Fourth Istanbul Business Pitch Competition

The fourth cohort of LIFE Entrepreneurs in Istanbul included 29 food entrepreneurs from four countries. Each cohort culminates in the Business Pitch Competition, in which graduates have the opportunity to share their food business ideas with a panel of industry experts for a chance to receive seed funding to start and scale their businesses.

Judges included Bilal Khalaf, former owner of the restaurant Saruja; Nizar Bitar, owner of the restaurant Tarbush; Asli Ozelli, Executive Director of AmCham Turkey; Evrim Tankus Hakyemez, founder of MamaMe (; and Bilge Turcan, VP of Business Administration, IDEMA.

The pitches came from Hilal and Ilayda, a mother and daughter team specializing in healthy cakes; Zeynep, who plans to launch a cafe for people living active lifestyles; Gunes, a kombucha producer introducing four varieties to the Turkish market; and Devrim, an entrepreneur developing a sustainable business model for her healthy food production workshop.