Events and News
2012 YIEP Fair Highlights Turkey’s Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
May 25, 2012
What do you get when you bring together the business ideas of more than 300 students from all across Turkey? Not only dozens of innovative products and business plans, but a new generation of entrepreneurs working together to develop the skills they need to succeed in the future. The fourth annual Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program (YIEP) Fair held on May 25 gave these students the chance to demonstrate the results of their education – and make their pitch to some influential potential “investors.”
Representing 63 schools from 23 provinces in Turkey, the teams were challenged to develop their projects and business plans through online training, team-building, and entrepreneurial education in the classroom and through exchange with others. U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone and President of the Turkish Education Association (TED) Selcuk Pehlivanoğlu opened the YIEP fair and toured the booths where students used their best strategies to market their products to potential investors. The products ranged from ways to improve every day conveniences, like charging a cell phone or keeping fruit and vegetables fresh, to big ideas for using alternative energy sources to power homes and entire cities.
Two lucky teams earned the top prize for their efforts – a trip to the U.S. to learn more about the American educational system and entrepreneurship. The 2012 winners come from the TED Ali Aga Private High School of Izmir and the Denizli Anatolian High School of Denizli. The Izmir team developed a special walker that features a seat, GPS device, and an umbrella that automatically detects rain to assist senior citizens and others. The Denizli team created a disappearing ink that would allow textbooks and workbooks to be reused from year to year, reducing the amount of paper wasted. The two winning teams will also be welcomed to the United States by the high school students from Burlington, Vermont that participated in this year’s program.
After the fair, all of the participating students celebrated their hard work at a barbeque at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.