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The GO Program

The GO Program helps social-minded entrepreneurs and organizations who have the courage to design the next economy with human-centric businesses. We use design and technology as tools to achieve this aim.

Upcoming teaching of the program

2013  Fall: Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey

2014 Spring: Webster University, Vienna, Austria

The GO Program is an Istanbul-based design-driven entrepreneurship and innovation program developed for both emerging and advanced markets. It was designed by Gulay Ozkan. The design of the GO Program is simple but it took 12 years to reach this simplicity. It is based on three factors: the ecosystem, the entrepreneur and the idea. This means we have a holistic approach to the analysis of entrepreneurs based on:

  • Where s/he is
  • Who s/he is
  • What s/he wants to do

In this concept, the ecosystem comes before the entrepreneur and the entrepreneur comes before the idea. In general, instead of focusing on what should be, we focus on first discovering what we really have and starting from there.

What makes this program unique?
Entrepreneurship programs mostly focus on the idea or the concept of the lone hero entrepreneur. However, a start-up’s success is based on three parameters, as our program covers: the ecosystem, the entrepreneur and the idea. Our program focuses on developing all three dimensions in a start-up company. In all three, GO Program is human-centric. The program itself is also centered on the entrepreneur. 

Go Program is a GEDS project.


  1. Yelda says:

    Gülay ile tanışmak hayatımda yeni bir bakışa sahip olmaktı. Fikirlere verilen önem ,kişinin önemi dışında pozitif anlatımları beni çok etkiledi. Anlattığı konuya hakim oluşu, her sorumuza cevap verebilmesi gerçekten kendi konusunda ne kadar iyi olduğunu kanıtladı. Kendisinin bilgilerinden faydalanma fırsatı buluğum için kendimi çok şanslı hissediyorum. Çok teşekkür ederim Gülay, başarılarının sürekli olmasını dilerim.

    Yelda ATIL

  2. Burç Tanır says:

    Before attending the lectures, I was almost only proud of my start-up idea and its originality,design,etc. Now, after the lectures, I am totally proud of my team and our potential to execute our idea. This realization changed quite a lot in our road-map & strategy, and hopefully will help us to succeed . Thanks a million for this big change & thanks for being a great teacher, mentor, critic and friend.

  3. I met Ms.Özkan at Boğaziçi University’s entrepreneurship class. From my point of view, here are some of my notifications which turned that class into a unique value for me:
    - is always friendly, natural and helpful to students. That makes us behave in a natural way back too, improving communication.
    - encourages individual ideas to meet each other in class and lets them form new unique alliances,
    - emphasizes regulary the importance of art (design concept) on innovation, reminding me one of my favourite college professor’s quote: “When you climb higher and higher on the mountain of quantum physics with the help of complex calculus, and are lucky enough to be able to reach on the top of the mountain..what you will see beyond the science ..is pure art…”
    - recommends us short release cycles for our products/services and avoiding perfectionism, allowing us gather customer feedback faster and more effective.

    And lastly but most importantly for me:
    I discovered a new way of thinking and acting in which “Creativity and Systematics” feed each other in a paradoxical cyclic manner..like Nikola Tesla’s “Day and Night” inspiration on his induction motor, Genrich Altshuller’s “To Be and Not To Be” inspiration on his TRIZ(Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) and Benoit Mandelbrot’s “0 and ∞” inspiration on his fractal geometry.
    I would like to thank for all of her great efforts,
    Best Regards,
    Yasin Murat Yiğit

  4. Salih Oztop says:

    Before Gulay Ozkan’s course, it was just an idea, but now I have the courage for execution.

    At the beginning, my execution plan was for 2 years long however after her favorite quotes “Speed is Everything” and “Idea without execution is nothing”, I converted it to a six months plan. Now, my short term plans are weekly and long terms are monthly.

    Next week I will establish my firm BusinessAnalytiX in an advance market,UK.

    Thanks a lot to your passion for Start-ups.


  5. Mustafa Karabas, Istanbul Development Agency says:

    After having the chance to participate in Gulay’s entrepreneurship class, I’ve once again confirmed my belief that entrepreneurship should be taught by practitioners like her. A quote of Napoleon Hill, the famous author of “Think and Grow Rich”, is as if defining her: “Action is the real measure of intelligence.” and she is full of action. She is not only promising hopes, but also warning about down-slopes in a balanced way. The 3 most important highlights remaining in my mind from her class: Understanding the ecosystem is vital. A team to run quickly is more important than the idea itself. And design thinking!

  6. Fulya Taylan says:

    I met with Gulay at entrepreneurship and innovation courses held by Boğaziçi University.
    Gulay is a very energetic entrepreneur, mentor, teacher and friend. In her entrepreneurship courses, she regularly emphasizes the significance of ecosystem, networking and being fast. She always motivates each student as an entrepreneur, gives value and importance to their business ideas and helps them to improve their ideas and business plans. She gives very precious and up-to-date tips and tricks on how to be a successful start-up company which are not written in any book. She creates a very dynamic class environment during the lectures. One of the major take home messages she gives is to focus on always positive side.
    I would like to thank Gulay for her mentorship and friendship.
    Best wishes,
    Fulya Taylan


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Please feel free to contact me at anytime.

Veko Giz Plaza Meydan Sok. No:3 K.13-43
34396 Maslak-İstanbul Turkey
Tel: +90 212 705 3624
E-mail: info at geds.com.tr
Twitter: @gulayozkan