Geeks in Cambodia Geeks in Cambodia Tue, 11 Feb 2020 12:58:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 STYLE, the winner of SmartStart Cycle 3, is headed to Singapore Tue, 11 Feb 2020 08:24:17 +0000 Veronika Janouchova The winning team was awarded a fully-funded tech trip ... More]]> STYLE, a platform assisting its users with renting clothes for special occasions, won a tech trip to Singapore at a SmartStart Young Innovator Program Cycle 3 Grand Final Pitch, after showcasing the team’s efforts of the past six months and presenting an elaborate business plan.

The winning team was awarded a fully-funded tech trip to visit the regional headquarters of tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and LinkedIn in Singapore.

“We are really excited about winning the SmartStart Young Innovator Cycle 3. It means so much to us, the opportunity to explore Singapore and to see how companies such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are doing their business. We hope we can bring back all this knowledge to double-up our operations.” said So Samphors from STYLE.

“SmartStart Young Innovator Program has been a great opportunity for university students, like me, to learn important principles of realizing a tech business idea. We are very thankful to Smart, Impact Hub and all the partners who created this program and gave us a chance. These past 9 months were an incredible experience and I recommend all university students to apply for SmartStart Cycle 4,” she added.

The other four teams participating at the Grand Final Pitch were RENTECH, an app helping users to rent accommodation; Sers Chborng, an app offering mentor support for high school and university students; PhumCAKE, an app for designing and ordering unique cakes for special events and SpeakOut, a platform to help people struggling with depression.

After the Final Pitch in June 2019, the five teams received 5,000 USD along with a six-month funded incubator program with Impact Hub Phnom Penh to grow their tech startups further.

One of the judges, Chan Penhleak, Community Manager at Raintree Development, said it was very difficult to choose the winner since all the pitches were great.

“It was very motivating to see their immense passion and efforts demonstrated in their pitches. Each team has worked relentlessly in the past six months to present their progress to us. I strongly encourage them to continue working on their startup ideas and officially launch their business,” said Penhleak.

Feiruz Ikhwan, Chief Financial Officer at Smart Axiata, also congratulated the teams on their performance: “It is very encouraging to see more young Cambodians being involved in digital entrepreneurship. I am very hopeful that their commitment and desire to build digital businesses will contribute greatly to Cambodia’s future digital economy, which Smart has strived to drive over the years. While I congratulate all the teams for making it to the Grand Final, I also hope that they take all their learnings from SmartStart to excel in their future personal and professional careers,” he said.

Applications for the next cycle of SmartStart will open in April 2020.

For more information, visit “Smart for Cambodia” or

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EMTECH ASIA 2020: HOW TODAY’S RESEARCH IMPACTS THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE Fri, 07 Feb 2020 09:20:55 +0000 Elizabeth Lim This year’s EmTech Asia will take place on 25-26th February at the Marina Bay ... More]]> Can wearable technology help us to prevent Cancer? Can an increased knowledge of rats slow down the effects of ageing? Will microbiome mapping help save lives? These are just some of the topics that will be discussed at EmTech Asia 2020.

This year’s EmTech Asia will take place on 25-26th February at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore. The event will include experts from some of the best-known names in tech from companies such as Google, Autodesk and Augmented & Mixed Reality. There will also be more than 30 speakers as well as 20 of Asia’s top innovators selected from the under 35s. More than 800 participants are expected to attend. Find the agenda here.

EmTech Asia is where technology, business, and culture converge. It is the showcase for emerging technologies – especially those with the greatest potential to change our lives. The event also offers a chance to rub shoulders with and learn from some of the world’s most innovative people and companies. It is also a place of inspiration — an opportunity to glimpse the future and begin to understand the technologies that matter and how they will change the face of business and drive the new global economy. For more information, please visit their website here.

Tickets are available online until 24th February. However, if you miss your chance to purchase online, you can still buy them in person at the event itself.

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The National Bank of Cambodia will be launching a new digital currency called Bakong this year Mon, 03 Feb 2020 10:03:51 +0000 Elizabeth Lim A software wallet is linked to the user’s bank account, which allows them to interact easily with hard currency. The system will support ... More]]> Bakong is being developed as a blockchain-based, peer-to-peer platform that will have its own specially designed cryptocurrency. Unlike most blockchain-driven cryptocurrencies, Bakong is a closed system that is backed by banking authorities.

A software wallet is linked to the user’s bank account, which allows them to interact easily with hard currency. The system will support real-time transactions and the National Bank of Cambodia will store centralised records of the transactions, suggesting that all payments will be fully traceable, making the system harder for exploitation.

The fact that the cryptocurrency is being backed by the Cambodian banking authorities makes it unique as most currencies are not backed by central agencies, and are hence more prone to being vulnerable.

Chea Serey, the director-general of the National Bank of Cambodia said, “Bakong will play a central role in bringing all players in the payment space in Cambodia under the same platform.”

This move will hopefully make it easier for users to pay each other regardless of the banks they use. Though the system was initially designed for domestic payments in Cambodia, the National Bank of Cambodia hopes to add a cross-border payment function.

Bakong aims to create financially inclusive ecosystems that all the stakeholders in the industry can benefit from. The system already has the support of 11 national banks, and more are expected to join.

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NOMINATE INSPIRING WOMEN FOR TECHNOLOGY AWARDS OF 2020 Thu, 30 Jan 2020 06:42:56 +0000 Elizabeth Lim Nominate them for the Outstanding Women in Technology Awards 2020!
The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) announced that it has opened a call ... More]]>
Do you know women who are contributing to the development of Cambodia’s digital economy? Or women that show strong commitment to finding technology solutions to development issues that will benefit Cambodia?

Nominate them for the Outstanding Women in Technology Awards 2020!

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) announced that it has opened a call for nominations for the third cycle of the award. Nominations will be opened until 5h of March 2020.

The awards were designed to recognise women in the tech industry who are leading and founding technology firms, building innovative tools, technologies and experiences. This year’s award programme is based on the theme of “Women and Digital Economy”, where the public is invited to nominate candidates they believe deserve recognition for their contributions to the ICT sector in the country.

Since the launch of the awards, over 70 women have been recognised for their exceptional contributions to Cambodia’s growing tech industry under five award categories:
The Cambodian Woman ICT Entrepreneur of Award will be given to a woman in a leadership role with a successful business in the information and communications technology field, who has received both local and international recognition.

The Cambodian Woman ICT Engineer Award will be awarded to a skilled and creative female leader in tech engineering, who has used her skills to serve various institutions till date.

The Cambodian Woman ICT for Community Award will be given to a tech-savvy female who has actively participated by volunteering their time and energy to promote the use of technology in Cambodia for its improvement, or to women who have developed technological solutions solely for the benefit of the society.

The Creative Digital Contents Award is for women who have created creative content (multimedia content, digital art and design etc) that is unique and highly creative, and beneficial for the society, the economy and culture as a whole.

The Girl Innovator Award will be given to a girl under the age of 18 who has played a role in the development of any innovative technology.

“The Outstanding Women in Technology Awards have become an annual custom and key point in time to recognise women in tech in Cambodia,” said H.E. Mr Kan Channmeta, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Nominations may be made online through this link.

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Breaking the silence with Grab For Good Fri, 17 Jan 2020 07:53:53 +0000 Veronika Janouchova How can we bring this positive change for everyone including vulnerable groups?
For Grab, the ... More]]>
Digital technologies are affecting most areas of human lives including economy, work, finance or transportation. One of the current challenges of digitization in Cambodia is to ensure that these technologies will have a positive impact on the entire society.

How can we bring this positive change for everyone including vulnerable groups?

For Grab, the answer is a new programme ‘Break The Silence’, an initiative to make the ride-hailing platform more accessible and inclusive. The initiative, launched under the ‘Grab for Good’ social impact programme, aims to open up more income opportunities for the deaf and Persons with Disabilities.

“Grab is committed to promoting digital empowerment, accessibility and inclusion for all in Southeast Asia.(…) We want everyone, regardless of background or ability, to have access to financial independence and have peace of mind whenever they use our products and services,” said Hashim Alkaff, Country Head of Grab Cambodia.

Regionally, the programme has attracted 600 deaf driver-partners so far. In Cambodia, Grab will work with the Deaf Development Programme (DDP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Cambodia to implement the project.

As part of ‘Break the Silence’, Grab will include message prompts to alert passengers that they have been paired with a deaf partner, GrabChat feature for better communication, in-vehicle communication flip cards and training and on-boarding materials with local subtitles and sign language for driver partners.

Driver partners welcomed the new initiative “I initially felt worried about being Grab driver-partner because purchasing a tuk tuk was very expensive and I wasn’t sure if I could afford the monthly installment. However, I was encouraged by family and friends to sign up with Grab as a tuk tuk driver. Now, I’m happy with the income I bring home, which also allows me to cover my monthly tuk tuk installments,” commented Kong Sovanley, a deaf Grab driver-partner.

Together with ‘Break the Silence’, Grab also launched an Anti-Human Trafficking training programme for driver-partners, to raise awareness about human trafficking.

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