KWORKS, officially known as KOÇ UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP RESEARCH CENTER, an organization founded by Koç University (KU) in 2014 to support technology-based business models in becoming sustainable and scalable technological enterprises. The center operates as an important meeting hub for entrepreneurs, investors and other members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, supporting entrepreneurs through infrastructure and playing an acceleratory role in the process from business model stage to commercialization.
Based on KU’s Şişli campus, KWORKS provides support to enterprises at all levels, from the business model stage to the investment process, designing enterprise programs especially for the needs of entrepreneurs.
For early-stage enterprises without a business model, the process begins with the Pre-Accelerator Program, and when this reaches the productization stage the client continues more intensely with product or service development as part of the Accelerator Program. The Accelerator Program ensures that enterprises have swift access to investment and make fast progress with product or service commercialization.
Together with KWORKS LAB, which was established in 2016 with support from the Ministry of Development and Istanbul Development Agency, the center also provides support throughout the product development process, from design to prototype, for entrepreneurs developing hardware. It ensures that entrepreneurs are able to present their products to clients with as little expense and as quickly as possible. KWORKS LAB provides entrepreneurs with access to a technological laboratory equipped with 3D scanners and printers, a laser cutting machine, CNC machine, drones, oscilloscope, and digital multimeter.
The KWORKS senior board is made up of over 50 mentors and leading figures in Turkish business, helping to provide entrepreneurs with invaluable experience. As of 2018, the program has received nearly 3,000 applications, supported 22 entrepreneurs on the Accelerator Program and 36 on the Pre-Accelerator Program.
KWORKS also supports the building of a sustainable innovation infrastructure, with programs aimed not just at the needs of technology entrepreneurs, but also of partner organizations. Corporate innovation programs are designed to create innovative solutions and support product development in companies’ key technological fields or sectors.
Additionally, KWORKS hosts over 100 annual events and its program of seminars, training and workshops has quickly made it into a hub for the entrepreneurial ecosystem.