Two OzU Graduates Named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” List
The Forbes “30 Under 30” List 2019 has been announced! “30 Under 30” is an annual list prepared by the monthly business and economics magazine Forbes, chronicling the brashest entrepreneurs under 30 who shake up some of the world’s stodgiest industries with their successful innovations. The list features trailblazers who pave the way for change in 20 industries, including arts and style, sports, music, venture capital, science, law and policy, marketing and advertising, and finance.
Ms. Merve Manastır, our Business Administration graduate of 2013, was named as an honoree to the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List 2019 in recognition of the internationally recognized Manu Atelier brand she co-founded, while Mr. Efe Kethüda, our Business Administration graduate of 2014, earned the honoree recognition for his Flank Esports company, Turkey’s first e-sports platform.
Merve Manastır, 29 Co-Founder, Manu Atelier
Following the footsteps of his father, Merve Manastır co-founded Manu Atelier with her sister in 2014. Today, she has a 4.5-billion-euro-empire, achieving global annual sales of 35 thousand, of which 65 percent is from abroad. Merve is leading operations, finance, and manufacturing at the company, while also playing an active role in promoting the brand via Instagram. Cited among luxury brands such as Gucci, Chanel and Prada, Manu Atelier stands out one of the strongest brands Turkey has produced in the recent years. The Manu Aterlier products are sold in the Manu Atelier showrooms in Vakkoroma and Nişantaşı in Turkey, and in luxury shopping malls and department stores such as Selfridges, Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Farfetch, Net-A-Porter and Shopbop abroad. Mainly renowned for its handbags to date, Manu Atelier has become the favorite brand of celebrities including Kate Middleton, Eva Chen, Jessica Parker, and Bella Hadid. The brand plans to maintain its continuous rise with its new shoe collection.
Efe Kethüda, 29 Founder, Flank Sport
Efe Kethüda, founder of Flank Sports, remarks: “Throughout my life, I have always combined the dots, and never missed a single chance.” Looking at the businesses he started, and the story of his life, one can easily see that Kethüda combined many dots in his life to seize the opportunities. He started playing basketball in high school and earned money as a professional basketball player for many years. He also won a national table tennis championship in Turkey and placed second in a global table tennis tournament. Meanwhile, he continued to work as a windsurfing instructor. He blended his athletic spirit with his business pursuits and started a company that brings together outdoor sports with leadership and motivation events. When the business slowed down in the aftermath of the economic crisis in 2010, he founded the KTH Event Agency and joined the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Turkey where he undertook over 500 projects. In 2015, in addition to KTH, he also launched etkinlikcim.com, an online event planning model. etkinlikcim.com secured an angel investment after being appraised for 3.5 million Turkish Lira. While he was pursuing his business initiatives, the emerging e-sports economy and its growth in Turkey served a new opportunity for Kethüda. Thus, in 2017, he started Turkey’s first e-sports platform, Flank Esports. Flank Esports has become the first venture that has ever received an R&D support from TÜBİTAK in this field. Flank is an online platform where e-sports followers can follow, watch online, access statistical information, and get the latest scoop and news about their favorite teams and players. Flank is also F1 Esports’ press partner for the MENA region. Kethüda is currently preparing to enter the Brazilian and the MENA market with Flank. He is also on the verge of bringing his game development project to life. His entrepreneurship background dates back to the fourth grade when he was selling Pokemon cards. Today, having succeeded in capitalizing on his multi-dimensional character in business life, he is staunchly climbing the career ladder.