What an amazing business vacation in Turkey! It started with an 18 hour journey that included 2 flights and a car ride that went through the winding mountains of the Datca Pennisula (which is in South Western Turkey on the coast of the Aegean Sea). Got to climb a mountain and shoot a fun video for the upcoming Kickstarter fund raising drive and my SweetVision mobile, smartphone endoscope imaging system. That was after our daily swim in the turquoise waters of Aktur. When underwater there, your visibility with goggles is limited by your eyesight alone – it’s like a never ending pool which I refer to in my mind whenever I need serenity. Enjoyed local cuisine with my family while watching a full moon rise over the mountaintop. Coordinated business meetings for our return to Istanbul while riding on a family friend’s yacht. Traveled to Bodrum to stay with family and see where the socialites vacation.
Met with Ishak Alaton, founder of Alarco which is one of Turkey’s largest holdings companies and is considered one of Turkey’s most accomplished businessman. The experience was both personally and professionally amazing. Discussed possibilities of project collaboration with Alvimedica, which is part of his medical division in Holland. Also discussed getting in touch with one of his medical device catalog sales contacts for global distribution of products – SweetVision mobile is what I have in mind.
Later, I met with Dr. Ismail Kocak who is considered one of the top ENT doctors in Turkey. He had a beautiful office around what is considered the 5th Avenue of Istanbul. He used very modern equipment there and was most impressed with my iPhone endoscope system. So much, he wanted to buy it there on the spot! This was after he explained that his attempt to do the same with glue and tape didn’t work out so well. To his disappointment, it wasn’t for sale yet but he will be the first on my pre-order list. We also discussed having me design an advanced camera system that will better image vocal cord motion and performance. I have to get some demo systems out to him and if he likes what he sees, he says he will recommend the units to other doctors.
Finally, I met with Ozden and Yasemin Dalli of CDK Medical Distribution. Their company coordinates the distribution of medical devices to different regions of the world and to different classes of users (hospitals, offices, clinics, etc.) They too were most impressed with the simplicity and effectiveness of SweetVision mobile and saw a potential market for that unit. Not only in Turkey but in Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia! When I was asked what my target was, I wasn’t sure exactly what they meant. Target sales, target market? When specified as to how many I want to sell, I stated my goal was to have this be standard equipment in all global locations that would benefit from it. While that might be too vague for those looking to get a sense of sales potential, it was the most honest answer I could give at the time. With the technological advances seen in smartphones (especially with the lossless quality zooming, as seen with the 41MP Nokia 808!), I do see it being transformative and disruptive in terms of its potential.
Then I finished the trip with traditional Turkish meze in the crazy district of Beyoglu and a birthday celebration with good friends and family. Overall, what an unforgettable experience but I couldn’t wait to get back to the states where I can have a conversation with people in my native language of English and eat food that requires more significant chewing. Time to get back to work and follow up with those contacts!