Our graduate Aslı Elif Tanugur Received “Turkey’s Most Promising Women Entrepeneurs” Award
Nov 18, 2016


The number of female entrepreneurs in Turkey has increased concomitant with the development of entrepreneurship culture in the country. ITU graduate Aslı Elif Tanugur is one of the four female entrepreneurs honored at this year’s “Turkey’s Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs Competition”, jointly organized by Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER), Garanti Bank, and the Economist. Tanugur, holding BS and MS degrees from ITU in Food Engineering, is the co-founder and director of SBS Scientific Bio Solutions Inc.

Tanugur co-founded SBS Scientific Bio Solutions Inc. with Taylan Samanci, an agricultural engineer, and Prof. Dilek Boyacıoglu of Food Engineering Department, Faculty of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering. Prof. Boyaci is also the president of ITU EU Centre Research Office. The company was founded in 2013 with the support of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB) and is producing honeybee products such as propolis, honey, and royal jelly based on “Contracted Bee Products Manufacturing Model”.

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With her project, Tanugur succeeded in producing propolis and royal jelly, which were heretofore imported from China as they were not produced in Turkey. Mixing these two products, she came up with a new mixture that was spreadable. With the new product, the company aims to initiate a new consumption pattern. Discovered as a result of rigorous scientific research studies carried out by SBS Scientific Bio Solutions Inc., the new mixture is known to be a natural, safe, and delicious product. In addition to Turkey, the product is marketed in the US, Canada, South Korea, and Arab countries. Tanugur first started to work on this product in an attempt to develop solutions for her son’s antibiotics allergy, which resulted in establishing a company specializing on bee products. The company, based in ITU ARI Technopolis, received “techno investment” funds from the Ministry of Science, Industry, and Technology. In addition to producing bee products such as propolis, royal jelly, pollen, and honey, the company provides services such as sensory testing for consumer products and R&D partnership in food sector.

Asli Elif Tanugur’s academic and entrepreneurship story will be narrated in a documentary that will be produced with the support of KAGIDER and Garanti Bank. The documentary will start with ITU scenes where Tanugur’s professional journey started.

About Asli Elif Tanugur:

Tanugur received her BS degree from Istanbul Technical University’s Department of Food Engineering in 1996 and completed her MS studies at ITU in 2006. During this period, she worked in bee products sector as an R&D and Quality Director. Her MS studies involved honey research and projects. Seeking a natural cure for his son’s allergy, Tanugur discovered that propolis and royal jelly could be helpful. Working towards producing these products that could only be obtained through import, Tanugur started with having royal jelly and propolis produced abroad for her research where she processed the two, through extraction methods, into a product that was suitable for human consumption. Seeing that her efforts yielded fruits, enabling her son to recover in a short time, Tanugur continued her research in order to be able to help people suffering from similar problems.

In 2013, she co-founded Scientific Bio Solutions Inc. in ITU ARI Teknokent with Taylan Samanci, an agricultural engineer, and Prof. Dilek Boyacioglu of ITU, with whom she had worked for so long in various industry projects. SBS Scientific Bio Solutions Inc, produces BEE’O branded propolis, royal jelly, pollen and honey products based on its contracted beekeeping business model. Also, the company carries out vigorous scientific research studies to come up with appropriate processing methods that enable preservation of the natural biological activity levels of the products. The propolis extraction method, developed by the company over a two-year R&D process, received the “2015 Innovation Award” given by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Technology Development Foundation of Turkey (TTGV), and Turkish Industry, and Business Association (TUSIAD). Tanugur established a similar company in the USA, introducing into the international market Turkey’s first and only company that produces propolis.