School:Koç University

From University Innovation Fellows
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Koc University.jpg


Koc University (KU) is located in Istanbul Sariyer, Turkey. It was established in 1993 and has been one of the leading research universities in Turkey since its establishment. The university declares its principle mission as: “… to cultivate Turkey’s most competent graduates, well-rounded adults who are internationally qualified; who can think creatively, independently and objectively; and who are confident leaders.”


Student innovation and entrepreneurship is encouraged to a certain extent and mainly focuses on engineering and science areas. The number and variety of innovation and entrepreneurship-related courses and the courses which are not directly related to these concepts but still inspire students are not much. The inspirational events and workshops are usually held by student organizations and clubs such as Entrepreneurship Club, IEEE, ACM, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Society and Industrial Engineers Society rather than the faculties and administration. The school has the Global Leadership and Learning for Sustainability Program that is a certificate program that trains students to live and create 21st century campus experience and be active global citizens. The campus houses Koç University Arçelik Research Center for Creative Industries (KUAR) and Koç University Entrepreneurship Research Center which do not engage a large number of students mostly for outside organizations in the creative processes but still creates opportunities for a selected group of students.

Courses related to Innovation and Entrepreneurship:

Non-I&E courses imparting the importance of I&E in the context of a larger subject area:

- MGMT 335: Strategy in a Global Environment

- ALIS 350: Transition to Professional Life

- ALIS 360: Next Generation Leadership & Transformation

- MKTG 432: Corporate Social Responsibility

- ENGR 400: Corporate Dynamics for Engineers

- MGMT 351: Organizational Theory

- ALIS 200: Applied Life Skills

- MKTG 404: Innovation Management

- ASIU 104: Art and Innovation

Courses (theory, case and/or discussion-based) conveying I&E concepts:

- MGMT 411: Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development

- MGMT 360: Social Entrepreneurship

- ENGR 401: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

- MGMT 311: Social Impact

- MGMT 412: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

- Entrepreneurship Track

- Sustainability and Impact Management Track

- Design Technology and Society for Graduate Students

- Global Learning and Leadership for Sustainability Track (Application only)

Experiential courses (senior design, Lean LaunchPad, and/or course requiring applied skills development):

- MGMT 310: Creating Social Impact Through Collaborative Project Management Experiential Learning

- MGMT 210: Changemaking in Action

- ASIU 118: Design Thinking

- ENGR 429: Makerspace for Engineers

- MAVA 205: Creative Thinking in Design

- Senior Design Projects for Engineering Seniors


The faculty members are highly encouraged on being innovative since the main focus of the university is being a leader in the research field in Turkey and in the world. The research labs are funded generously and the best academicians of the country are invited to the university. Many of these labs, especially engineering and science labs, get patents for the new concepts and products that they produce. Undergraduate students can work here as they apply and get accepted by the instructors managing those labs, even they don't do have big roles here, attending the meetings and helping graduate students in their projects provide experience about academics early. In terms of encouraging entrepreneurship at the faculty level, KUAR and KWORKS (former Koc University Incubation Center) are available for application and support.

Infrastructure (ie. maker, prototyping, or innovation space; engineering lab offering access outside of class, etc.):

- KU Makerspace - TunnelX

- Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory

- KARMA (Mixed Reality Technologies Training, Implementation and Dissemination Centre)

- Koç University Arçelik Research Center for Creative Industries (KUAR)

- Manufacturing & Automation Research Center (MARC)

- KUIS AI Center

Also, there are many other labs offering work, hands-on experience and research opportunities, outside of the lectures' theoretical side, that are led by instructors at Koç University.


Koc University Research, Project Development and Technology Transfer Directorate (RPDTTD), which was founded in 2009, provides university-industry collaboration opportunities, research support services, technology transfer, and research centers and laboratories. They provide legal advice and project management for granted projects. They offer help in patent and license application processes, direct the entrepreneurs to the KWORKS Entrepreneurship Center. The directorate has connections with the 17 research centers, 5 research forums and 1 support center of Koc University and they ensure the connection and communication between them and researchers in Koc University.


The Koc University Research, Project Development and Technology Transfer Directorate helps the project owners develop business plans. The research infrastructure of the university is open to applications of industrial organizations’ use. The coordinator of this kind of use of the university’s resources is RPDTTD and the available research centers for this purpose are Koc University TÜPRAŞ Energy Center and Koc University Surface Technologies Research Center. KWORKS plays an important role in forming university-industry bonds. Many of our faculty mostly in the engineering department also have companies where they can use their academic activity to be a part of the industry.


Koc University university does not have a separate economic development office. Still, KUAR and KWORKS fill the gap. Especially KWORKS provide mentorship, financial consultancy, business and product development support, technical consultancy, legal consultancy and government grants consultancy.

Programs KWORKS have to engage students with regional and local economic development:

KWORKS'20 Pre-Accelerator Program:

KWORKS’20 Pre-Accelerator Program is designed for early-stage entrepreneurs who are “checking it out”, looking to explore their idea a bit further but not ready to start a business yet.

KWORKS’20 Accelerator Program:

KWORKS’20 Accelerator Program is created with promising early-stage startups in mind, helping them explore the leap toward scaling their own startups.


KWORKS BiGG is the Personal Youth Entrepreneurship program of KWORKS with the support of TÜBİTAK.


TÜPRAŞ ile INOWHATIF is energy, industry and innovation-focused corporate acceleration program of TÜPRAŞ.


KWORKS FINTECH is the Financial Technologies Acceleration Program of KWORKS that runs with the support of ISTKA.


KWORKS IoT is the Internet of Things Acceleration Program of KWORKS that runs with the support of ISTKA.


Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellow Candidates (2021)

Ahmet Emre Açıkgöz

Alev Gökdemir

Demet Tümkaya

Ege Tezcan

University Innovation Fellows (2020)

Mehmet Enes Erciyes

Irem Nur Bulut

Pınar Dönmez

Ahmet Berk Tuzcu

University Innovation Fellows(2019)

Nisan Bicer

Deniz Canlı

Irem Tarkın

Berkay Barlas

University Innovation Fellows(2017)

Ceren Kocaogullar

Mehmet Yalcin Aydin

Mine Hazal Şenol

Orhun Canca