In 2020 calls SDGia welcomes teams and startups with ideas on Digital Agriculture and Financial Inclusion
DIGITAL AGRICULTURE FOR UGANDA
SDGia will address the digital agriculture challenge in Uganda focusing on ‘world with zero hunger’ (SDG2) which requires more productive, efficient, sustainable, inclusive, transparent and resilient food systems. Another goal of the program is “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” (SDG9) which focuses on building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation at agriculture. The program aims at urgent transformation of the current agri-food systems with innovative solutions after COVID-19 from global and local entrepreneurs.
Our call is open to teams from all around the world and from Uganda. Click here to learn more.
FINANCIAL INCLUSION FOR BANGLADESH
Financial inclusion is a critical enabler of 8 SDGs focusing on eradicating poverty (SDG 1); ending hunger, achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture (SDG 2); profiting health and well-being (SDG 3); achieving gender equality and economic empowerment of women (SDG 5); promoting economic growth and jobs (SDG 8); supporting industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9); reducing inequality (SDG 10) ; and strengthening the means of implementation (SDG 17). The program aims an urgent transformation of the current financial system with innovative solutions after COVID-19 from global and local entrepreneurs.
Our call is open to teams from all around the world and from Bangladesh. Click here to learn more.
The SDGia starts with an online Pre-Accelerator Program in February 2021. Selected teams who complete this program are invited to the online Accelerator Program in April 2021 and receive grants of $15,000. Graduates of the Accelerator Program who are selected by the jury receive additional funding in the form of impact investment to implement their solution in Uganda. They will also be invited to Uganda for field visits and to talk to target customers and users if and when travel restrictions are lifted. Some of the successful teams of the program may also get a chance to showcase their solutions at the Davos Summit and the UN General Assembly.
- Rauf Alp R. DenktaşDeputy Director General (MFA)Rauf Alp R. DenktaşDeputy Director General (MFA)
Rauf Alp Denktaş joined the Turkish Foreign Service in 2001 and started his diplomatic career in the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s Department of NATO and Western European Union Affairs.
In 2003, he was assigned to the Turkish Embassy in Bucharest, Romania for two years as Third Secretary followed by a three-year-term in the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv, where he served as Second Secretary.
Upon returning to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008, Denktaş worked at the Israel and Palestine Desk as a First Secretary responsible for Turkey-Israel and Turkey-Palestine relations, and for Turkey’s involvement in and contributions to the Middle East peace process.
In 2010, he was posted to Washington, D.C. as Counsellor and Embassy Spokesman. In 2011, he also assumed the position of Chief Congressional Liaison to the U.S. Congress, leading the Embassy’s outreach efforts on Capitol Hill.
In November 2013, he assumed his duties as the Head of Department for NATO and Euro-Atlantic Security (Political Affairs) at the Foreign Ministry.
In October 2015, he was appointed to Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN as First Counsellor. He represented Turkey in the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) and followed related files at the Security Council in addition to Eastern Europe, Latin America and Cyprus. He was elected as Vice Chair of the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) for its 2017 session.
In October 2018, Mr. Denktaş was promoted to the rank of Deputy Permanent Representative. He was elected as Chair of the 9th Meeting of States-Parties to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, which was held in New York on 10 June 2019.
Denktaş is currently serving as Deputy Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bilkent University in Ankara and a master’s degree in international relations from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
Denktaş is married to Rachel Loren Denktaş and has a son and a daughter.
- Joshua SetipaUNTB for LDCs Managing DirectorJoshua SetipaUNTB for LDCs Managing Director
Joshua Setipa graduated from the Universities of Bradford (MBA), Australian National University (International Trade policy) and National University of Lesotho (Political Science).
His core competencies are economic development issues, regional and global trade and economic issues, and investment mobilization. He has over 20 years of experience gained at the national, regional and international levels working on economic and development issues. He has substantive field experience working on regional economic development issues in Eastern, Southern and Western Africa, with focus on economic sector reform and regional economic integration issues and extensive experience working on multilateral trade issues and their impact on regional integration and economic development.
He was appointed the first Managing Director of the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries in November 2018.
From 2017 to 2018, he served as a senior consultant at the World Bank in Washington DC working on a multi donor regional Trade Facilitation Project for the ECOWAS region.
From 2015 to 2017, he served as the Minister for Trade and Industry in Lesotho. During this period, he initiated comprehensive reforms to Lesotho’s trade and industrial policy and launched Lesotho’s first special economic zone.
From 2012 to 2014 he served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Lesotho National Development Cooperation, an institution charged with mobilization of foreign direct investment to Lesotho and the economic empowerment of Lesotho Nationals.
From 2005 to 2011, he served in the Cabinet of WTO Director General and was a member of the team that successfully placed the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the center of the global economic development agenda by advocating proactive involvement in global initiatives.
From 1992 to 2003, served in various capacities within the Lesotho Foreign Service, with a key focus on economic and trade matters.
He is married with 3 children.
- Seher Alacacı ArınerCo-Chair of the Project Board (UNDP CO)Seher Alacacı ArınerCo-Chair of the Project Board (UNDP CO)
Seher Alacacı Arıner has been serving as Assistant Resident Representative responsible for the UNDP Program in Turkey since July 2017. She has been engaged in UN system since 2005 in different capacities. Throughout her career in UN, she had managed a series of Programmes that respond directly to social and political reforms in line with EC accession requirements. The main focus of her work had addressed targeted interventions to support national human rights mechanisms and transparent, accountable and efficient judicial systems for better access to justice. As a development practitioner, who started her career in working in South East Anatolia development projects, Seher Alacacı Arıner has more than 14 years of experience in development work in a variety of capacities, mainly in management, partnership building, resource mobilization, but also including programme and policy design, project implementation, advocacy and research.
She has also strongly engaged with international community representatives and national partners in governments as well as loosely defined networks of non-governmental organizations and human rights advocates. She is also an active contributor of the integrated work of UN on human rights, democratization and SDGs. She was graduated from Bilkent University Department of Political Science and Public Administration and has an MA degree on European Integration, focusing on judicial and political ethics.
- Mustafa Osman TuranTurkey's Ambassador to BangladeshMustafa Osman TuranTurkey's Ambassador to Bangladesh
Mustafa joined the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992 following his studies in international relations at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. As a career diplomat, he worked in Italy, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Austria, Afghanistan and Belgium. He was Director of the International Media Centre at the G20 Summit in Antalya. Now he serves as Deputy Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs. He has a Masters degree in European politics from the College of Europe in Bruges.
His passion is to bring creative people together in inspiring places and to host meaningful conversations. InnoMate Entrepreneurship and Innovation Meetup Group, which he initiated in Brussels in 2013, expanded in Luxembourg, Milan and Istanbul. In 2015 he co-founded InnoCampus, a non-profit entrepreneurship training programme. In 2017, he launched TACT Agora, a global platform for co-learning through curated expeditions and experiences. He has now put all his talent and experience into the SDG Impact Accelerator.
He was Director of the International Media Centre at the G20 Summit in Antalya and Deputy Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs. Since January 2020, he serves as Turkey’s Ambassador to Bangladesh.
- Fikret Kerem AlpTurkey’s Ambassador to UgandaFikret Kerem AlpTurkey’s Ambassador to Uganda
Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993, he was professional interpreter/translator and tourist guide for seven years.
He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993 and worked at the Department for International Organizations (Aviation and Maritime Affairs) until 1995. He did his military service in 1994 at the Turkish Air Force. From 1995 to 1997 he was Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Between 1997-2000 he served as Third and Second Secretary at the Turkish Delegation to NATO/Brussels, where he covered a number of files including peacekeeping operations and civil emergency planning.
Between 2000-2002 he was First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission of the Turkish Embassy in Kyiv/Ukraine. Between 2002-2004 he served at the Office of the President of the Republic of Turkey as foreign policy advisor.
Between 2004-2008 he joined the NATO International Staff in Brussels, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, where he was responsible for relations with the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
In 2008 he returned to the MFA as Head of the Aviation Department. During this period, Turkey has finalized a record number of Air Services Agreements with other countries (including with international organizations such as the African Union and the EU).
In 2010, he was appointed Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Permanent Representative to the Turkish Delegation to World Trade Organisation, UNCTAD and WIPO in Geneva. He was the Chairperson of the Working Party on Domestic Regulation in 2013.
Between 2014-2018 he was Deputy Director General for the Balkans and Central Europe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He is Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Kampala, Uganda, since December 2018.
Mr. Alp has a bachelor degree on International Relations, Middle East Technical University, Ankara. He speaks French, English, Italian (fluent) and Spanish (working level). He likes to practice motor and water sports. He is married with two children.
- Gülseren ÇelikAlternate Member of the Project Board (MFA)Gülseren ÇelikAlternate Member of the Project Board (MFA)
Diplomat, Head of Department for Multilateral Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. A team player, instigator, compassionate and visionary, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business Studies from Trinity College, University of Dublin. She has served in Turkish Embassy’s around the world (Oslo, Cairo, Dublin and Canberra) also as the Turkish Consul General in Sydney.
Having worked in the NATO and International Political Organisations Departments in the Ministry as well as in the Turkish Permanent Misson to UNESCO, she has extensive experience in multilateral affairs.
- Maxwell Otim OnapaDirector of Science, Research and Innovation at the Ministry of Science, UgandaMaxwell Otim OnapaDirector of Science, Research and Innovation at the Ministry of Science, Uganda
Maxwell Otim Onapa in an accomplished scientist currently working as Director of Science, Research and Innovation at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation where he provides strategic leadership in Research and Innovation, Intellectual Property Management, Technology Development; and Science, and Technology Infrastructure Development.
He formerly worked as a biomedical researcher in infectious zoonotic diseases for over 14 years before joining the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology where he worked for 12 years; providing transformative leadership in the management of science, technology and innovation.
Dr. Otim holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from Makerere University, a Master of Science Degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany; a PhD from University of Copenhagen, Denmark; an MBA from ESAMI and a Diploma in ICT Leadership and Knowledge Society from Dublin City University.
At a national level, Dr. Otim serves in leadership positions in various institutions such as: Atomic Energy Council (AEC) where is a member of the Governing Council, Uganda Management Institute (UMI) where he chairs the Institutional Research Advisory Board; the Research and Education Network of Uganda (RENU) where is serves as a member of Board of Directors. Dr. Otim also serves as a member of Doctoral Committees and a postgraduate examiner in various colleges of Makerere University.
On the international scene, Dr. Otim is the national lead Negotiator for Uganda on Climate Technology Development and Transfer at the UNFCCC Conference of Party (COP) meeting. He is also the National Designated Entity (NDE) of the Climate Technology Centre Network (CTCN) of the United Nations Forum on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC).
Dr. Otim previously served as the Africa Vice Chair for the Geneva based Commission of Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) of the United Nations Conference in Trade (UNCTAD) from 2015-2016.
He is a transformative leadership who is passionate about translating ideas, concepts and into practice.
- Anir ChowdhuryAspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme, Cabinet Division/ICT Division, Bangladesh, (UNDP)Anir ChowdhuryAspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme, Cabinet Division/ICT Division, Bangladesh, (UNDP)
Anir Chowdhury is the Policy Advisor of the a2i Program of the ICT Division and the Cabinet Division of the Government of Bangladesh supported by the UNDP and Gates Foundation. In this capacity, he leads the formation of a whole-of-society innovation ecosystem in Bangladesh through massive technology deployment, extensive capacity development, integrated policy formulation, whole-of-government institutional reform, and an Innovation Fund. His work on innovation in public service has developed interesting and replicable models of service delivery decentralization, public-private partnerships, and transformation of a traditional bureaucracy into a forward-looking, citizen-centric service provider. He is a regular speaker in international conferences on public service innovation and reform, digital financial inclusion, civil registration and digital identity management, SDGs, youth and community empowerment, educational transformation, public-private partnerships, and South-South Cooperation.
He is a member of the Prime Minister’s National Digital Task Force, Education Minister’s National ICT in Education Task Force, UNESCAP Regional Steering Group for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS), Co-Founder and Board Member of South-South Network for Public Service Innovation (SSN4PSI) and Co-Founder of South-Asia Civil Registration Network (CR8). He co-founded several software and service companies and non-profit organizations in the US and Bangladesh. Anir graduated magna cum laude in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from Brown University and did post-graduate work on management, marketing, and education reform in Harvard, Columbia, and Boston Universities.
- Tina JabeenManaging Director and CEO, Startup Bangladesh LimitedTina JabeenManaging Director and CEO, Startup Bangladesh Limited
Tina Jabeen is appointed as the first Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Startup Bangladesh Limited, ICT Division – the first and only venture capital fund sponsored by the Government of Bangladesh. With this inaugural appointment, the Government recognizes the opportunity to continue promoting talent and innovation within key sectors that advance Bangladesh’s vision for and position in a new global economy.
Incorporated in March 2020, the Fund will invest in early seed thru growth stage companies directly, via co investments or as a fund-of-funds. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Jabeen has served as the Investment Advisor to Startup Bangladesh – iDEA Project, ICT Division since 2016 where she spearheaded major strategy and technical initiatives of the Project. Formerly a Senior Director for PwC USA and Director of Finance and Tax for Horsley Bridge Partners, Ms. Jabeen brings decades of executive experience having held senior positions in such prestigious global firms in the areas of financial due diligence, valuations, equity structures, cross border taxations and venture capital governance models.
“Among all frontier markets, Bangladesh holds the most promising opportunity for venture capital and private equity investments. The country’s English speaking, tech-savvy young population is ready for deployment. With its focus on financial inclusion, social equity and tolerance, and increasing access to technology, Bangladesh is positioned to become a stellar performer in achieving sustainable development goals by leveraging disruptive technologies and innovative solutions.” – Ms. Tina Jabeen, Managing Director & CEO, Startup Bangladesh Ltd.
- Pelin RodopluUNDP Portfolio ManagerPelin RodopluUNDP Portfolio Manager
Pelin Rodoplu began her career as a financial analyst and joined the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) after completing her MBA degree in Germany. She has led a wide range of UNDP initiatives on SME development, regional competitiveness, clustering, productivity, innovation, rural development, women’s empowerment, energy efficiency and renewable energy. She also took active role to scale up some of the best practices in Public Private Partnership and inclusive business models. She has a comprehensive collaborative network working with public institutions, NGOs, private sector representatives and academia. Since 2015, she has been managing the UNDP Inclusive and Sustainable Growth Portfolio.
- Angeles CortesiInnovation Programme Management Officer (UNTB for LDC)Angeles CortesiInnovation Programme Management Officer (UNTB for LDC)
Angeles Cortesi is a business strategist and transdisciplinary designer with more than 15 years creating new products, services and systems at the crossroads of business, technology and design. She has designed and led innovative transformation programmes worldwide in the public and private sectors for organizations such as Unilever, Unicef, World Bank, Razorfish, Naranja, Endeavor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Government of the City of Buenos Aires, among others.
Currently she has joined the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries as Programme Management Officer. Previously, she founded LOBO a “imagine + design + transform” studio specialized in building innovation ecosystems by bringing together changemakers, technology mavericks and design aficionados around impact driven projects. She has also been Senior Innovation Advisor for Ministry of Science and Technology of Buenos Aires.
She has a degree in Business Economics from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and MFA in Transdisciplinary Design studies from Parsons School of Design in New York. In 2013 she was awarded a scholarship by Singularity University, a new institution based in NASA Ames Research Park aimed at solving grand challenges through exponential technologies.
Angeles founded the Buenos Aires Chapter of Speculative Futures and is a global speaker on futures design thinking, exponential technologies, entrepreneurship and development.
- Melih ÖzsözMember of the Project Board (LİMAK)Melih ÖzsözMember of the Project Board (LİMAK)
Having earned his BA degree in Social and Political Sciences from Sabancı University, Melih Özsöz obtained his MA in European Studies from Boğaziçi University. He worked at the Economic Development Foundation (İktisadi KalkınmaVakfı – İKV) and its Brussels’ Representation from 2006 to 2016 in various positions. He joined Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Council (Dış Ekonomik İlişkiler Kurulu – DEİK) in February 2016 as Director of Corporate Affairs and Resource Development. From March 2015 to December 2015, Melih also served as the Sherpa at C20 Turkey (Civil Society 20), one of the 6 official engagement groups of Turkish G20. He currently works as Creativity and Innovation Manager at Limak Investments.
Melih has over 10 years of experience in international relations, foreign policy, foreign economic relations, Turkish politics, European Union affairs, and Turkey-EU relations, as well as on issues such as development, social entrepreneurship, and corporate philanthropy. He has worked at national and international levels with public, private, and non-profit sectors. He has broad knowledge of policy in the areas of social policy and employment, free movement of persons, migration, and economic relations.
Apart from his professional life, Melih has been actively involved in civil society. He was one of the 8 founders of Civic Involvement Projects (Toplumsal Duyarlılık Projeleri – CIP) at Sabanci University, an academic program designed to raise awareness on social responsibility and participatory democracy through hands-on involvement with basic social issues and to promote team work and leadership skills. He also did volunteer work for the ARI Movement, one of Turkey’s first platforms to promote participatory democracy and civic engagement among Turkish youth. Melih founded his own social business Çöp(m)adam on August 2008 in Ayvalık, Balıkesir. One of Turkey’s foremost social businesses, Çöp(m)adam was designed to be a different model for development projects – a model that focuses on providing opportunities for women while at the same time trying to promote individual environmental responsibility.
His work as a ‘social entrepreneur’ brought him the opportunity to serve as Member of the Advisory Board at Sabancı Foundation’s Fark Yaratanlar from 2011 to 2013. In 2012 he was granted fellowships to take part in Ashoka International’s Changemakers Program (Germany) and INSEAD’s Social Entrepreneurship Program (France). On December 2014, Melih spoke at TEDxWomen in Barcelona on women empowerment and leadership, being the only male speaker among a group of 8 inspirational woman entrepreneurs from the Mediterranean region.
On April 2017, Melih was granted with the Marshall Memorial Fellowship by German Marshall Fund’s flagship leadership program, bringing together 75 young leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
- Arzu Deniz AksoyCommunication Expert (UNDP)Arzu Deniz AksoyCommunication Expert (UNDP)
Dynamic 27 years progressively responsible in all phases of brand, communications, government relations, marketing, & business development experience. International marketing & communication experience in CPG/B2B with Fortune 100 companies.
Demonstrated ability to supervise in a team environment and achieve cross-functional business objective.
Self-starter, analytical thinker, action oriented, outstanding interpersonal communication and negotiation skills.
Had worked as the Head of Corporate Communications, Government Relations at BASF for 13 years. Managed corporate reputation and brand identity of a valuable 150 years-old company. Lead Corporate Communication, Government Relations around 29 legal group companies in 34 different countries during her professional life at BASF.
After BASF; have been working as a “Strategic Consultant” for mainly NGO’s such as Global Compact Turkey, one of the Local Network of UN Global Compact. Business for Goals Platform and stakeholders like UNDP, TÜSİAD and Turkonfed.
Have been honored by Turkish Time as one of the “Global 500 Turks” in 2014 & 2015. And also honored as one of the “Best 50 Corporate Communications Directors at Turkey” in 2016, 2017 & 2018. “Global Mentor” of European Association of Communication Directors. Honored to be the only Mentor representing Turkey.
- Ebru OkutanProject Assistant (UNDP)Ebru OkutanProject Assistant (UNDP)
Ebru holds a Msc. degree from Middle East Technical University in International Relations, and BA degree from Bilkent University in International Relations. During her master’s degree, she has received the most successful student award from METU for the period of 2015-2018. Her particular studies contain comparative environmental and sustainable growth policies which highlight the national and international priorities in climate change, environment and economy.
She has joined to UNDP in 2016 and has been working as a Project Assistant in Inclusive Sustainable Growth Portfolio. She has previous relevant experience focusing on the analysis of institutional capacities and policy gaps based on the competitiveness and comparative advantages of agriculture sector (and its subsectors) affected by climate change and for efficient use of natural resources, and the integration of findings to the national systems. She is a member of The Council for Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership.
- Ece İdil KasapAccelerator Operator & Startup Value Creation Expert (UNDP)Ece İdil KasapAccelerator Operator & Startup Value Creation Expert (UNDP)
Ece is an entrepreneurship expert, with a background as an entrepreneur. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Bilkent University and an MBA degree from Middle East Technical University.
Her journey in entrepreneurship has started with being the co-founder of the first private incubation center/accelerator in Turkey. She pursued enhancing her experience not only as an entrepreneur but also in planning and running entrepreneurship programs, mentoring programs and mentors’ training within Turkey and the region.
Ece wants to support and change her society through entrepreneurship, using her cultural sensitivity, and market knowledge besides her experience in innovative technologies and funding for startups and SMEs.
She is actively mentoring startups, creating and running entrepreneurship programs and delivering training to support the entrepreneurs.
- Evrim YarımağanProject Manager, (UNDP)Evrim YarımağanProject Manager, (UNDP)
Evrim is graduated from Bilkent University in 1996 and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in American Culture and Literature. She has then completed a Certificate Degree on MBA at METU. She has worked in defense sector for nearly six years for companies Havelsan and Roketsan in Business Development and Project Management. She then started taking place in EU Twinning Projects in Freedom, Justice and Home Affairs sector between 2005 and 2010. Between 2010 and 2016, she was Advisor to Members of the Turkish Parliament and contributed in the legislative work of Industry, Trade, Energy, Natural Resources, Information and Technology Committee. She has joined working for UNDP March 2016 and led projects under Inclusive and Democratic Governance Portfolio.
She speaks English, German and French. She is married and has one daughter.
- Memet ÜnsalAccelerator Program & Network Design Expert (UNDP)Memet ÜnsalAccelerator Program & Network Design Expert (UNDP)
Memet Ünsal is a project manager and PhD mechanical engineer with specialization in robotics. After graduation, he moved on to a corporate career at P&G where he managed global programs in EMEA and North America, relocating to several countries including Spain, Egypt, Morocco, Italy, and Belgium. He managed new product development projects, launched multiple new products and installed new manufacturing lines in different regions. On his PhD, he worked in several areas he really enjoyed from robotics (6 degree-of-freedom parallel platforms) to vibration control to smart fluids. He is the general manager of YAPTR which supports companies on digital transformation, lean manufacturing, and new technology adoption. YAPTR also works with technology startups, trains companies on intrapreneurship, runs startup accelerator programs, and builds prototyping labs.
He has an EdTech startup on maker and STEAM education for children, the youth, and teachers. He is the co-founder of InnoCampus, a mobile startup accelerator and 3D prototyping program which has traveled to 7 cities in Turkey, graduated many startups, and trained more than a thousand people in technology workshops. He also teaches New Product Development at Sabanci University in Istanbul.