HackCon4: Pioneers are all in for blockchain, AI, digital transformation, IOT and more


Last Sunday, on 18th Nov, we got together for our 4th HackCon at Kolektif House Maslak. A warm “Welcome Home” speech was made by Kaan Akın, explaining what we’ve accomplished before, our aim for the future and what we expect from our new batch of Pioneers. While telling you more about what we did at HackCon, I’ll also explain our community processes and some info for our new Pioneers who couldn’t attend HackCon.

As Pioneers, we love talking on Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Digital Transformation, and IoT/Smart Machines. We will try to provide more resources and feed our new Pioneers with great information on those topics.

Then I took the stage for our second session, which was about events and activities we are planning at Hackquarters Pioneers for this new term. You can also find more info about this topic in our previous blog.

Last year, we received more than 2500 applications for our events and Pioneers program, and we accepted 120 new Pioneers into our family. We organized more than 40 meetups at 15 universities and 8 different cities. For this year we received more than 3000 applications for our events and Pioneers program. We have handpicked 105 new Pioneers into our family from 32 universities, 5 high schools and from 20 different cities all across Turkey. We are so proud to be growing rapidly.

Pizza for everyone!

After sharing our future plans with our beloved Pioneers, we had a networking session. We would love to thank StartupHR team for helping us to create such a fun environment for our attendees and Pizza Locale for providing delicious pizzas for everyone.

Next session was given by Kaan Akın about “Growing Tech in a Developing World”. We’ve got inspired by knowing more about the stories of leading tech companies and important facts about well-known startups.

Omegas took over the stage after Kaan’s presentation. Berke Uygun from Doktorderki, Emrah Yiğit from Pepapp, Elif Aleyna Duman from Hangi Üniversite Hangi Bölüm, Emirhan Erdoğan from Appyist and TurkishKit, Sezer Ulutaş from Appcent, Mehmet Taş from Blockpays, Berkay Şamiloğlu from Tion and Nizamettin Sami Harputlu from StartupHR were the panelists of our session, which was moderated by Kaan Akın. We would like to thank all our friends for being with us for the day and sharing their unique experiences.

The last presentation was from our education partner; TurkishKit. Emirhan Erdoğan talked about what TurkishKit is doing recently, how their community works and how we’ll be working together in our new term at Pioneers. They’ve already helped us on organizing our upcoming Hacker Meetups and our partnership with Bahçeşehir University. We would like to thank them for their participation at HackCon and their wonderful contribution to Pioneers.

What is next for Hackquarters Pioneers?

HackCon4 was our first step into the new term of Hackquarters Pioneers. In Hackquarters Pioneers, we have different groups called Alpha, Beta and Omega. If you know about a product’s creating cycle, you may be heard these words before. Alpha members are fresh newbies, who are in the beginning of all process, and trying to gain more knowledge to become “beta”. Beta members are the ones who had internships in startups or volunteered in organizing our events, so they’ve gained experience. Aleyna, Göktuğ, Sena, Metin and Emre are Betas of Pioneers 2019. Omegas are the last ring of the chain, the ones finally turned an idea into a startup. They help Alphas and Betas to complete the same process successfully. To be clear, the reason behind dividing our community is not creating a hierarchical community, it is actually creating a cycle which everyone could learn from the other.

Hackquarters Pioneers will be meeting every month as physical and online both. Physical meetings are for mostly hanging outs, knowing each other better. Online meetings are for catching up the Pioneers learning process well and knowing people from other cities as well without a necessity to have them in İstanbul.

We’re planning to add new online courses to Teachable which is our education platform for teaching entrepreneurship. We suggested to new Pioneers also watch, learn and take some notes. Then, they should give us feedbacks if there is any missing points or if they want to add new topics with the others. So we’ll manage to create new online courses and select 15 lucky Pioneers from whom gives us feedbacks, to attend courses as offline.

Through online channels we’ll be creating online meet ups, using Youtube more efficiently and promote our offline events to be reached from any other cities. Slack and WhatsApp groups have been made, our Slack channel has reached 250+ people from entrepreneurs, Pioneers and investors. Pioneers will be benefiting from networking, education and other needs for their entrepreneurship path. I strongly suggest every Pioneer to keep eyes out on every mailings and follow Hackquarters’ social media accounts carefully.

You’ll see Pioneers are raising on LinkedIn and since they already started adding themselves into that platforms. Because we are trying to take them more into the ecosystem and they’ll learn how to use efficiently these two platforms, when they have to find true customers for their startups.

You can look at HackCon’s posts from #hackcon on Instagram. I can’t wait to create crazier stuff with Pioneers!

Pioneers are gathering once more for HackCon4


Hackquartes Pioneers is a young, growing and enthusiastic community which supports university and high school students to reach guidance, advice and experiences they need about entrepreneurship. Starting this term, we have 100 new Pioneers to bring into the startup ecosystem from over 1000 applications. Our Pioneers are spread among 20 cities, 32 universities and 5 high schools! We’ll meet with our new recruits for HackCon4 on November 18th, at Kolektif House Maslak.

HackCon4 is going to start with Kaan Akın’s speech and my presentation about Hackquarters Pioneers’ future. Namık Kural will take the stage to share his story as an investor. With delicious food from Pizza Locale, great drinks from Lipton and help of Startup HR, we will have some free, networking time with our Pioneers and other attendants. As an extra info: StartupHR is also founded by two Pioneers.

After networking and lunch break, our beloved Omegas will take the stage: Berke Uygun & Emrah Yiğit from Doktorderki, Sonat Kaymaz from Scorp, Berkay Şamiloğlu from Tion, Serkan Dinçer from Coimex, Mehmet Taş from Blockpays and Sezer Ulutaş from Appcent. They’ll share their unique experiences and they are also going to evaluate 2 minutes long Pioneer pitches.

For this new term, as we will be starting our new partnerships with Ecodation and TurkishKit.

Ecodation is a smart education platform with a great team of mentors from various expertise such as app development, business and more. They will be telling more about themselves and their future plans at HackCon4. For our new term, Ecodation will be helping our Pioneers with their self-development and they will also be looking for new brand ambassadors among our Pioneers.

TurkishKit is a community which provides quality educations for the curious Pioneers who want to learn more about software and design. They are mainly focused on technical and practical education. They will be telling more about the development ecosystem and how Hackquarters and TurkishKit will collaborate in our upcoming Hacker Meetups. (You can see our upcoming events on Hackquarters Eventbrite page).

As Hackquarters Pioneers we aim to focus on learning smart, applicable and practical things instead of just talking about theoretical information. So with our partners, Omegas and mentors around us, we’ll be organizing crazy things as many different cities as we can. HackCon is always a huge excitement for us and now it is a starting point of the new era of Pioneers.

Our next step is moving our community to global and making meetups in other countries too. Keep following us on social media for more updates!

You can get more info about previous HackCon events from these 2 blogs (HackCon2 and HackCon3) and from the video below;

Pioneers gathered once more for #HackCon3


Hackquarters Pioneers is an entrepreneurship community supporting high school and university students, who want to try themselves in teams of the next generation startups or found a startup of their own. With this purpose, Hackquarters organizes quarterly HackCon events. From the day the event series started to spread entrepreneurship all over our region, we organized 40+ meetups at 14 Universities reaching 2000+ students.

Moving forward with social entrepreneurship events and Hacker meetups we are aiming to catch every potential young entrepreneur in order to turn their ideas into successful startups.

So, let’s talk about our community; Hackquarters Convention, shortly HackCon. Our 1st and 2nd HackCons gathered in Kolektif House, in October’17 and February’18. Last Saturday, on 21st of July, we get together for 3rd HackCon at Akmerkez, Istanbul.

We had breakfast together and talked briefly about what we were doing from the beginning and what is next. During the gathering, we realized that our community has expanded more than we expected. We’ve organized really cool events, inspiring high school and university students since September 2017. While talking about it all, we saw the big picture; our potential. (I’ll also write about it in the next article.)

Next, Namık Kural, one of the first angel investors in Turkey, took a stage. We discussed the way entrepreneurship ecosystem developed for the past years and how it progresses with advanced technology. Namık Kural has a lot of experience in his field and his speech helped us to see entrepreneurship from a different point of view. It was very educative.

In Hackquarters Pioneers, we have different groups like Alpha, Beta and Omega. If you know about product’s creating circle, you may be heard these words before. Alpha members are fresh newbies, who are in the beginning of all process, and trying to gain more knowledge to become “beta”. Beta members are the ones who had internships in startups or volunteered in organizing our events, so they’ve gained experience. Omegas are the last ring of the chain, the ones finally turned an idea into a startup. They help Alphas and Betas to complete the same process successfully.

Pictures from #HackCon3

After Namık Kural’s speech, our Omegas took over the event. Ata Cengiz from Tarlamvar, Nilsu Sertatıl and Baran Öncel from Glamy, Gözde Büyükacaroğlu from Vivoo, Emir Emanetoğlu from Smopin, Serkan Bağçe from Startupmarket, Volkan Kırtok from Neytiv and Mert Kıray from Octovan were with us at HackCon 3. They shared their experience and explained how they passed the obstacles on their way to success in their startups. Our less experienced Pioneers were pretty active, asking a lot of questions to our Omegas.

At the end of the event, we divided our attendees into 5 groups, mentored by the Omegas. We laid on the grass of terrace and worked on business canvas models for tech and innovation focused companies which enriched entrepreneurship ecosystem; as it is very important to apply theoretical knowledge into practical use. We’ll also integrate this kind of small workshops into our upcoming events.

We were honored to be with people who really want to have an impact on the young generation and share knowledge like we do within Hackquarters Pioneers. Also, watching our Pioneers improve more and more every time we meet, makes us extremely happy.

We are grateful to the people who help us to make HackCon3 even greater. Thank you, Namık Kural for being with us and sharing your experience.

And thank you, Omegas for mentorship and support during HackCon3.

Finally, many thanks to Akmerkez for support and venue sponsorship. We really enjoyed being at Akmerkez.

Esengül Sağdınç
Hackquarters Community Manager

Pioneers ve Ben!


Bakıyorum da şimdiye kadar Pioneers programını hiç bizden dinlememişsiniz. Hep Kaan abi anlatmış. Ee madem biz şekillendiriyoruz, bir de bizden dinleyin o zaman canım!

Nasıl Başladım?

Programa başvurmadan önce daha çok sosyal sorumluluk alanında -yurt içi ve yurt dışı gönüllülük projelerinde- aktif rol oynadığımdan girişimcilik ekosisteminde çok fazla yer almamıştım. Amacım belliydi, bu dünyaya sağlayabileceğim sosyal faydayı maksimum seviyeye çıkartmak, kadınları güçlendirip eşitlik yaratmak, Türkiye’deki her bir gencin de bu bilinçle yetişmesine katkı sağlamak ve tabi ki günün sonunda dünyayı değiştirebilmek! Değişimi getirmenin ve onu sürdürülebilir kılmanın da en iyi şeklinin sosyal girişimcilik olduğunu düşünüp bu doğrultuda çalışmalar yapmaya başladım.

Tam bu yolda ilk adımlarımı atmış yavaş yavaş yürüyordum ki Pioneers programını tesadüfen Twitter’da görüp başvurdum. Açıkçası ilk kez yapılıyor oluşu nedeniyle biraz sırlarla dolu gibi gözüken bu program bende inanılmaz bir merak uyandırmıştı. Çok geçmeden Beta takımına çağırıldım. Tabi içimde inanılmaz bir heyecan. Bize diyorlar ki fikirleriniz çok önemli ve programı sizinle beraber şekillendirmek istiyoruz. (Neee?!! İnanmam!!) Gerçekten de o şekilde oldu. Kaan abi şunu da yapalım bunu da yapalım derken şuan 14 okulda etkinlikler düzenledik ve bu etkinliklerin koordinatörlüğünü de ben yaptım 25 kişilik bir ekiple, 1000’i aşkın üniversite öğrencisine ulaştık ve girişimciliğin daha fazla konuşulmasını sağladık.

Herşeyin Başladığı Yer

İlk etkinliğimizi Kolektif House’ta yaptık. Öncelikle şunu belirtmek istiyorum ki sizinle aynı yolda ilerlemek isteyen 100 kişiyle birlikteyseniz ve yanınızda size yön veren inanılmaz güzel insanlar varsa kendinizi daha güçlü hissediyorsunuz. Daha ilk günden bir sonraki etkinliği gözler olduk. (Daha çok buluşma isteriiz!) Bir sonraki etkinliğe kadar her okulda 8’er tane etkinlik yapmamız istendi. Bu etkinliklerle birlikte amacımız Türkiye’nin çeşitli lokasyonlarında gerçekten girişimci olmak isteyen kişilere ulaşmak ve Omegalarımızın da katılımıyla bu kişilerin girişimci olarak yetişmesinde rol oynamak. Okullarda her hafta yaptığımız etkinliklere birden fazla katılan arkadaşlarımızı ise 17 Şubat’taki ikinci HackCon etkinliğimize davet ettik. (Ailemiz giderek büyüyor!) Bununla birlikte etkinlikler sırasında Hackquarters ekibi her hafta özenle seçtikleri içerikleri bizlere ilettiler, biz de okuyup öğrenip böylece her etkinlikten sonra bir dolu tecrübe paylaşımı ve bilgiyle evimize dönmüş olduk.

Detaylar Bütünü Mükemmel Kılıyor.

Pioneers’a katılmak isteyen arkadaşlara yön verebilmek adına programla ilgili biraz daha detaylardan bahsetmek istiyorum. Sadece etkinliklerle sınırlı kalmıyoruz. Slack ve Whatsapp gruplarından içerikler paylaşıyoruz birbirimizle. Koskocaman bir bilgi akışı var içerde. Neler yapabiliriz, nasıl yapabiliriz konuşuyoruz, tartışıyoruz. Birbirimizi destekliyoruz, yardımlaşıyoruz, girişimcilik yarışmalarına birlikte katılıyoruz, başka şehirlerden gelenleri kendi şehrimizde ağırlıyoruz, en güzeli de çok güzel arkadaşlıklar kuruyoruz. Bundan sonra yapmak istediklerimiz arasında da çok daha güzel, eğlenceli ve bilgi dolu fikirler var. Önümüzdeki bu dönem boyunca onları uyguluyor olacağız, bence gelişmeler için kesinlikle takipte kalın!

Eğer Hackquarters Pioneers’ın bir parçası olmak istiyorsan bu linkten başvurabilirsin!

Benden Pioneers Adına Kocaman Bir Teşekkür!

Türkiye’de girişimcilik üzerine gençleri bu şekilde motive edip destekleyen, yaptıklarına değil yapacaklarına ve vizyonuna odaklanan, uygulamak istedikleri fikirler için gerekli ortamı yaratan kurumlar yok denecek kadar az açıkçası. Öncelikle buna liderlik ettiği için Kaan Akın’a çok teşekkür ederim, hepimiz bizi parçası ettiğin her güzel şey için çok minnettarız. Bana yön gösterdiği ve her zaman yanımda olduğu için Sabina Babayeva’ya da ayrıca teşekkür ederim. Son olarak da etkinliklerimize gelip tecrübelerini paylaşan değerli Omegalarımıza ve programı mümkün kıldıkları için tüm Hackquarters ekibine kocaman bir teşekkür!


Esengül Sağdınç
Pioneers Beta, Hackquarters Community Manager
İstanbul Ticaret Üniversitesi





HackCon 2: Pioneers selected to reshape the future


If you are following one of Hackquarters’ social media accounts, you are probably familiar with Hackquarters Pioneers program. In Pioneers, we gather brightest, most promising young talents from the universities all across Turkey and help them reshape the startup ecosystem. These young people are not just beginners at startup ecosystem, but also active participants starting internships at startups or guided by Hackquarters are already turning their bright ideas into startups.

Hackquarters Pioneers gathered for their second meeting in Istanbul, on 17th and 18th of February 2018. More than 65 Pioneers from different universities and cities of Turkey gathered in Kolektif House, having a chance to meet other Pioneers and 15 Omegas, Startup Founders.

The first day of HackCon 2 started with the welcoming speech by Kaan Akin, Hackquarters CEO& Founder. After the intro, Omegas joined Kaan on stage to share their experience with the Pioneers. Among the questions discussed during the panel were tricks to build a powerful team, and lessons learned.

Our Pioneers then had a great lunch, thanks to our sponsors such as Domino’s Pizza, Nestle, Pepsi and Redbull. Following the lunch, Kaan led the Investment panel with participation of Enis Hulli, 500 Startups Partner; Bugra Kaan Ayaz, Boostfy Founder and Kadir Can Kirkoyun, Scode Founder. During this session Beta Pioneers had a chance to pitch their startups before investors and more experienced Omegas. HackCon2 hosted a total of 10 startup pitches.

Following HackCon2 Sunday was fully dedicated to Pioneers Bootcamp, where selected Pioneers got a course on Digital Marketing, Revenue Optimization, Lean Startup and more. These materials will be posted as an online course so that everyone in startup ecosystem can benefit from this experience.

As Hackquarters, we aim to make practical knowledge more accessible for university students and early startups. HackCon 2 is a great experience for the Pioneers, as well as our friends and experienced professionals from the startup ecosystem.