New term kick-off for Hackquarters Pioneers: Learn, Engage, Deliver and Graduate


As we started our program on 18th of November with HackCon4 and our new 125 Pioneers, we’re happy to announce our quarterly plans for Class of 19. We’ll have 3 quarters till September 2019: Learn, Engage and Deliver.


Meetups: In the first 3 months, our focus is on learning the most important things in the entrepreneurship. So, Pioneers will be attending meetups and they’ll be learning from Omegas of the program via Online Meetups, Hacker Meetups, Women Entrepreneurship Panels and through events in their schools. We built peer groups to make every Pioneer involved in what they want to do better.

Read, Watch, Attend: Thanks to Hackquarters’ rich resources, we have lots of content to deliver. Pioneers will have biweekly newsletters that have articles, videos, book and event recommendations.

Internships: We all know working in a startup environment is the best choice to learn about the ecosystem. Our omegas are willing to provide internships for Pioneers who want to work as an intern in a startup. And also, StartupHR helps us to find cool internships for all Pioneers.

Bootcamp: Last year we organized a bootcamp just after our second HackCon. We also recorded all the courses that we’ve done on that day so that everyone could benefit from it (You can find those videos on Hackquarters YouTube channel). We will be doing another bootcamp this year in February, after HackCon5. There are limited seats, so only 10 Alpha Pioneers and 5 Beta Pioneers will be able to attend the bootcamp physically.

Starting this new batch, Pioneers will have to complete some tasks in order to graduate from the program. In the first quarter, Pioneers need to meet with 5 other Pioneers, chosen randomly. They should follow all the content we provide, join meetups as possible as they can, ALWAYS use Slack for communication and give feedbacks about online courses that we’ve recorded at Pioneers Bootcamp’18, so they might have a chance to attend Pioneers Bootcamp’19.


The second quarter is more likely to be engaged in startups and innovative corporations like Google, Iyzico, Scotty, Yemeksepeti, Insider etc. We’ll be visiting successful startups and corporations as peer groups (Hacker, Hipster, Hustler) every month to see different company cultures, meet with people relevant to everyone’s peers and solve business cases in the company. Pioneers need to join these trips and cooperate with other peers as well when delivering an innovative project to companies we visit. In the second quarter, they still should be following content from Hackquarters and try to land internships at startups. Since our last quarter is all about creating a startup, they need to attend Product Development sessions that is a part of Hacker Meetups and they should look for proper teammates. Together with StartupHR team, we will be organizing “Meet your co-founder” events to accelerate the process.


This is probably the most challenging part of our program. After learning crazy new stuff and engaging in successful companies for 6 months, now it’s time to deliver a product. Unfortunately, only Pioneers who completed our “to do list” in previous quarters will have the chance to be included in our last quarter.

As always, we will try to provide as many resources as we can to all Pioneers, but this time we will need their involvement in return. We will track how much learned from this program and studied in these topics for themselves. After that, 5 teams will have the chance to attend last quarter. Their main goal will be selling their product or service. Then according to their earnings, we’ll be giving out rewards like cloud credits, mentorship support after the program and $1000 cash more if they earn $1000.


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!

FINAL CALL: You can Apply for Pioneers program until 10th of October

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We have extended our final application date to 10th of October. You can find application link at the end of the article.

If you’re hearing about Hackquarters Pioneers for the first time; let me explain it briefly. Hackquarters Pioneers is a community which helps young entrepreneurs to build the future they want by learning, experiencing and creating with startups. So till today, we made 40+ events at 14 different locations and we still keep doing it. Our main purpose for creating different types of events at several cities in Turkey is spreading entrepreneurship to very brilliant youngsters. So now, we add new ones to the schedule and I would like to share them with you.

Hacker Meetups

Lately, we started something new for us: Hacker Meetups. First one was at Bahcesehir University. And now we make it as a meetup series. There is going to be 8 meetups in İstanbul and once in other cities with different topics explaining what is product management cycle from hackers view. CTOs and mostly some cool software engineers will be our speakers during these events. All hackers are invited, of course.

Partnerships with Brands

New partnerships are coming and they are all about challenges, hackathons, and ideathons. Google is one of them, we firstly start Build Actions for Your Community series for Google Home & Assistant in İzmir on 20th of October. Next station will be in İstanbul during DevFest at Uniq İstanbul. Please follow Hackquarters Eventbrite account for registration.

Girl Entrepreneurship

Did you know that only 25% of enterprises owned by women in Turkey? Between all those events, this is the most important one for me to work on. Panels with our dearest women entrepreneurs from different backgrounds have been inspiring. Let’s encourage our powerful, intelligent girls to be more involved in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and to create great startups. If you are one of the women entrepreneurs who want to inspire young women, please message me via [email protected]

Online Meetups & Activities

Online meetups are welcomed! We’ll be doing an online meetup with a rockstar entrepreneur very soon. The same concept with offline Pioneers Meetups and also other cool topics will be on the agenda.

Online is cool. That’s why we changed something about our conferences and we recorded online courses with various topics. We mostly will be uploading conferences to our youtube channel and if you ask, we’ll increase that number. For conferences as online; I know some of you couldn’t able to attend our events because there wasn’t one at your city or dates didn’t fit your schedule. Now you don’t have one of these problems because we turned it online.

Our Slack channel is also public. You can join from this link. Omegas are invited too! You can approach them via Slack, ask questions and find proper opportunities for yourself.

We are not a totally closed community to the public, we share anything that can help you to understand entrepreneurship better. And if you want to be involved in the organization process of other activities in your school, you can just contact me via [email protected]

So you are always welcomed to attend and organize any Hackquarters Pioneers events or projects in your city. You can also apply for being a Pioneer. That’s how you can benefit from every opportunity Pioneers presents to you.

We now extend our applications till 10th of October. So hurry up and apply for being a Pioneer!

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.