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One of the biggest startup events in Europe and West Asia, Take Off International is all set to make a grand comeback later this September. The four-day-long mega event will kick off on September 16 at the Atatürk Havalimanı in Istanbul amid much fanfare.

We sat down with Kaan Akin, founder of Hackquarters, a startup accelerator based in Turkey, to tell us more about the much-anticipated event that will take place later this year.

300 promising startups from across the world will be flocking to the Turkish capital to participate in the competition. And adding more charm to the even from a startup’s perspective, the organizers have announced complimentary flight tickets and hotel accommodation for the participants. You might want to head over to the event page for more information on that.

The event will give startups ample opportunities to network with investors, mentors, and corporates. This is a perfect chance for startup founders to strike partnership and/or investment deals with corporate heavyweights and some of the biggest investors from all over the world. 

“It is not a Turkish Startup event, this is a very global summit,” said Kaan. “So, all startups can find chances to meet with investors worldwide, partnership and clients. Last year we received applications from 86 different countries and we had 100 mentors/speakers/ jury and 100+ corporations participating from all around the world. So, the potential for startups is limitless.”

What’s more? Well, there will obviously be lucrative rewards for the top-performing startups (although we are low on details on that front as of now). Those of you who followed the previous edition of the event closely, you probably remember that the winners of Take Off International 2018 were selected for an all-encompassing startup boot camp in San Francisco.

This year’s speakers will be announced soon, but some speakers from last year include Amr Awadallah (founder at Cloudera), Ahmed Korayem (GM at EdVentures), Alexey Anatskiy (Google Maps EMEA), Asher Siddiqui (Partner at 500 Startups), and many more. 

And finally, those of you planning on participating in this mega event, the last date for submitting your online application is August 30. Keep in mind that the organizers will evaluate each individual application as and when they come. So you might want to hurry up rather than waiting for the last minute rush. Good luck to all!