Pioneers and I!

March 12, 2018

I see that you have never listened to the Pioneers program from us. It was always explained by Kaan. Well, if we are shaping the program, then you should also listen it from us!

How Did I Start?

Before I applied to the program, I did not take much place in the entrepreneurship ecosystem as I played an active role in social responsibility area - domestic and international volunteering projects. My goal was clear, to remove social benefits I can provide in this world to the maximum, to strengthen women and create equality, to contribute for each young person in Turkey to grow with this consciousness, and of course, to change the world! I thought that the best way to bring change and make it sustainable is social entrepreneurship and started to work in this direction.I was slowly taking my first steps on this path, and I saw the Pioneers program on Twitter and applied it. This program, which seemed to be full of secrets because it was made for the first time, sparked an incredible curiosity for me. I was soon called to the Beta team. Of course, I was incredibly excited. They tell us that your ideas are very important and we want to shape the program with you. (Whaaat?!! I don't believe it!!) It really happened that way. While Kaan said, let's do this and that, we organized activities in 14 schools and I coordinated these activities with a team of 25 people. We reached more than 1000 university students and we made sure that entreprneurship is a topic that was talked about.

Where Everything Begins

We held our first event at Kolektif House. First of all, I want to state that if you are with 100 people who want to go on the same path with you and incredibly beautiful people who guide you, you will feel stronger. All of us looked for the next activity from the very first day. (We would like to meet more!) We were asked to hold 8 events in each school until the next event. Our goal with these events is to reach people at various locations in Turkey who really want to be entrepreneurs and play role in the upbringing of these people as entrepreneurs with the participation of our Omegas.We invited our friends who attended more than once in the activities we held every week at our second HackCon event on February 17. (Our family is getting bigger!) Moreover, during the events, the Hackquarters team conveyed the content they carefully select every week, so we read, learned and returned home with a lot of knowledge after each event.

Details Make The Whole Perfect

I would like to talk about some more details about the program in order to guide the friends who want to join Pioneers. We are not limited to activities. We share content from Slack and Whatsapp groups. There is a huge flow of information inside. What we can do, how we can do, we talk, we discuss. We support each other, help each other, participate in entrepreneurship competitions, host people from other cities in our city, and make the most beautiful friendships. Among the things we want to do next, there are many better, more fun and informative ideas. We will be implementing them during this coming period, I think you should definitely be following for developments!If you want to be a part of Hackquarters Pioneers, you can apply from the link below!

A Big Thanks to Pioneers from Me!

Frankly, institutions that motivate and support the youth entrepreneurship in Turkey, institutions that focus not on what these people have done but instead on their vision and what they will do, and create the necessary environment for ideas are scarce. First of all, I would like to thank Kaan Akın for leading this, we are all very grateful for every good thing you made us a part of. I would like to also thank Sabina Babayeva for guiding me and being with me all the time. Finally, a big thank you to our valuable Omegas who came to our events and shared their experiences and to the entire Hackquarters team for making the program possible!

Esengül SağdınçPioneers Beta, Hackquarters Community Manager İstanbul Commerce University



Greetings, let me introduce myself first. My name is Ali, I am 20 years old and I am studying business at Erciyes University. Now I will tell you how I joined the Pioneers program and what it added to me. I hope I won't bore you.

How Did I Join?

Before I applied to the program, I was personally at a turning point. So, there was a big gap in my life and I was aware that I had to fill it. I was in search of new things to fill this gap and this time I came across a video called '5 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch' on Youtube. Later on I watched these 5 movies, they were talking about the organizations of world famous companies such as Facebook and Apple. I was very impressed with the movies and after that I said: "I will be an entrepreneur as well".Then I wanted to realize the first project that came to my mind, of course, I couldn't, because I couldn't form a team. I didn't even know the importance of having and building a team. Then I understood that I had to be in this ecosystem to build a team or grasp many different topics. I made researches about how I can get involved and finally I decided to work in Kolektif House.

Kolektif House and Hackquarters

In order to get a job at Kolektif House, you need to send a CV etc. as an e-mail. At that time, I wasn't even aware that I was more at risk because I didn't want to risk it. I deceived myself a little because I did not know how to prepare a CV. I got up from Kayseri and went to Istanbul and immediately went to the reception and said, "I want to work here". Normally, they do not have such a recruitment, but I started with some chance and at the initiative of Emir. I worked as a trainee for 2 months at Kolektif House.I was out of Kayseri so long for the first time, and again as a first, I was trying to work in a company other than my parents'. It was a difficult but nice period for me. Hackquarters was making an office change while I was working and I was sent to help because I was an intern in the operation department. While helping, the poster of the Pioneers program attracted my attention. And as soon as I was done there, I applied. I had no hope, but one day I realized that I was qualified for HackCon. I was so happy.

Where Everything Begins

I can genuinely say that Kolektif House has a very important place in my life. I think joining there was the most important decision and turning point of my life. It has enabled me to gain enough self-confidence to say that I can do what I said I won't or cannot. It also helped me get to know perfect people. Kolektif House strengthened my communication and I had the chance to observe dozens of companies, such as Hackquarters, who do very valuable work. I am here now and I need to explain how I know Hackquarters and what it adds to me, but I see the Kolektif House and Hackquarters as a whole. I cannot think of these two structures separately.

My experience with Hackquarters is as follows: First, I gained experience by learning how an event should be organized and how I should communicate with people about it. Then I had the chance to establish a tighter and better friendship with my teammates in Kayseri who were in the Pioneers program with me. With the Pioneers program, I understood the importance of helping and working as a team. After every HackCon and event we organize at our university, we see our way better with many shared experiences and knowledge.

Thank You!

Unfortunately there aren't many institutions in Turkey that attach importance to young people's ideas and what they want to do, or create opportunities and support the young people to carry out their ideas. I would like to thank Hackquarters for leading such a beautiful event. Also, I would like to thank Emir, you supported me during this process a lot. I learned dozens of things from you, thank you very much.

Ali Eşref İlhanPioneers Beta Kayseri Erciyes University



First of all, hello everyone!I wanted you to read about the Pioneers program, the process before and after, from my eyes. Who am I? I am Hümeyra Ceylan, I am a third year student at Sakarya University Management Information Systems. Now, I am one of the new betas of Pioneers program that I started as an alpha.

How and Why Did I Join the Pioneers Program?

I did not do anything about entrepreneurship before I applied to the program. At a time that I realized and found entrepreneurship as an interesting option, Pioneers application appeared. I saw it on Twitter by chance and decided to apply. I had to start somewhere, and what the Pioneers program promised was perfect for me. It talked about reaching young people who were looking for a way to improve themselves. Okay, this talks about me, I have thought and then applied. Even the questions asked to us during the application process and the application form itself made me feel like I was taking the right step.

First HackCon

While I was waiting for the application results, I had already started to say why they should take me, since I had no experience on entrepreneurship. Then came a mail saying I was accepted, and at that moment I understood once again that their goal was to choose people who could really improve themselves. Then I started looking forward to the first event. The event took place in Kolektif House. There were a lot of people when I walked in and I thought I couldn't meet most of them, but I was wrong. I met many of them in the ice breaking part and exchanged ideas. 100 people with the same purpose, willing to move forward with well-equipped people who will guide them. Even looking at this picture from a distance gives people strength, right? Be sure, your belief definitely is increasing when you are in this group.

More Events, More Innovations

With the first event, we decided to organize such events at each university until the next event. In this way, we would have brought innovation to different provinces and reached the people who wanted to become entrepreneurs; and eventually that happened. I am the representative of Sakarya University of these events. It was a great experience for me as someone who has never organized events before.In fact, I can say that these events were a preliminary preparation for the entrepreneurial life. I had a lot of difficulties while organizing the events. Because everything does not progress as you wish, and a different problem can always knock on your door at the last minute. I understood the sentence "You should never give up" much better. Whatever the problem is, you should go over it. At the end, positive feedback from the participants after the event made all the difficulties forget. It was a great pleasure for me to see that we shed light on people, even if it's a little.Finally, there are people who need to be thanked. I would like to thank Kaan for including and leading us in this program, and then Esengül, who tried to find solutions to all kinds of problems during the event and never left us alone. And of course to all the Hackquarters team who contributed to the program!

Hümeyra CeylanPioneers Beta Sakarya University



One should see every breath that he / she takes as a new opportunity to live better and know every opportunity that comes before them as a new breath that has joined their life. Especially entrepreneurs, as people who are experienced in evaluating the opportunities that they encounter, better understand the value of life and the enthusiasm of living and producing with this philosophy. When entrepreneurship and opportunities are concerned, it is essential to consider the following. Since the opportunities feed the entrepreneur and thus entrepreneurship, those who create these opportunities should be given their rights.In this article, I will talk about a formation that does not hesitate to create opportunities for young entrepreneurs. With the Pioneers program launched in October 2017, Hackquarters brought 100 new breaths to the entrepreneurial world. Students, who had the opportunity to participate in the program, fully stepped into the entrepreneurship world as Hackquarters Alpha. Thanks to this program, 100 high school and university students from different schools continued to with an increase in their interests in entrepreneurship. Some of them formed activity groups and organized entrepreneurship-based trainings in their schools. In this way, the interest in entrepreneurship continued to increase exponentially.

Ones that Create the Opportunities

Hundreds of young people have become conscious and enthusiastic about entrepreneurship thanks to more than 35 events organized in just 4 months. Moreover, some Alphas had the opportunity to do internships at startups and gained experience. Also, some of the Alphas brought their startup idea to life with the support of Hackquarters. In short, with its activities, internship opportunities and support, Hackquarters touched the lives of 1000s of people with the program it started with 100 people.I am continuing to this program, which I started as Hackquarters Alpha in October 2017, as Hackquarters Beta as of February 2017. Thanks to the program, I have had numerous experiences over a 5-month period. I learned dozens of new business models, I got an idea about how startups work, I met new people. I had the opportunity to do a marketing internship at, a Work Up initiative. In addition, with 2 friends I met from the program, we started to develop and started to find solutions to growth problems of startups. In addition to the contributions to my career, this program's personal contributions were self-confidence, perseverance, and countless perspectives.An environment where every idea is valued and listened to is the dream of every entrepreneur. Thanks to the Pioneers program, 100 entrepreneurs are now working with people who value them in such an environment. The program reaches more people with each passing day and makes significant contributions to the growth of entrepreneurship ecosystem in Turkey.

Metin YıldızPioneers Beta Marmara University


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