Asia Social Innovation Award 2017: An Opportunity for Cambodian Startups to win up to HK$72,000 in prizes

Organised by Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVhk), the Asia Social Innovation Award (ASIA) is the first region-wide startup competition for social causes and is inviting both Cambodian and other regional startups to apply now!

Celebrating their tenth anniversary, this year’s theme will revolve around ‘Imagining the next 10 years of Social Innovation’ with a focus on 10 Impact Areas to address urban social challenges.

These 10 impact areas are:


First launched in 2008, this competition aims to promote the culture of social innovation and encourage the exchange of ideas amongst cities located in the Asian region. Furthermore, the competition helps to nurture the early stage ideas of entrepreneurs and take them to the next level through the provision of exposure, network and resources.

This competition was put into play due to the impending urban social challenges faced by many Asian cities, such as an ageing population, environmental degradation and poverty. These are all issues that need to be solved urgently, and when a traditional approach does not satisfy the needs of society, innovations are demanded.

Thus, startups in the aforementioned sector in Cambodia and other regional Asian countries are encouraged to sign up for the Asia Social Innovation Award 2017 and take the first step in coming up with innovative and sustainable business ideas to improve the city they live in.

Upon applying for this competition, applicants go through a 3-step timeline. As soon as the applications close, one team from each participating country will be selected to join the Social Startup Weekend in Hong Kong, where the Grand Final round of pitching will occur and the Grand Winner will be revealed as well. Additionally, the regional winners will get to attend workshops, receive mentorship and network with field experts, corporate partners and investors at the Startup Weekend.


Ultimately, all applying startups stand a chance to win HK$2,000 if they qualify as a Regional Winner in the Grand Finals, along with a complimentary trip and accommodation to Hong Kong to attend the Social Startup Weekend. Furthermore, they get to win another grand award of HK$70,000, on top of their ‘Regional Winners’ prizes, if they win the competition overall.

As for the criteria to apply, startups need to be:

  • Scalable in the long run, in terms of both social and financial impact

  • Are in  their concept or pilot stage or less than 2 years old as of 30 November 2017

  • List of qualified Asian countries / cities (subject to addition or removal at the sole discretion of SVhk): Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

Furthermore, all submissions and presentations for the Grand Finals must be in English, though questions from the judges during the Grand Finals may be translated from English to the team’s native language.

So, if you are a Cambodian or regional startup who specialises in this particular sector and you think you have what it takes, do apply for the competition here by 30 November 2017! For more information on the Asia Social Innovation Award 2017, you can visit the official website here. If you are interested in keeping updated with the competition, keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page as well.