I first spoke with Christopher Schroeder, a successful US entrepreneur and investor with a specific interest in the Middle East, in May of this year. I left our phone conversation hoping that he would also grow an interest in Turkey, and felt that our paths would cross again soon. This was indeed the case.
Christopher recently visited Istanbul to participate in the Startup Istanbul conference hosted by Etohum. We were finally able to meet in person to talk about the local startup system and I enjoyed hearing Christopher’s thoughts on similarities and differences between Turkey’s startup scene and those of the US and the Middle East.
Following his visit, Christopher wrote a piece for Pando which summarizes what he saw on the ground. Building on his book Startup Rising which covers entrepreneurship in the Middle East, the piece is called Startup Risen: Istanbul and its surprising neighbors. It provides a great overview of what’s happening in Turkey’s entrepreneurial ecosystem including specific examples of startups and investors that are having an impact.
I like to think that Turkey’s startup scene is still rising. Claiming that we’ve already risen would lower our future expectations of ourselves. However, as Christopher points out, we’re on the right track.