Akar Şümşet

Akar Şümşet

Director, ATÖLYE Ventures

I’m based in London and work as the Ventures Director. We invest in startups using our creative capital—our expertise in strategy, go-to-market strategy, and design. I also work on ATÖLYE’s overall strategy. I enjoy making deductions and decisions as I tend to see them as bets. I love to model things using concepts from business, design, physics, mathematics, and psychology.

What you won't learn from my bio
“I believe poker is way more of a strategic game than chess.”

Akar has been part of the ATÖLYE ecosystem since 2018. Initially, he began as a close partner for business design projects through his own company. From 2020 onwards, he became the director of ATÖLYE’s London exploration. As of 2021, his responsibilities have expanded as he has taken on the role of director for ATÖLYE Ventures. He focuses on building systems to create impact by building businesses. Business building can occur in the form of joint ventures with our corporate partners, co-founded businesses with our startup partners, and also building new businesses under the ATÖLYE umbrella. At the heart of all these, there is always a focus on ATÖLYE’s community-powered model and its transdisciplinary core team.

Akar has been working on digital products and businesses for more than a decade. He holds a Mathematical Engineering degree from Yıldız Teknik University, and a master’s degree in Social Psychology from Galatasaray University. Akar has end-to-end experience creating strategies, designing business models, and managing as well as developing digital products and services. Akar has worked with the likes of Vodafone, Comodo, Arçelik, Getir, Startupbootcamp, Zeplin and many other companies of various sizes. The products he’s been a part of are being used by millions of people every week.

As the founding organizer of ProductTank İstanbul, Akar is also currently running one of the largest product communities. He’s also an international speaker and writer. More than 1000 persons have participated in his workshops and talks in conferences like World Usability Congress and UX Alive. He’s deeply curious about the connection between seemingly unrelated things, e.g. physics and psychology.