Melek Pulatkonak is the Founder of the Turkish Women’s International Network, a global sisterhood network for change, and BinYaprak.com. She is an entrepreneur, TEDster and a curator. Most recently, she worked at Microsoft’s Global Startup Business Team. Before that she was Deputy GM at Microsoft Turkey responsible from the Developer and Platform Evangelism. Prior to moving back to Turkey for her Microsoft leadership position, Melek was the President & COO of Hakia, a semantic technology company in New York. At the helm of hakia, the company raised $25 MM in funding in competition with the industry giant Google. Before her tech entrepreneurship journey, Melek held various roles in the finance sector in New York, ranging from advising the Chairman of the Istanbul Stock Exchange to ADR researcher as the Research Associate at the New York Stock Exchange. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a B.Sc. degree from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Melek thrives in dynamic environments and challenging positions and is an evangelist extraordinaire. Her community and volunteer work started at the LSE in 1995-6 where she was the President of the Turkish Society, a student group at the university in London. In New York, she served on the board of the Turkish American Business Forum and launched a special interest group, “Women Inspired by the Network,” a group she led from 2004 through 2008. After that she contributed to various committees and served as a Board Member of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club/NY. In the field of technology Melek was Advisor to the Girls in Tech NYC. As a fan of TED, she curated or helped organize the very first TEDx events in New York, TEDxGotham and TEDxEast, in various roles from 2009-2011. Currently, she is a Board Member of YenidenBiz, an NGO that helps women get back to work after a career break.