Fifth Istanbul Business Pitch Competition

At the fifth LIFE Project Business Pitch Competition in Istanbul, 32 entrepreneurs from Turkey and Syria pitched their food business plans to a panel of expert judges for a chance to receive seed funding.

Judges included Sevin Turhan, Columnist at Hürriyet Newspaper; Dr. Gökçen Özbek, Training Manager, IDEMA; Yakup Dabak, Founder, Coffeemania; Bilal Khalaf, Owner of Al Mukhtar Restaurants; and Muhamad Nuor Almoualem, owner of Almoualem Restaurant and Bouz Aljedy Restaurants.

The winning pitches came from Nedal, a Syrian entrepreneur opening “Cookibook,” a space where students can work and studies while enjoying cookies and drinks; Salwa, a Syrian entrepreneur working to scale her dairy production business “Grandpa’s Dairies”; Özgü, a Turkish entrepreneur developing a zero-waste produce eCommerce business “OO_Veggie”; and Remden, who is capitalizing on the farm-to-table trend in Turkey to establish a community fruit and vegetable garden.