Co-founder of Markafoni & Chairman of Entrepreneurship Foundation
Sina Afra is the Chairman of Entrepreneurship Foundation and the Co-founder of Markafoni, Turkey's and MENA's biggest Online Fashion Company. He has been helping young entrepreneurs since 2007 as an “Angel Investor". Beside Turkey, he has invested in Germany, United States, Holland, England and Switzerland. Furthermore, Sina has been actively undertaking social responsibilities, some of which are:
- Endeavor Turkey, Board Member
- Turkey IT Foundation (TBV), Board Member
- Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Vice-president of the Venture Capital Council and Member of Executive Committee of the Young Entrepreneurs Council
- Turkish Industry & Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) Member
Sina Afra graduated from the Department of Business Management of Münster University and speaks 5 languages. Before co-founding Markafoni, he worked at KPMG for 12 years and at eBay for 5 years. He has been awarded up to 20 awards in Turkey and Germany. He was chosen as the “Angel Investor of the Year" and the “Web Entrepreneur of the Year" resulting from a survey that had been conducted publicly. In 2014, Sina Afra was elected as one of the most important 100 entrepreneurs in Europe. He shares his personal ideas about the e-commerce sector through his personal blog (www.sinaafra.com) and Twitter account (@sinaafra).
CEO and Chairman of INDEX GROUP
Erol Bilecik was born in 1962, Antakya. He graduated from the computer-engineering department of Istanbul Technical University in 1987. In 1989, he undertook the general manager position of Index Computer as its founder. He has been the chairman & CEO of Index Computer Inc., Despec Inc., Datagate Inc., Neteks Inc., Homend Inc. and Teklos Inc. under the Index Group since 1999. Index Group companies are the Turkey distributors of over 200 technology giants all over the world.
Erol Bilecik successfully launched Index Computer in 2004, Datagate Computer in 2006 and Despec Computer in 2010 under the name of Index Group to the stock market. Through his group of enterprises, he managed to bring foreign partners and investments to Turkey and the sector for 3 times.
He is the current board member of TUSIAD and TBV. He was the chairman of one of the oldest NGOs in the Turkish computer sector, Informatics Industry Association (TUBISAD), between 2002-2005. He was awarded by The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) on July 15, 2010 with State Medal of Distinguished Service for his contributions and donations to education.
Co-Founder and CEO of Lidyana.com
Hakan Bas was born in Istanbul in 1983, and graduated from Uskudar American High School. As a former record holder national swimmer, he was professionally involved with swimming throughout his high school and college years. He attended to many competitions on behalf of Fenerbahce and the national team. After graduating from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Economics, he worked at the Bank of America in New York for two years and Raymond James in Istanbul for one year as an investment banker. After completing his MBA degree in Yale University, he came back to Turkey as the Vice-president of Strategic Planning in Garanti Bank.
Hakan Bas discovered his interest in entrepreneurship during his years in Yale University where he successfully completed “Venture Capital' and “Business Planning” courses. He stepped into entrepreneurship during his years at Garanti Bank. In October 2010, he formed a social game company called “Peak Games” with one of his friends, using his previous experiences as an investment banker. Today, Peak Games is world's third largest social game company and hosts 15 million users daily.
After Peak Games, Hakan Bas founded a digital marketing agency called “Krombera” with Alper Ozdemir in March 2011. Krombera has been growing fast since and now serving companies from a variety of sectors in many ways.
After seeing a huge opportunity in the e-commerce sector, Hakan Bas founded Lidyana.com in February 2012, which is one of the leading fashion e-commerce sites of Turkey. Within 18 months of its launch, Russian investment fund Runet and German Investment fund Burda International invested 2 rounds in Lidyana.com and the company entered Wired UK magazine's “Europe's Top Preferred Investments” list in 2012 as the leading investment from Turkey.
Finally, Hakan Bas also founded an animation company called “Anibera”, a production company called “Probera” and a PR company called “Berabera” in 2014 with Alper Ozdemir.
Hakan Bas is an Endeavor Entrepreneur and an Advisor and he is a member of “Buyuk Kulup” and a congressman of Fenerbahce SK.
Founder & CEO of Inventures and Inveon IT
Yomi Kastro is the founder & CEO of Inveon IT and Inventures. Born in İzmir in 1989, he has been in the internet computing and technology sector since he developed his first software when he was 11 years old. He graduated with an honorary degree from Bogazici University in Computer Engineering and completed his graduate degree at the same department. The articles he wrote about artificial intelligence, internet technologies and software engineering during his PHD were published on many international magazines. He completed Harvard Business School's (HBS) “Private Equity and Venture Capital" program in 2011. Yomi Kastro worked in many international companies during his professional carrier, which includes Pfizer; however, not being able to prevent his passion for entrepreneurship, he founded Inveon in 2006. Inveon was selected as one of the most successful enterprises in 2008 by Endeavor. Yomi Kastro was chosen as the “Entrepreneur of 2009" by world's most distinguished entrepreneurship and business association, JCI.
Yomi Kastro is the co-founder of 12 internet companies, such as; 1V1Y, Trendyol, Bonvagon and Bulucak.com. He invested in various companies with his “investor" identity such as Supplemetler.com and Ideasoft.
Yomi Kastro is a member of various professional and philosophical associations. He is voluntarily mentoring students from the Bogazici University through BUMED. Some of his personal hobbies are discovering countries with his touring motorcycle, listening new age music and playing brain teaser games.
Google Turkey Public Policy and Government Relations Manager
Pelin Kuzey was born in Ankara in1975. She graduated from Ankara Tevfik Fikret High School. She earned her undergraduate degree in International Relations at Ankara University. She completed her PHD in University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. In 2000, she started her career in Ministry of Finance where she worked for 12 years in different positions concerning debates with European Union, external affairs and relations with international associations. She worked as an expert at the European Commission Directorate General for Internal Market and Competition in 2005. In 2008, she became the president of European Union and International Relations Department. During 2008-2012, she held positions as the coordinator of Fiscalis Program and board member of Ankara University European Community Research and Application Center. She has been working as the Director of Public Relations of Google Turkey since March 2012.