I am a global citizen originally from Mersin, Turkey 🇹🇷 who lived in Dublin, Ireland 🇮🇪 for five years and Tallinn, Estonia 🇪🇪 for a year before. Currently, I am living in Helsinki, Finland 🇫🇮
I serve as a Managing Director at Grow in EMEA and follow startup deals to invest and collaborate.
Well, there were many mistakes on my path. I didn't know how to create a company, manage people, or measure metrics to grow. All this is summed up in the time I have wasted but learned. Now, I am sharing what I learned from the ups and downs of life with the curious ones, and still learning from them.
I am an experienced business professional focused on Europe, Turkey, and the Middle East markets. Also, I am a financial investor and having strategic positions in several scale-up tech companies/startups and real-estate assets.
Grow in EMEA, the company I started in 2015, focuses on East Europe, Turkey, and the Middle East markets mostly for tech-related investments, real estate options, and portfolio management. We do direct real-estate investments in several continents and managing the assets.
My team provides market access services to the Baltics, Turkey, and the U.A.E., also gives investment advisory services for real-estate options.
Also, I continue to invest in the tech domain with a focus on SaaS solutions for B2B and B2C markets, and real estate options in developing markets with ROI targets. I take Board Member roles in the start-ups with over € 10 M+ valuation, to help them grow in different markets such as Segmentify.com and REMPeople.com
I am an officially accredited and licensed by Turkish Ministry of Finance as an angel investor with a licence number of BKY2022000850.
Prior to the investment focus, I worked at Linkedin EMEA Headquarters where I hold the Director of Turkish Speaking Territory role in Dublin, Ireland. Before, I have been with SAP AG and IBM in Turkey.
From time to time, I give speeches at local and global technology events. I gave keynotes on ARAB NET in Lebanon, IT Arena in Ukraine, Rise Up Summit in Egypt, and NEXT in Germany on the global arena. I spoke at several closed corporate events of Roche, VESTEL, SAP AG, DenizBank, Turkish Economy Ministry, Turkish Exporters Assembly, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAŞ), Bakioğlu Holding, and AGT in Turkey.
Now, I am living at Jätkäsaari, Helsinki, Finland.
Ali Rıza Babaoğlan is a Computer Engineer and a Businessperson from Turkey, living in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki, Finland now.
BUSINESS LIFE: Ali is a seasoned business leader and executive with 15 years of diverse experience in the digital and commercial areas of the IT industry.
He is both experienced in the public and private sectors of UK&I and Turkey where managed on-demand (cloud) and on-premise offerings. Now, as an active businessman, he is mainly making investments in the technology sector with his company Grow in EMEA. He is currently a shareholder and a board member of several companies focusing on the new economy.
Babaoğlan had three exits since 2015. Prior to the angel investment side, Babaoğlan worked in LinkedIn EMEA HQ where he held Director of Turkish Speaking Territory in Dublin Ireland. Before, he had been with SAP and IBM. He is also an active member of Turkey’s important non-profit business organizations such as the Turkish Industry & Businessmen Association (TÜSİAD) and the Outbound Investments Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).
Babaoğlan took a part in the Founding Board of the Demokrasi ve Atılım Partisi (DEVA Political Party) established under the leadership of Ali Babacan on March 9th, 2020. With the founding, Babaoğlan became the Vice President in charge of the Public Relations Unit, and a Member of the President Board and Board of Directors. He was reselected by the delegation for the same roles on the 29th December 2020 in the 1st Congress at Ankara. He managed these roles until he resign on July 19th, 2021, by his own decision.
EDUCATION LIFE: Ali who is originally from Mersin, Turkey, was born in Diyarbakır, Turkey while his family, who were civil servants, was on duty in the eastern region. He started his education in Diyarbakır and completed his primary school education in Mersin 3 Ocak Primary School. He finished secondary and high school education at Mersin Yusuf Kalkavan Anatolian High School. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering at Ankara Başkent University with a full scholarship and completed it between 2004 – 2008.
Babaoğlan worked as a “Student Employee” in the development of Microsoft Office 2007 Product Family before graduation. and got the Best Microsoft Student Partner award of Turkey. After his university studies, Babaoğlan was selected among the “75 Most Promising Students” of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa region (EMEA) by the IBM Europe Center and invited to attend Innovation Training at IBM’s Zürich Central Research Laboratory in Switzerland. After that, Babaoğlan was selected by the Turkish Ministry of Education and invited to the first Turkish National Technology Team for the Euro Skills 2008 – European Informatics Olympics held in the Netherlands. Babaoğlan has represented Turkey for the first time in the “Information Technology and Communications” field as an official in the Euro Skills Olympics and give a presentation to the Dutch Queen. He completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Bilkent University with a full scholarship.
POLITICAL WORKS: Since the early 1990s, the world is involving with technology and new economical trends. With that perspective, after Babaoğlan moved to Dublin – Ireland to work on Linkedin responsible for the Turkish Market, he started to take part in several local and global events focusing on the business and social issues of Turkey and the European Union. He gave key support to the relations between Turkey and the European Union in Turkey’s Candidacy process that was frozen after 2010.
Starting with Ireland’s EU Presidency for the 7th time between January to June 2013 time frame, the efforts of the Turkish Community in Ireland supported the opening of “Chapter 22: Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments” to negotiations. Before that, the last chapter discussions were in 2010 about the “Chapter 12: Food Safety, Veterinary, and Phytosanitary Policy” topic. In 2013 Visa Liberalization Dialogue was launched and EU – Turkey Readmission Agreement was signed too. Babaoğlan gave active support to several areas of those processes with the community and events in Ireland.
After that Babaoğlan was invited and attended the EYE 2014 event in France, Strasbourg with a delegation from Turkey. Babaoğlan also took part in 6. European Innovation Forum in Brussels, Belgium to share his views on Information Technology Positioning of Europe. In parallel, he was also invited to several events in Turkey to attend and speak. He spoke at the New Digital World Summit in Istanbul, Turkey which was held by the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology. He was invited and attend a round-table with the Minister of Economy in Turkey and speak at several events of the Ministry.
Besides this, he visited more than 50 universities in Turkey to give speeches to more than 10.000+ students on different topics. Once he started to get invitations for round meetings about local and global issues and meeting with several decision-makers after these events, he started to give interviews and media coverages that reached millions of readers about technological transformation. With the background he has, he started to get several invitations from the political side and decided to take a part in Demokrasi ve Atılım Partisi (DEVA Political Party) established under the leadership of Ali Babacan on March 9th, 2020 until he resigned on July 2021.
Babaoğlan is a fellow of Stiftung Mercator for Turkey Europe Future Forum.
SOCIAL WORKS: While studying, he took part in UNDP Turkey’s activities as a volunteer and has been in Kenya for a month with UNDP MDG 2015 program, for observation and reporting about promoting gender equality and women empowerment. He stayed in Nairobi and Mombasa.
As a Professional Speaker, Babaoğlan gives speeches at local and global events. He was invited to key technology events in Lebanon, Ukraine, Dubai, Egypt, and Germany to share his experiences regarding technological transformation and the new economy.
He shared his experience at ARAB NET in Lebanon, IT Arena in Ukraine, RiseUp Summit in Egypt, and NEXT in Germany. He served as an Advisory Board Member of Yenibirlider Derneği to transfer new generation leadership models to young people in a world-changing with technology. He also attended as a private speaker to several closed corporate events of TAI, Roche, VESTEL, Turkish Economy Ministry, Turkish Exporters Assembly, Bakioğlu Holding, and AGT.
AWARDS: Babaoğlan received the “BSRE Award” of IBM, the “Best Microsoft Student Partner Award” of Microsoft and the “Ten Outstanding Young Person Award” of JCI in his early career.
Babaoğlan’s name is still on the list of “World’s Most Successful Young People” on Wikipedia as a result of his studies.
I was lucky enough to convince great founders on joining their journeys. Mostly, I'm a quiet name on the cap tables and cannot take credits. All success is squarely due to their hard work and vision.
My proud list of startups, I already invested in. Public details of the deals are here 📈
🧮 REM People
tech-powered retail insight solutions
sales field automation tool
#sales #mobile #bigdata
value-added image processing solutions based on artificial neural networks
improved dashboard for monitoring and managing your business in the sector of services
☕ Kahve Gibi Kahve
single serve coffee bag producer
the fast, affordable way to ride
🏘️ A3 Grup Gayrimenkul
land investor in Turkey, Dubai, and Europe
♥️ iLove VPN
vpn service for digital nomads
🇪🇪 Welcome Center
find companies in Estonia & get deeper insights
#bigdata #sales #saas
digital banking services
I like feeding on different sources to understand real effects, reading handy reports to simplify the complex world details, and sharing all with my inner network since 2015.
Below are the public ones worth checking:
The Social Media
Feel free to reach out to me on topics relevant to startup discussions, market access, investment, and speaking inquiries.