imece Incubation Program is geared towards social entrepreneurs. In the year 2019 we are realizing our program, which we have been revising in accordance with our learnings, with the main partnership of Zorlu Holding and the strategic collaboration of İTÜ Çekirdek. We bring together enterprises which aim to solve social, cultural, ecological and public issues; focus on creating social good; prioritize financial sustainability, and develop services and products that are conscious about people, society and nature, with resources such as funding, mentoring, network access and office space under the guidance of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Every year we select a theme under the scope of Sustainable Development Goals and call for applications on issues around this theme to entrepreneurs. We take under a two-phase evaluation of those enterprises which design products, services, or systems around the specified theme, and which have passed the prototyping stage. We organize a two-day bootcamp in which 20 enterprises participate in order to strengthen the current state of the enterprises and to bring out their potential for impact and social good. Three enterprises selected from the bootcamp participants are included in the İTÜ Çekirdek and imece’s joint program to go through a three-month incubation process. In this process, İTÜ Çekirdek provides entrepreneurship training, workspace, and product, service, or system development training that is customized for the enterprise and its domain of activity, while imece supplies network access, mentoring, and a 60.000 TL grant for each project.
We believe that social enterprises are the most effective and current structures which spark social and systemic change. Enterprises which focus on the creation of social good via an entrepreneurial approach bring about social innovation. As stated in the article “Rediscovering Social Innovation”, published in Stanford Social Innovation Review, “an innovation is truly social only if the balance is tilted toward social value—benefits to the public or to society as a whole—rather than private value—gains for entrepreneurs, investors, and ordinary (not disadvantaged) consumers. We want to differentiate social innovations from ordinary innovations because the world is already amply equipped to produce and disseminate ordinary innovations. It is only when markets fail—in the case of public goods—that social innovation becomes important as a way to meet needs that would not otherwise be met and to create value that would not otherwise be created.” Accordingly, we facilitate the development and scaling of social enterprise by supporting the enterprises which are striving to create such value and bringing them together with institutions.
Apart from our alumni network, most of which develop products, services, and systems around the issues of quality of education, gender equality, empowerment of women, and accessibility, we also have a mentor network with expertise in various fields ranging from business development to law, from design to technology. We also create domains of cooperation and collaboration by bringing together social enterprises with institutions from the private sector, civil society, the public sector, and academia.
We contribute to the development of the social innovation ecosystem through our activities and content. We support social entrepreneurs who would like to find solutions to social issues access education, mentorship and grants through the Accelerator. During each Accelerator that lasts for 7 months, we focus on a specific theme and issues related to this theme. We choose our themes and issues based on the 17 Global Goals of the UN for sustainable development
Strengthening Disadvantaged Groups Socially and Economically
Around the globe, inequality continues to exist in the spheres of health, education, and income. If your enterprise, that is the product, service, or system which you are developing, produces solutions which provide an answer to the question “How can we achieve inclusiveness and the social and economic strengthening of disadvantaged groups in order to reduce inequality in society”, then review the resources to understand its scope and apply to the Incubation Program now.
Enabling Access to Basic Rights and Needs for Disabled Individuals
Disabled people can’t access education and employment opportunities equally. Disabled individuals’ physical and social needs are often ignored by the society. If your enterprise, that is the product, service, or system which you are developing, produces solutions which provide an answer to the question “How can we provide means of education, employment, and participation in social life that is accessible to everyone?”, then review the resources to understand its scope and apply to the Incubation Program now.
Enabling Access to Basic Rights and Needs for Refugees
Refugee groups face discrimination in various spheres such as living conditions, health, and education. If your enterprise, that is the product, service, or system which you are developing, produces solutions which provide an answer to the question “How can we develop tools, models, and methods that would support refugees’ education, employment, and participation in social life, and thereby improve their psycho-social situation?”, then review the resources to understand its scope and apply to the Incubation Program now.
Women’s equal participation in economic life
Women cannot equally participate in economic life due to various reasons, including obstacles in finding a job, staying in one job and getting a promotion; the fact that women undertake most of the unpaid housework; and prejudices against women as well as the lack motivation stemming from those prejudices.
Applications are closed.
Ensuring women and girls are physically, socially and mentally healthy
Redesigning Content and Models of Education
Women’s and girls’ access to education and quality of education
Does your enterprise offer solutions for the issues we presented? Does it provide accessibility for refugees, disabled individuals, or disadvantaged groups? Review the resources and conditions, and apply for the Support Program.
Dates for application:
April 30 – June 24 2019
Participate in the imece events in Ankara and Istanbul where you can evaluate whether you are a social entrepreneur, learn about the details of the program and meet investors. Details on the dates and venues will be announced soon.
Work on the subjects of idea verification, impact modeling and business development with imece mentors in the two-day Bootcamp, and get together with experts of the field. The presentations made at the end of the bootcamp will be evaluated by imece mentors and influence the selection of the three enterprises which will move on to the incubation phase.
5-7 July 2019
The three enterprises which will be included in imece Support Program from July to October will be announced. That same week the selected teams will also participate in İTÜ Çekirdek’s jury evaluation.
July 5th 2019
We are meeting in a two-day retreat where we will seek answers to the questions of what we want to change with our enterprises, how we will change them, how we will collaborate with stakeholders, and form a common vision.
July 26 – 27 2019
In the process designed by imece team, coaches, and mentors addressing various needs of your enterprise such as impact modeling, beneficiary group creation, stakeholder development, and communication, you will receive support such as training, mentoring, network access and grants. As well as the allotment of office space at İTÜ Çekirdek, you will earn eligibility for evaluation at the Big Bang by participating in the business development training in August.
July – October
Istanbul and online platform
After graduation, apart from the graduation meeting where you will get together with investors and institutions, you will also earn eligibility to be evaluated at Big Bang to be among the final 20 enterprises.
Resources We Provide
Access to the Ecosystem
Conditions for Application
The team members;
- must be passionate about the issue,
- at least one team member must have worked/be working on the issue or be personally affected,
- basic skills necessary for the enterprise must be available in the team (for example, if the product is a mobile app, there must be a software developer on the team),
- must be qualified in business development, design, and business awareness,
- at least two people must work full-time on the enterprise.
The social enterprise idea;
- must fit the chosen theme,
- must have progressed at least past the prototype stage,
- must be based on a clear problem definition and the field experience of the team members,
- must have the potential to transform into a scalable business model,
- must have a high potential of social impact,
- must be feasible and applicable.
The selected enterprises;
- must participate as a team in the bootcamp, retreat, incubation, mentor and coach meetings, and the in training that will take place in August at İTÜ Çekirdek,
- must follow and complete the work decided upon by the imece team, the coaches and the mentors,
- must document the process (the tools and methods of documentation will be shared with the teams which will be included in the program).