İTU-GINOVA Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center is founded in May 2014, with the aim of being the meeting point for entrepreneurship at İstanbul Technical University (İTU) and be a bridge between the Campus and İTU ARI Science Park Incubation Center. The goal is to boost the entrepreneurship culture on campus by turning İTU students and academics towards an entrepreneurial mindset based on creativity, innovation and collaboration. The Center enables the active participation of students, academics, graduates, business representatives and entrepreneurs and provides mechanisms for these parties to share their expertise and experience freely, acting as a catalyst for those who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. Being a meeting point for students from different departments of İTU, we promote students to generate ideas together and bring them into action.
While carrying these objectives, we bring the following values to our work: “passion for exploration”, “courage”, “creativity”, “learning by doing” and “co-creation”.
Students improve their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge at İTU GINOVA. Ideas and teams that are formed here are supported by İTU GINOVA with coaching and mentoring services for nascent entrepreneurs. They find an enabling environment for idea and team development through İTU GINOVA’s Entrepreneurship educational programs, workshops, and mentorship, and prepare for pre-incubation centers that can provide them with more resources.
İTU GINOVA has been making the boundaries disappear, as it is the only entity at İTU, that brings together students and academics from across departments, by being the collaborative space. This has been missing at İTU with a long history of the continental university model, which is based on almost independent faculties. While working on these goals, we work closely with student clubs, in the role of facilitator. In this role, we steer their activities and accelerate their processes.
Along with making departmental boundaries transparent, the Center, also, became a space for industry to take part in university, directly. This is exemplified by Tuesday Talks, where every two weeks a guest speaker from industry meets with students and academics. The talks are open to public hence practitioners join students in the multi-faceted discussions. The second program, Startup Huddle, of which İTU GINOVA is the local chapter in İstanbul, brings new ventures into the university to get feedback from the students, and students and entrepreneurs ideate on the business venture ideas.
The Center has decreased bureaucracy and made the University more approachable by business firms as well as NGOs. There have been several joint activities with these parties such as GE Leadership Camp and Junior Achievement Association Innovation Camp. This year by making a new collaboration with one of the most prestigious universities in Turkey, we have co-created the Fire-Up Changemaker Community Program, aiming to expand the student community around design-centered innovation.
We welcome all actors working around innovation and entrepreneurship to our center!