Gangnam Style Startups

On November 4, 2012 by murat

I think it’s all about the approach and the beginning.

If a local 34-year old rapper from Korea can make the second-most viewed video on Youtube, your startup can also make it globally. Psy had no apparent previous successes before Gangnam Style, but pushed everything with his single to the limits to be a huge success: a global dance beat, 3 celebrity cameos, funny dance moves (that can catch on like the macarena) and humor that made everyone smile. He did shoot for the stars and became a global sensation.


It’s all about the starting point and the approach.

If you start in your local language (with no plans to expand to other languages) from the beginning and only target your local market with no plans for global expansion, you will always stay a local startup.

It’s all in your head.

Aim high, and start with being a global success in mind.

I get asked a lot what it means to be a global startup. Here are some examples of Turkish startups that had the right approach from the beginning (there are many, these are just some of them, sorry for missing out the other great ones):


SocialWire is a user acquisition platform for Facebook. Their service uses Facebook Open Graph to help retailers market their products efficiently and effectively on Facebook.

Great founders, that had a global vision from the beginning. They’re now based in San Francisco, have great Silicon Valley investors and a world-class team.


A highly-scalable data distribution platform for Java, used globally by large corporations and enterprises. From the beginning the founders had the vision for a global product and thanks to that, they got customers such as Apple, Ericsson, Morgan Stanley, etc. and now they are expanding further globally.


A mobile game development platform with a global customer base and a very engaged developer community. The amazing founding team had the global vision from the beginning and did everything with a global user base in mind and achieved success.


Intelligent virtual agents using natural language processing technologies. This is a startup with a very heavy dependence on the language, which was initially Turkish, but even then, the strong founding team had the vision for global expansion and now they are expanding to the US with an office in New York already.

If you are a global startup and believe that you can benefit from our upcoming Accelerator program, please apply here:


I will be in Turkey next week (November 12th – 18th) to meet and screen Turkish startups for our Winter 2013 program (


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