Based in Istanbul over the past two decades, Ms. Didem Altop describes herself as a serial community builder and agenda setter, addressing a diverse range of business, social and economic development issues. She is best known for her role as the Cofounder and Managing Director of Endeavor Turkey, developing and leading the first, and most competitive, growth acceleration program in the country for selected high impact entrepreneurs since 2006, in collaboration with a local network of 150+ and global network of 3.000+ C-level and subject matter expert mentors and investors across 30+ countries. Through Endeavor Turkey, Didem also served as the spearhead of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Turkey and Endeavor CaseCampus Entrepreneurship Learning Program, engaging a nationwide community of 300+ partners plus 100+ university faculty members and 800+ aspiring student entrepreneurs, respectively. Most recently, in cooperation with Turkey’s most prominent semi-governmental organizations and thought leaders, Didem also acted as the Executive Director for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, hosting 3,000+ ecosystem builders from 170+ countries in Istanbul on April 15-19th 2018. Didem currently continues to serve as a founding board member for Ashoka Turkey.
In addition to her work with Endeavor and high impact entrepreneurship, Didem is herself an entrepreneur and innovator at heart. Throughout her career in Turkey, Didem has played various leadership roles related to: rethinking youth education; fostering corporate volunteerism; advocating for nonprofit capacity building and civic engagement; championing corporate social responsibility; promoting social entrepreneurship and impact investing, and; supporting high potential women professionals in the workplace.
Didem is a first generation Turkish-American. Born and raised in the United States, she studied International Relations and Development Economics at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, and completed an MSIA/MBA from Carnegie Mellon University in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Before relocating to Turkey, Didem worked as a strategy and business development consultant and project manager for leading multinational organizations, such as, The World Bank, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), IBM Credit Corporation, Shared Medical Services, MCI and Lockheed Martin Mission Systems (LMMS).