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Chobani’s founder Ulukaya trains young entrepreneurs: How to become a billionaire?

Ergulen Toprak / New York

One of the fastest growing American food companies Chobani Yogurt’s founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya is training young entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dreams to become the next billionaires in the future.

Speaking at Hamdi Ulukaya Initiative’s entrepreneurship event at New York University, Ulukaya told his story and background led him to be one of the most successful food entrepreneurs in the last decade.



Selcuk Sirin, NYU human development professor, is working with Ulukaya’s initiative to help the young entrepreneurs to find their path and develop it. Sirin, who is also a prominent Turkish columnist, interviewed Ulukaya during the event and asked him what motivated him to start the yogurt business and how his life has changed after his big success.

Chobani’s founder Ulukaya donates $700 million to refugees

To inspire the young entrepreneurs his initiative brought from Turkey with a 5 million dollar sponsorship provided by his company, Ulukaya told the story of Chobani, which started in 2007, as well as his background from the mountains of the Kurdish region in Turkey.

“I have always wondered what is behind those mountains,” Ulukaya said. “Where else can we go, what else can we do? Not because what else can I have behind that mountain, what kind of experience can we have?”

Having made more profit than he could ever imagine, Ulukaya says, “I don’t want more, I don’t need more, I just want to do more,” to explain why he supports the young entrepreneurs.


How necessary is education in entrepreneurship? 


How did the 25 yogurt cases become 2 million cases in just five years?


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About Ergulen Toprak

I am a reporter based in New York. I write stories for Turkish and Kurdish media. Most of my stories are features, interviews and opinions that related the Kurdish issue, Turkish politics, the Middle East, and international relations. After studying Journalism at The City University of New York, I am doing my master's in International Relations at CUNY. My articles are published in Turkish, Kurdish and English. Gazeteciliğe 2000 yılında başladım. Ankara ve İstanbul'da uzun yıllar çalıştım, Diyarbakır, Erbil'de de zaman zaman bulundum. Avrupa'da da çok sayıda konferans ve gezilere katıldım. 2011 yılından beridir New York'tayım. Daha çok siyaset ağırlıklı yazıyorum. Haberlerim üç dilde, Kürtçe, Türkçe ve İngilizce olarak yayinlaniyor. Bazı haberlerimi buradan takip edebilirsiniz.


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