


HAD (or Human Architectural Development) is a startup focusing on rooftop agriculture. They help communities produce soil from kitchen waste. They also help those communities with agricultural ecosystem by helping breed bees, worms or chicken. With those actions, they are hoping to contribute lower carbon emissions in cities.


Hyggefisk aims to provide nature-friendly, healthy, sustainable and low-budget alternatives to luxurious animal-origin food, by using vegetable alternatives. They are already working with some hotels and restaurants with their vegetable-based caviars.


MUMO Wrap is a health alternative to traditional fridge bags, plastic or aliminum foil. It’s made of fabric coated with wax, pine resin and coconut oil. Their product is reusable, healtier than its alternatives and keeps food fresh for longer.


Naturansa‘s name is based on latin words Natura (natural) and Ansa (cycle). Based on their name, team is working on sustainable, modern and ecological food and food systems with scientific and technological research. They are working with black soldier flies (BSF, Hermetia illucens) and they are feeding flies with food waste. Feeding with natural products, BSF also provides “the cycle” with edible larvae and natural fertilizer.

Nu Snacks

Nu Snacks products are hoping to help people with health snacks without any gluten or sugar. They have raw bar, granola and nutbutter products currently on market.

Shaman’s Secret

Shaman’s Secret has been founded by Beril, who grow up within a family, interested in nature and natural products. She decided to turn their home-made kombucha into a product. Their products vary such as kombucha starter’s kit and dried kombucha cultivation kit.


HAUS produces healthy, dried food with a special technique called “freeze dry”. Their technique sucks out 98% of humidity from food such as cheese, olives, okra, and thus keeps in nutritional values of their products. Their food not only keeps its shape and nutritional values, but also has long years of shelf life. (Editor’s note: I tried it. They are awesome)


Tarlamvar is working closely with farmers all across Turkey. They are removing middle-man, and lets customers reach out to farmers, who grow all-natural products. Customers “adopt” trees or farms and they get their products delivered to their homes, directly from the farmer.

Hackquarters hosted first official NEM Blockchain Meetup in Istanbul

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Our love for blockchain can easily be seen from our recent blog posts. As most of our followers are aware, we were preparing for the first official NEM Meetup in Istanbul. Even if we did not have much time for registrations and preparations and we hosted fewer people than we wanted, our first event with NEM was a success according to feedback from our audience.

We hosted our event in Kolektif House Maslak, which is a great co-working space and “natural habitat” to startups and entrepreneurs. Kolektif House Maslak is located in the business district of Maslak, which is very close to metro and bus stops in the area. We arranged KoLounge, which is a huge presentation space with a capacity of more than 100 people.

“We are here for technology”

There were more than 60 registrations to our Eventbrite page about the event, but there were around 25 people attending from the Eventbrite list. With our friends from the startup community in Istanbul, the total number of attendees was around 35. But the thing is, most of our attendees were real “blockchain enthusiasts“, which was our main goal while trying to gather people for our event. We love cryptocurrencies and investment opportunities on coins too, but for our event, our aim was to gather “We are here for the technology” type of enthusiasts.

The first official NEM Blockchain Istanbul Meetup has started with the opening speech from Hackquarters CEO, Kaan Akın. After his welcoming speech, Donabelle Rinon and Paul Christian Espiritu from NEM Middle East Team took over the stage. They provided the audience with great presentations on Blockchain 101 and NEM 101.

Turkey has great potential on the blockchain

After the presentations, we had a Q&A session, with great questions from our audience. Our enthusiasts was very curious about not only XEM, the main cryptocurrency of NEM ecosystem, but also development side.

During our dedicated networking time, we also had the chance to talk to NEM representatives about Turkey and the blockchain ecosystem here. We will keep working with NEM for more meetups to create awareness on the advantages of NEM blockchain and as an insider to our beloved readers, we will probably organize a hackathon with NEM too. Last but not least, we can have more exciting news from NEM regarding Turkish blockchain ecosystem, which we can’t tell you right now.

We would like to thank all our attendees, NEM representatives Dona and Paul, who honored us with their presence in Istanbul and Kolektif House for hosting us.

Here are a few more photos from NEM Istanbul Meetup #1

Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit: Great Startups and Great Panels

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Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit was the biggest free startup festival in the world. Thanks to our friends at Turkey Technology Team and Invest in Turkey, we were prepared for hordes of startups arriving at Istanbul.

We have received more than 2000 applications for Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit, from more than 80 different countries, all around the world. The event took place within Teknofest Istanbul Aerospace and Technology Festival, which is also a one of a kind event in its own category. For that reason, Teknofest and Take Off took place in Istanbul’s new, huge airport, which is set for official opening on Republic Day, October 29th.

Sonic boom, drones, rockets…

The new tower at the new airport, which symbolizes a tulip.

Teknofest was a great event by itself, as there were loads of activities such as rocket competitions, drone races, hackathons, great shows by world-famous Turkish Air Force and even a race between fastest vehicles in the world: F-16 fighter jet, a passenger jet, sports cars, F1 racing car and a racing motorcycle driven by world-champion Turkish driver and now a member of parliament, Kenan Sofuoğlu, who eventually win the race.

In 4 days of Teknofest, hundreds of thousands of people visited the new airport. As for Take Off Istanbul, that was a great opportunity to let people know about the startup ecosystem, as most of the visiting public were students from various age groups.

Landings before “Take Off”

Ironically, rather than waiting for “Take Off” we were expecting landings the night before. As you can guess, organizing a startup event may look like it’s all about startups, investor meetings, pitches, presentations and so on, we were also trying to handle hotel transfers, startups landing at different airports and different landing times throughout the day. We did our best to communicate with all startups to get them to their hotels comfortably.

Even if all of Hackquarters stayed awake almost all night, our day started around 5 am on the first day of Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit. We went to the hotel that our international guests were staying, Grand Cevahir Şişli, and made sure that all startups are in the shuttle buses early in the day. And some members of Hackquarters were in the new airport during that time to make sure that everything is working in 3 Take Off stages.

Starting with Great Startups and Great Panels

As I mentioned before, we handpicked 200 startups from well over 2000 applications from more than 80 different countries. Most of the startups we invited to the event has surprised us in a positive way, as there were great presentations. Our time limit was 5 minutes per startup, and our startups delivered great information in that short period. We had three different stages on the first day for Energy & Environmental, Logistics & Space & Defence and Health & Wellness. 40 startups presented in each category and after the lunch break, we had 3 panels for each relative industry with participation from worldwide professionals. (You can always find more info about our panelists and keynote speakers on our official Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit website.)

We also found some time to talk to our participants during lunch break and after presentations while we were waiting for shuttle buses to the hotel. That’s when we felt like we did a great job gathering a lot of people from different countries and various verticals in the same place.

More Panels, More Startups

While we had 3 stages on day 1, we planned as 2 stages for the remaining two verticals and 1 stage for Seedstars Istanbul, which is a part of Seedstars World.

Just like the first day, our participating startups presented their businesses to our jury in Education and Agriculture & Food stages. Each startup had 5 minutes for their pitch. We had 2 great panels with valuable professionals from relative area sharing their ideas and discussing the future of each related industry.

In our third stage for day 2, Seedstars Istanbul participants pitched their startups for a chance to attend Seedstars World and many more great awards. Stroma Vision, Limantepe Tech – ImageRAD and Piri Guide were the winners of Seedstars Istanbul 2018. You can find more about participating startups and winners in Seedstars Istanbul website.

Take Off takes over main stage

Day 3 of Take Off Istanbul Summit was a joy for all of us. There was only one main stage for Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit, which has a bigger capacity then our previous stages. And that was the point: we were expecting attendance from curious enthusiasts who want to listen to great keynote speeches, panels that include government officials, directors from leading companies of the region, VCs, directors of accelerators and more.

We started the day with an inspiring speech from Selçuk Bayraktar, CTO of Baykar and Head of Board of Trustees of Turkey Technology Team. Then our panel on “The Role of Governments and International Organizations in Empowering Youth Entrepreneurship towards Sustainable Growth” started with attendance from valuable professionals such as Arda Ermut (President of Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey) and H.E. Amb. Elshad Iskandarov (President of Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation).

… when we hear the president is coming to Take Off Istanbul stage.

Near the lunch break, we heard that President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will present awards to the winners of Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit, himself (Later we learned that those were just rumours).  After the lunch break break, the main stage of Take Off Istanbul was at full speed with wonderful keynote speeches by Kamran Elahian and Amr Awadallah. Unfortunately, due to our delayed programme, keynote speech of our valuable friend, Darius Moeini was canceled.

After keynote speeches, “Corporate Companies Inspiring Innovation” panel has started with the attendance of Kaan Terzioğlu (CEO of Turkcell) and Paul Doany (CEO of Turk Telekom). Again, due to our strict schedule, we merged 2 panels of “Venture Capitalists Predicting the Future” and “Startup Accelerators Disrupting Success” into one big panel.

After we completed our program, it was time to introduce winners of Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit to the audience. Our winners (which we will tell more about each in another blog post) got announced by Haluk Bayraktar (CEO of Baykar, Member of Board of Trustees of Turkey Technology Team), Selçuk Bayraktar (CTO of Baykar and Head of Board of Trustees of Turkey Technology Team) and M. Fatih Kacır (Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology, Republic of Turkey).

Geographically a bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa? Much more than that.

Some of our participants were pretty surprised to find that many startups gathered in Istanbul for a global startup event as currently, Istanbul is just a “promising” startup country. Recently there were a few huge (in Turkish standards) investments and exits happened in Turkish startup scene, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

As Hackquarters, we aim to make Istanbul a hub for not only EMEA startup scene but also global startup scene as well. And we are not doing this just for the love of our country. Turkey is currently a land of opportunities where startup related expenses are almost free, compared to cities in our region. There is a huge room for growth in Istanbul with startup awareness increasing among students, corporations and public as well.

With Take Off Startup Summit, we were addressing the “Take Off” of startups involving in our event, but also we hope that this will be a “Take Off” for Turkish startup scene in general as well. With great opportunities such as the ones we mentioned before and government incentives, a lot of international startups are opening their Istanbul offices. And we are hoping to lure more and more startups to Istanbul.

Thank You! And we mean it!

We would like to thank every startup, speaker, panelist, investor, VC, corporate professional and people within startup scene who did generously devoted their precious time to Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit and honored us with their presence in Istanbul. We did our best to provide a great experience in Istanbul with valuable help from our friends here at Hackquarters, Turkey Technology Team and Invest in Turkey.

We will share winners of each category in separate posts. Keep following Hackquarters on our social media channels!

See you again next year!

You can track changes on any website with Obserwise by Datapare


Datapare is one of the services that we love, and also one of the services that has their logo placed on Hackquarters main page. Datapare is a competitive intelligence platform that helps to monitor your market competitors.

Obserwise is a new service from Datapare, which is completely free for casual users. What Obserwise does is, as its’ name says, that it “wisely observes” and tracks changes on a webpage you specify.

Track your competitors for free

After you click on their website, you need to copy & paste the URL of the webpage that you want to track. Then Obserwise creates an image of the webpage so that you can choose the area of the webpage that you want to track. And there are endless possibilities on how you can use Obserwise.

For example, I’m using Obserwise to track top posts in a subreddit. Whenever monthly top posts change in r/cryptocurrency, Obserwise sees the change and reports me via email. You can track discounts on a certain item in an online store. You can track new job opportunities in your dream company, from their HR page. You can even track your competitors so that whenever they launch a new campaign, you get notified almost instantly.

Obserwise is completely free for casual users, and fairly cheap even if you want to use it professionally. You can get more info and use Obserwise by Datapare completely free on their website.

Binance Labs Incubation Program is now accepting blockchain startups


We love startups, as you are well aware. We also love blockchain. So when these two come together, we get excited. Binance Labs Incubation Program is doing just that.

Our favorite exchange, Binance, has launched a new program for blockchain startups called “Binance Labs Incubation Program”.Binance Labs team currently focuses on Public Blockchains, Decentralized Exchanges(DEX), Wallets & Payment, Stable Digital Currencies, ATS/Security Token Platforms and dApps.

Binance will also fund accepted startups with 500k USD (for 10% equity). You can find more info on their official post below, and you can visit their dedicated website at labs.binance.com.

Fellow Binancians,

Labs team is very happy to introduce our new incubation program to support top early-stage teams with our best resources to help them jump start their best ideas. In short, Binance Labs Incubation Program is a 10-Week On-Site program designed to help top early-stage teams to deliver a product/service with a Product/Market fit.

We Provide:

  • Seed Investment: We provide $500K Seed Funding (10% Equity). This allows startups to bootstrap as soon as possible.
  • Mentorship: We have best mentors from both crypto and startup scenes who will support startups’ journey.
  • Network: We help startups grow their network with notable founders coming every week, and of course the batch network will become the biggest assets.
  • Support Services: We provide the best resources so startups can focus on building products/services.
  • We have a new website, where you can find the application link and referral link. Please make some good referrals to the Labs team. Remember to ask the team referred by you to leave your name in the application form.

Website: https://www.binancelabs.co
Application Link: https://goo.gl/forms/1GEkEK32WoXxstlD3
Referral Link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeUSCLzOxiaK9KEOCaAO5-Esxle_ZemMPwCrIZqOIGPQLWbBw/viewform?usp=send_form

Thanks for your support!

Binance Team

London will have their own SHERPA for UI/UX mountains


If you are somehow interested in mountaineering or watched a few documentaries about Mount Everest, you have probably heard of Sherpa people of Nepal. I’m not trying to discredit great climbers of world’s highest peak, but the thing is when I found out that Sherpa people do the most of the work while climbing, my thoughts about climbing Everest has never been the same. While climbers fight with altitude sickness, low oxygen, and many other environmental hardness, Sherpa people are the ones who lay the guiding ropes to the summit to guide climbers to the peak. They know the best routes to the peak and they choose the best way according to current situations. But we won’t be talking about “those” Sherpa.

SHERPA finds the best route for your own summit

Even the best climbers need Sherpa people.

SHERPA is a digital design studio focusing on user experience, as they define themselves. What they do is basically the same as Sherpa people in Nepal. They help the ones who try to reach the summit of their area. Also, one of our mentors and SHERPA founder Yakup Bayrak gladly helps startups with their UX/UI problems.

Are you having a hard time to get leads from your website? Let SHERPA find the best route for your potential customers. Are you producing Smart TVs, but your customers don’t even use your best features? SHERPA will give your customers the best interface you can (probably beyond) imagine. Do you have a lot of various services spread among various landing pages, or different websites that even you can’t follow? Don’t worry, SHERPA will be there to help you make things easier for your customers.

SHERPA will find a solution for your design problems

Arguably, Turkey’s best UX Analytics, Optimization and Betterment team in business will be in London between 13-17 August and they will be looking for new partners in London. While they are visiting London, we strongly suggest that you get a cup of (Turkish) coffee with them. You can contact them via their website.

SHERPA has lots of great references from both Turkish and global companies, yet as Hackquarters we still believe that their best reference is their own website and blog. Even if we are aware that we are not there yet, while we design new pages for our website, we always look up to SHERPA. You can find their website here and their great blog (in Turkish) here. You can also find more info about SHERPA on Medium.

Cough it up! We need your help to get more science kits to rural areas


If you are following Hackquarters on social media, probably you are already familiar with the events we organize with help of Redbull and Amaphiko. We had meet-ups with university students all around Turkey (such as this one in Konya – the link is in Turkish). We also participated in RedBull Amaphiko Connect event in December 2017. There was a great guest at the event:
Bathabile Mpofu.

Bathabile helps young people become scientists by making science tools accessible for practical learning. They manufacture a mini science kit called ChemStart for use by high schoolers at home or school. It provides a chance for hands-on interaction with science for everyone. ChemStart unleashes a scientist in every learner using it. Manufacturing locally and in bulk makes the kit affordable for anyone. You can find more info about Chemstart here.

Now Bathabile needs your help to get science kits to rural schools in Hlabisa area.. She is using a crowdfunding service for that. You can click here (and please do) to help Bathabile and her cause.

Here is some more info about Bathabile’s call for your support;

My name is Bathabile Mpofu from Nkazimulo Applied Sciences where we help young people become scientists. When I was 16 years old I came to the knowledge my future as I imagined it, was never going to happen and it wasn’t my fault. I was capable but dis-empowered. High school didn’t prepare me for university education. I only got to do science experiments for the first time when I got to university, and because of that, I lost my confidence and didn’t do well enough to get into medical school. Unfortunately, thousands of learners go through this experience every year and this is no right!

When life dishes you lemons, you make lemon juice, this eventuality defined my new purpose in life. I couldn’t become a doctor, but I now have an opportunity to prepare and help others become the scientists they aspire to be through ChemStart. ChemStart is a portable science kit that makes science fun and comes to life. It provides hands-on interaction with science concepts and their application in real life.


Tipping point: R17,000 will enable 200 learners from 10 schools to perform science experiments themselves!!

Dream Goal: R25,500 will enable 300 learners from 10 schools to perform science experiments themselves!!!


SmartBIGG: Chance to get 150.000 TL non-refundable grant support for technology-focused business ideas


As Hackquarters we don’t just support startups in every way we can, but we also try to make them aware of every possible opportunity to get funding for their startups or ideas. Hasan Kalyoncu University (KHU) has a new entrepreneurship program called SmartBIGG, which is supported by TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey).

About SmartBIGG (from official website)

By applying to the SmartBİGG Program you can make actual your technology-focused business idea.

Hasan Kalyoncu University (HKU), one the most entrepreneurial and innovative universities of our country, is the official implementing agency of the “1512 Techno-Entrepreneurship Capital Support Program” implemented by TÜBİTAK. The Program offers a donation of 150.000 TL at the first step to eligible applicants for the transfer of technology-focused enterprise.

You can follow all the processes, applicants can be collected and evaluated, business ideas can be converted into a business plan, pre-incubation and acceleration services are offered to entrepreneurs etc. through the mobile application. After the training about creating a business model, preparing a business plan, intellectual industrial property rights, incorporation, business law etc. and the mentoring activities, entrepreneurs will be able to get a chance to establish a company by this grant.

If you have a technological business idea in these areas;

  • Intelligent Transportation,
  • Energy and Clean Technologies,
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Industry 4.0,
  • Communication and Numerical Transformation,
  • Health and Good Life,
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition

Apply immediately and transform your idea into a product, your dream into reality…

You can click here to apply for SmartBIGG or visit SmartBIGG website for more detailed info. Also, you can download the Android app for SmartBIGG here.

Grants4Apps Turkey entrepreneurs presented their progress to Bayer Türk professionals


As most of our followers on social media are aware, we are running an accelerator program with Bayer Türk, called Grants4Apps Turkey, for more than 3 months. Bayer Türk professionals and Hackquarters team chose 6 startups for Grants4Apps Turkey, including Yubi, Tion, Digime3D, Vivoo, Pons and PatiBuddy. Bayer Grants4Apps is a global program that offers support to startups and companies that are developing innovative solutions in health and care.

We were working closely with those 6 startups and we provided mentorship, one on one sessions, even helped them pivot for the better. As our program is (at least physically) over, our beloved startups presented their startups and their progress to Bayer Türk professionals, including Bayer Türk CEO Hubert Braun.

You can find their photos, presenting to Bayer Türk audience below;

In November, Grants4Apps Turkey entrepreneurs will have a public demo day, in front of professionals from related areas and press members. Meanwhile, they will hopefully continue their progress with valuable help from Bayer Türk professionals, Hackquarters team and our mentors.