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About Program

Sabancı ARF Almost Ready to Fly helps startups to take off.
Every entrepreneur has its own unique opportunity and circumstances. While to take off, needs the right connections, mentorship, and financial support. We invite them to Sabancı ARF, which empowers and accelerates the commercialization period of entrepreneurs, to take off. Sabancı ARF is a 20-week acceleration platform open to all Sabancı Group employees and Early-Stage External Entrepreneurs, offering customized accelerator support tailored for each startup. 

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Focus Areas

Energy & Climate Technologies
New Energy Sources
Electrification & E-mobility & New Energy Vehicles
Distributed Generation
Sustainable Water Tech
Agri Tech
Advanced Material Technologies
Sustainable Chemicals
Boimaterials, Biopolymers
Carbon Capture
Lightweight Materials
Sustainable Building Materials
Telematics IoT 4.0
Digital Technologies
Internet of Things
AI and Smart X
Digital Marketing
Future of Connectivity
Health Tech
IoT Monitoring
HR Tech
Smart Wearables
Elderly Care
Our Portfolio
Our Investments


What is Sabancı ARF Almost Ready to Fly?

Sabancı ARF Almost Ready to Fly is a 20-week acceleration program to support early-stage entrepreneurs on their journey from their current stage to commercialization. Sabancı ARF Almost Ready to Fly is a Hacı Ömer Sabancı Holding A.Ş. brand and program.

Who can apply?

Our Group employees and incorporated external entrepreneurs can apply.

(a) To participate in the process as an intra-community entrepreneur, working for the Group or one of its affiliated organizations* is compulsory, and at least one of the two types of calls by the program must be answered: Idea/MVP Call and Team Member Call.

*Except for Akbank, Aklease, Akyatırım, Akportföy, Sabancı Vakfı ve SSM employees

(b) Early-stage (MVP, prototype, lab-scale, or customer validation stage) incorporated entrepreneurs who have a product can be involved in the process.

Is the age of the entrepreneur important for application?

Being over eighteen is important for the incorporation and further stages. On the other hand, we can consider your previous experiences when evaluating the growth potential of applicants' start-ups.

Is there any participation fee?

There is no fee to participate in Sabancı ARF Almost Ready to Fly.

What is an Idea/MVP Call?

Open call for intra-community entrepreneurs with a product/service solution, idea or a field-tested MVP (minimum viable product) related to the focus areas.

Sabancı Holding issues a call for focus areas two times in a year. The call is only suitable for the employees of the Group or one of its affiliated organizations*. Intra-community Application Form must be filled out on www.sabanciarf.com . After the evaluation of the applications, the chosen ideas are announced on the same platform.

*Except for Akbank, Aklease, Akyatırım, Akportföy, Sabancı Vakfı ve SSM employees

What is a Team Member Call?

It is a call for intra-community entrepreneurs who do not have a proposed idea, or no idea proposal has been selected but who want to be a part of a different idea team and who trust their entrepreneurial competencies. We want to include all our employees, who have an idea or not, into the system.

Chosen ideas for Sabancı ARF are announced on Sabancı Social to be seen by all Sabancı Group members. Through this call, those who want to be part of the team with selected ideas/MVPs can apply. After team formations, there is no distinction in management or other rights between the persons who suggested the idea or joined the team afterward.

Can I suggest a team member for my idea?

The intra-community entrepreneur who presents the selected concept to the program may send the team member call to the colleague. Team Member Application Form must be filled out on Sabancı Social and only the chosen team members can participate in the team.

How are team members chosen?

In the teaming phase, a 3-step evaluation methodology is used. Innovation Interest and Knowledge, Character Analysis, Teaming Workshop. Applicants will be expected to fill out various online questionnaires to carry out the analysis properly.

Is applying on my own a disadvantage?

(a) Intra-Community Entrepreneur: There will be no harm in applying to the Idea/MVP call alone, and a team will be formed with the Team Member Call.

(b) Incorporated entrepreneur: While evaluating the applications, the competencies and qualifications of the founding partners and the team members are considered. Applying alone can be a disadvantage in your difficult entrepreneurial journey.

Is the start-up expected to be incorporated when applying?

If you are not a community employee, your start-up is expected to be incorporated.

Is Sabancı ARF Almost Ready yo Fly only for start-ups with a software focus?

No, we will support any idea/product/service that aligns with the application criteria and the focus areas we have disclosed.

I have an idea that I believe will be successful, but I do not have the technical background to turn the idea into a product. Can I still participate in the program?

Yes, you can apply. On the other hand, we strongly recommend that the founding team have the skills to create their products rather than outsourcing. For most start-ups, this often means a technical founder is needed.

We are working on our start-up for a while. Is Sabancı ARF Almost Ready to Fly suitable for us?

We especially welcome the participation of these start-ups if they are compatible with our focus areas. If you share the areas that you have already improved, we can evaluate your case better. We recommend that you fill out the application form with all the details so that we can clearly describe the areas of support for your commercialization and growth steps.

Can I apply to the program with the start-up that I participated in another competition/center/support mechanism in the past or concurrently?

Yes, you can apply. Please specify this information in the relevant part of the application form.

Our start-up has received investment before. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can apply. Please specify this information in the relevant part of the application form.

Our start-up does not need funding. Can I still apply?

Funding is simply one component of Sabancı ARF Almost Ready to Fly as an acceleration program. In addition to financing, you can review the support we offer and the process to explore how you can benefit from the program.

How will the confidentiality of our start-up/idea/MVP, which I describe in the application form, be ensured?

(a) Intra-Community Entrepreneur: A team is formed with the Team Member Call for the projects of those who propose ideas to the program. In this call, the selected idea/MVP proposal is announced on Sabancı Social with details. As we constantly say, “Idea has no use without putting it into practice.” As Sabancı ARF, we strive to give you with all the support you need to put your concept into action and commercialize it. The value will be created once it is commercialized.
While it is less probable that you came up with an idea concentrated around a problem area on your own, we boost your chances of putting it into action.

(b) Incorporated Entrepreneur: Application forms are evaluated by the jury who signed a confidentiality agreement.

Can I apply with more than one start-up idea?

Internal and external entrepreneurs can apply for Sabancı ARF Almost Ready to Fly with multiple ideas in different rounds; there is no limit.
However, we want a selected entrepreneur to focus on a single idea within the same round. Our aim is to commercialize the idea, and we believe this can only happen with a holistic focus and dedication.

If my application is not accepted, can I apply again in the following years?

Internal and external entrepreneurs can apply for Sabancı ARFAlmost Ready to Fly with multiple ideas in different rounds, there is no limit.

What are the dates for the next Sabancı ARF?

The planning process is ongoing. When the dates are set, the information will be available on ourwebsite. Please continue to follow us.

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