LIFE Project Hosts First Virtual Business Pitch Competition

When LIFE Entrepreneurs graduate from the intensive Food Entrepreneurship Incubator, they have the opportunity to share their business ideas with industry experts and compete for seed funding during a Business Pitch Competition. While competitions are usually held at the LIFE Project’s Food Enterprise Centers in Istanbul and Mersin, safety measures from COVID-19 prevented the usual in-person competitions from taking place.

Instead, the LIFE Project hosted the first-ever Virtual Business Pitch Competition. Members received video production and business pitch training before recording their pitches and sharing them with a panel of expert judges. The panel selected 16 entrepreneurs from the cohorts in Istanbul and Mersin as finalists, and three businesses from each cohort received seed funding to start or scale their venture.

Interested in learning more about the winning businesses or connecting with the entrepreneurs behind them? Contact us at [email protected].

Virtual Pitch Competition Winners


Istanbul Cohort Winners

Aya Anani: “Crave Home”

Aya, a Lebanese entrepreneur, plans to expand her food delivery platform that connects customers with home cooks.

Nevra Aslantürk and Kenan Kahya: “Mahalleden”

Turkish entrepreneurs Nevra and Kenan launched a community-based food sharing platform focused on strengthening social ties while increasing access to healthy food.

Selin Ergene and Emine Sibel Sakarya: “Real food”

After seeing how office workers’ diets of unhealthy comfort foods can lead to negative health effects, Turkish entrepreneurs Selin and Emine decided to create a food truck that offers healthy fast food options to office employees.

Mersin Cohort Winners

Ahmad Kashaam: date syrup production

Originally from Palmyra, Syria, Ahmad pitched his idea to market date syrup - which his home city is famous for - as an affordable alternative to sugar for people with restricted diets including diabetics and athletes.

Emel Sanli: fresh baby food

Turkish entrepreneur Emel plans to build on her experience in food production by starting a new business focused on fresh, nutritional baby food and family staples.

Manar Al-Salam: fresh dairy products

Syrian entrepreneur Manar will use the seed funding she received to open a shop for her home-based business producing additive-free dairy products.


Ayşegül Erdoğan and Özlem Aydalga (Istanbul): “Anne Eli”

Serpil Demir (Mersin): Kaynar Cafe

Fatime Yaruk (Mersin): “Şam Şifa”

Nour Eddin Zalamtani (Istanbul): “Our World Project”