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Aug. 22, 2020

#150: Cenk Sidar, Co-Founder and CEO of GlobalWonks, the World's First Real-Time Expert Network, on Curating 15,000+ Experts in 170+ Countries, Creating a Platform Business, and the Changing Global Context

#150: Cenk Sidar, Co-Founder and CEO of GlobalWonks, the World's First Real-Time Expert Network, on Curating 15,000+ Experts in 170+ Countries, Creating a Platform Business, and the Changing Global Context

Cenk Sidar is the co-founder and CEO of , a technology-enabled marketplace that connects private and public enterprises, from Fortune 100 companies to leading universities, with experts who understand the world. GlobalWonks does this through three...


Cenk Sidar is the co-founder and CEO of GlobalWonks, a technology-enabled marketplace that connects private and public enterprises, from Fortune 100 companies to leading universities, with experts who understand the world. GlobalWonks does this through three core products: a one hour call, a deep-dive report, and a real-time expert sourced Q&A tool, Network Pulse™. Their vision is to fundamentally change the way investors and decision-makers gain global knowledge by providing a responsive and seamless platform without the usual overheads and lag times. As of August 2020, GlobalWonks has 15,000 experts in over 170 countries.

Cenk Sidar is a global risk expert with a vast experience of assisting top financial institutions, multinational corporations, risk management firms, and legal firms operating in high-risk regions. He has written for, been interviewed by, and worked with the world's leading newspapers and media organizations, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, Foreign Policy, CCTV and Al Jazeera. Sidar has also addressed audiences around the world, including at UK House of Commons, Cornell, Tufts, Johns Hopkins (SAIS) and CFR. 

Sidar holds an MA degree in international economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, a postgraduate degree in European studies from SAIS’s Bologna Center in Italy, and a BA degree in business administration and international relations from the Istanbul Bilgi University. In 2012, Sidar has been selected as one of the top 99 foreign policy leaders under 33 in the world by the Diplomatic Courier and the Young Foreign Policy Professionals. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Advisory Council, Atlantic Council, Turkish Social Democracy Foundation (SODEV), Atlantik-Brucke e. V., the European Young Leaders Program, the Jean Monnet Program, the Project Interchange Alumni, and the American Academy of Achievement. He is fluent in English and German.

Connect with Cenk Sidar

Some of the Topics Covered by Cenk Sidar in this Episode

  • What is GlobalWonks
  • How Cenk started GlobalWonks
  • The original version of GlobalWonks and how it has grown and changed
  • The core product of network calls
  • Onboarding experts and growing the expert network
  • GlobalWonks' business model
  • The process of vetting the experts and GlobalWonks' rating system
  • Determining which industries to acquire experts in and GlobalWonks' recruitment program
  • GlobalWonks' target market and typical clients
  • Securing funding through angels and institutional investors
  • The complexities of building a platform business
  • Building the GlobalWonks team
  • Why GlobalWonks is unique
  • Cenk's advice for building a platform business
  • How COVID has affected GlobalWonks
  • Why GlobalWonks is increasingly relevant in today's changing global context
  • Anticipating clients' needs
  • Cenk's backstory
  • Cenk's book recommendations
  • Cenk's advice for entrepreneurs
  • How Cenk recharges from work and what motivates him
  • The story behind GlobalWonks' name

Links from the Episode