Geeks in Cambodia Geeks in Cambodia Mon, 27 Mar 2017 04:36:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 BarCamp Ratanakiri 2017 Kick Starts The Biggest User-Generated Tech Conferences in Cambodia Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:10:15 +0000 Cheyenne Chia The annual BarCamp Cambodia events are back to continue their 9-year legacy of promoting tech and startups through a series of events that bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses, professionals, mentors and even students to network and share knowledge, skills and experiences in the field.

What started out as a small-scale event in Phnom Penh in 2008 with 300 participants spiked in participants in subsequent years, and in 2013, they extended their reach to become a series of events that went beyond the Kingdom to various cities and provinces across the country.

This extension to both urban and rural parts of Cambodia is a blessing to the tech and startup scene in the nation, especially with the wide scope of tech and entrepreneurial topics that BarCamp covers in their conferences, or as they dub it, “unconferences”.

Similar to previous years, BarCamp Cambodia has planned for 2-day events in every city and province it visits, with its first destination being Ratanakiri.

Held at the Asean Bridge International School, BarCamp Ratanakiri 2017 projects to be a gathering of young entrepreneurs, business and tech professionals, lecturers and students sharing knowledge and experiences in the tech and startup scene.

This gathering of diverse individuals creates an engaging and well-rounded platform that provides various learning points and exposure that all attendees can benefit from.

For one, students who attend can increase their preparation and better understand different career prospects in ICT, while businesses get the chance to network with a wealth of IT professionals and students for future employees.

In addition, a product and service exhibition would be held during the two days, allowing professionals to learn how to use technology to create online services and apply it to their organisations. Entrepreneurs and innovators would also have the chance to create synergies for new ideas and partnerships that might lead to socially advanced and profitable innovative products.

The unpredictable nature of open-participatory workshop that BarCamp has definitely adds to its appeal and provides a certainty that every BarCamp would bring about fresh experiences and information.

But ultimately, with tech and startups at its core, BarCamp promises that participants can anticipate topics ranging from business canvas model, pitching ideas, digital branding and marketing to creative videography and photography.

We expect that BarCamp Ratanakiri 2017 would be a fulfilling and enriching experience for all participants, regardless of their positions or careers, just as previous BarCamps have been.

BarCamp Ratanakiri 2017 is slated to be held on 1st and 2nd April, from 8AM to 5PM, and as always, free admission. For more information, do visit their website or contact them at 010 307 575.

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Cambodian Startup Morakot Technology To Be Accelerated This Startupbootcamp FinTech 2017 Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:30:27 +0000 Cheyenne Chia In less than three years, Startupbootcamp FinTech has made a name for itself as the world’s leading accelerator dedicated to financial innovation and the only programme of its kind to attract such a wide reach of industry support.

Which is no surprise considering what this award-winning accelerator offers to international startups – funding, mentorship, office space and access to a global network of corporate partners, mentors, investors and VCs.

So imagine our delight when we caught the news that for the second time, a Cambodian startup was one of the select 12 chosen out of 450 applicants from over 40 countries to join Startupbootcamp Fintech’s Singapore programme.

Teams were chosen by a panel of industry experts and representatives from program partners such as leading banks and VCs, so to be picked for this prestigious programme is as good as a validation of the potential of a startup.

The 2017 cohort of Startupbootcamp FinTech. 

“The diversity and quality of applications to our 2017 program blew us away. This year we received more applications than ever before, and the fact that so many came from outside of Singapore demonstrates both the strength and significant reach of the Startupbootcamp accelerator. Encouragingly, there were some very strong FinTech applications from emerging cities that may not typically be considered FinTech powerhouses in the region,” expressed Samuel Hall, Program Director at Startupbootcamp FinTech.

Last year, BanhJi, a free and localised accounting platform for SMEs to meet industry specific needs, was the first Cambodian among the 10 international teams selected.

This year, it is Morakot Technology that was given this rare opportunity.

Founded in 2014, Morakot Technology provides a software that acts as a simple and reliable alternative core-banking system for microfinance institutions and banks.

This software, Morakot VB, was developed based on the founders’ experiences with established international software that were effective, but were simply too expensive and complicated for smaller institutions.

To combat that, Morakot VB aims to achieve simplicity that does not limit performance. As such, the software requires no installation and having it cloud-based extinguishes the need for expensive server infrastructure. In addition, it also provides clients with a range of features from accounting, reporting to customer management.

Without a doubt, on its own, the startup’s innovative software would make a mark in the Kingdom’s FinTech scene. But when under the extensive mentorship from over 400 entrepreneurs, investors and corporate partners in Startupbootcamp 2017, it would definitely be further accelerated and improved.

The mentorship, which begins on 10th April, will help guide each startup through the ‘Shape’, ‘Build’ and ‘Sell’ stages of development and scaling across Southeast Asia. A series of masterclasses on topics ranging from lean to legal are offered to the companies, along with focused partner days built around leadership strategy, sales and positioning for investment.

Each team will also receive $25,000 Singapore dollars and six months of free office space at the world’s largest FinTech hub, Lattice80. Furthermore, the programme’s partnerships with various big-name companies such as MasterCard, DBS and SGInnovate, present finalists the rare access to potential pilot customers, industry data, connectivity and capital.

Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer at DBS Bank, feels that such partnership opportunities presented by Startupbootcamp FinTech are necessary to enhance the fintech scene.

“It’s important that even large organisations such as DBS, continue to engage with rising talent so we can work together towards creating better services for the financial industry.”

This acceleration programme will span over 3 months and culminate in a Demo Day, slated for 5th July, where the selected 12 teams will be invited to present their improved innovations to the grand audience of over 500 investors, mentors and partners.

We are excited to see what awaits Morakot Technology in this intensive acceleration programme. We are certain that no matter the outcome, the company would have received a wealth of experience that will bring their innovation to greater heights.

For more information about Startupbootcamp FinTech 2017, please visit their website.


We would also like to congratulate the other 11 eleven teams picked for Startupbootcamp 2017!

  • (India) The fastest way to buy, sell and collect payments everywhere within one unified AI interface.
  • ScalendTechnologies (India) Securely integrate data from different sources, take decisions, get insights, and focus on actively acquiring and engaging with customers in real time.
  • Fugle (Taiwan) The best digital brokerage firm for self-directed investors.
  • (United Kingdom) Collecting, aggregating & providing data on hedge fund and activist shorts to improve decision making.
  • Smart Trade (Japan) Smart Trade is a trading platform that offers a web & mobile interface to develop, use and share AI algorithms.
  • Tixguru (Taiwan) Brings the best trading experience to you by offering a quant platform & AI Robot advisor.
  • Welltrado (Lithuania) P2P lending metasearch engine, an innovative alternative investment marketplace.
  • Small Ticket (South Korea) Remodeling the distribution channel in providing insurance products via its own P2P insurance service platform, based on connected groups and controlled risks.
  • CherryPay (Taiwan) Faster, cheaper and more convenient international P2P money transfer matching platform.
  • AIM (South Korea) Automated Investment Service, a mobile-first robo advisor that helps retail users manage their wealth.
  • SmartFolios (Singapore) Online advisory and investment platform empowering investors to meet their investment goals.
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The Leading Ladies Of “Silicon Valley Comes To Cambodia” Mon, 20 Mar 2017 02:41:34 +0000 Cheyenne Chia Cambodians in Tech (CiT) is back with another event to boost the tech scene in Cambodia, this time bringing their leading ladies with them.

Based in California, CiT is just as its name implies – a non-profit community of Cambodians in the tech industry with the aim to increase the number of Cambodians in tech through community, education and inspiration in the form of initiatives and programmes. Just last year, they held their very first Hackathon #SVtoPP in the Kingdom, challenging aspiring tech entrepreneurs to come up with tech-based solutions to real world problems. Winners were then given the chance to be mentored by top entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley.

This year, they’ve switched up their approach and are introducing an off-the-record tech talk and panel with two brilliant women from Silicon Valley, Kathleen Chaykowski and Evie Gillie, that would undoubtedly make the event as enriching and inspiring as #SVtoPP was.

Branching from two different areas of expertise, Kathleen Chaykowski is a reporter in Forbes’ tech team that covers the people and innovations of digital and social media, and has most recently been covering the Snapchat IPO. Evie Gillie, on the other hand, is the Director of Engineering at one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups, with an impressive resume boasting big names like Stanford, Google and Facebook.

The speakers’ differing experiences and depths in their individual fields is a sure sign of two well-rounded tech talks that will be featured in the event.

Adding on to the already spectacular lineup of speakers, the panel is also moderated by Cambodia’s very own tech leading lady, Malypoeur Plong, who is often hailed as one of the most accomplished and outstanding Khmer women in tech.

Armed with her Master’s degree in Internet Computing and various software design & programming projects, Malypouer is not only extremely well-versed in the tech and digital scene. She is also the sole creator of “Stops Near Me”, an app that makes information on Phnom Penh’s city bus services more accessible to the public.

It is humbling to know that her stellar credentials do not outshine her heart for the community. One of her various contributions include being part of Cambodian Technovation as a technical mentor that helps out teenage girls develop mobile apps to tackle social issues

We are absolutely positive that with such outstanding women present at the panel discussion and tech talks, the entire event would be a rewarding and educational experience. Speakers would also engage in a short Q&A session, and what better way to clarify any tech questions than to ask the seasoned players of the scene themselves?

This event will be held at Emerald Hub on Saturday, 25th March, from 2pm to 4pm. So why not spare just two hours of your day to make full use of this rare opportunity to learn from and network with some of Silicon Valley’s and Cambodia’s finest?

For more information, please visit

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Shine In The Spotlight With Cambodia ICT Awards (CICTA) 2017 Fri, 17 Mar 2017 08:09:31 +0000 Cheyenne Chia The much-anticipated annual Cambodia ICT Awards (CICTA) is back again for it’s third run, and sign ups are now open!

Launched in 2015, this competition awards the most innovative of ICT technology achievements in the Kingdom with cash prizes and glory. The goal of this prestigious award is to encourage and promote outstanding products and projects in the ICT sector.

Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata and the main sponsor of this award, feels that it presents an opportunity to demonstrate the strong innovation capacity of the country and makes it “more attractive and competitive on a technological level”.

Three winners are selected every year, with BookMeBus, Smartpay and Tosfun clinching the prize in 2016. This year, interested participants can look forward to an even beefier cash prize with second runner up receiving 1,000 USD, runner-up 3,000 USD and the first-place winner obtaining 10,000 USD, a whopping 5,000 USD increase from the previous year.

These cash rewards given are more than just an attractive incentive but serves as a helping aid to boost winning companies to the next level. In addition, winners have the opportunity to participate in the ASEAN ICT awards, presenting them a chance at more than national recognition, but regional and international acclamation.

Adding to its extensive list of positives, the organising committee of CICTA, The National Institute of Posts and Telecoms and ICT (NIPTICT) also believes in allowing all types of organisations to explore their creativity.

“Innovation can come from very different places. This is why we have created different categories allowing young start-ups, private companies, but also public initiatives and NGOs to showcase their creativity”, shares Dr. Sopheap Seng, President of NIPTICT.

Indeed, interested candidates can apply in six different categories:

  1. Start-up Company
  2. Digital Content
  3. Private Sector
  4. Corporate Social Responsibility
  5. Public Sector
  6. Research & Development

After the initial round of selection, 12 finalists will be picked to showcase their project in front a board of judges comprising of business, official, civil society an ICT industry representatives. Projects are judged based on four criteria:

  1. The creativity of the product
  2. The benefits it brings to society
  3. Quality and reliability of the product,
  4. Technologies involved in the project

One winner would be selected in the six categories, and among them, three final winners would be awarded during the final ceremony on 15th June.

If this has piqued your interest and you are all geared up to participate in CICTA 2017, apply now at! Sign ups are already open and close on 15th May.

Who knows? Your innovation may very well be the next ICT king of the Kingdom.

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Microsoft Encourages Interactive Tech Learning at 2017 Cambodia Science & Engineering Festival Mon, 13 Mar 2017 08:56:46 +0000 Cheyenne Chia With an overwhelming response of over 23,000 participants, the Cambodian Science and Engineering Festival (CSEF) recently ended its third run with huge success.

This 3-day event, bustling with hands-on activities and various outdoor booths, is Cambodia’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Geared towards youths, the festival was created upon the belief that the limitless wonders of STEM should be discovered in a fun and interactive way.

Being one of the major players in the country’s budding tech and digital scene, Microsoft joined in on the festivities and had their very own booth in this fun-filled celebration to make tech education more accessible to participants.

The booth had a total of four interactive and engaging activities across the three days that focused on being educational, informative and most importantly, entertaining and enjoyable for the youthful participants.

Children trying their hands at Microsoft’s ‘Hour of Code’ activity. 

With the central theme of hands-on fun in mind, ‘Hour of Code’ appropriately kick-started the days’ activities with an hour-long coding tutorial taught through the adventure-themed block game, Minecraft.

The gamified twist saw participants learning how to code by programming the movements and actions of their in-game character. Certificates and candies were then given out after the completion of the interactive tutorial.

This refreshing approach makes the teaching of the aged language of computer programming more engaging by establishing an end goal for participants to achieve. It also made learning and retaining the information easier on the participants’ part as they could associate the various codes to the actions they saw on screen.

Following that were 10-minute pocket presentations on a variety of topics ranging from YouthSpark, Microsoft’s global initiative to make computer science accessible to youths, to tips and tricks on using Microsoft programmes. Quick, informative and educational, these presentations were a nice transition into the “Live Your Story” Challenge.

Held twice per day, registered teams of three were given a simple story that they had to bring to life through images. To do so, they had to search for the most similar image to the scenario with ‘Bing’, before saving it and inserting it into PowerPoint to complete the story. Their stories could also be supplemented with animations and texts.

The challenge was to have the best storytelling PowerPoint in 30 minutes, and winners were given exclusive Microsoft goodies.

Staying true to the “educational fun” theme, this activity was more than just a challenge to dish out presents. It was an interactive way of learning how to navigate the Internet and presenting information found on slides, which is a necessary skill when entering the digital and tech industry.

Microsoft showcases their IoT technology in their Cognitive Demonstration activity.

Now, imagine standing in front of a webcam, and having your age and emotional state displayed to you on a computer screen without even having to lift a finger?

Sounds like a scene out of a science fiction movie? Well, Microsoft’s Cognitive Demonstration activity made it a reality, working wonders with its IoT technology and drawing in a total crowd of 400 participants.

In the 3 days of this festival, Microsoft’s booth was a show of their support and aid to the tech scene in Cambodia, bringing digital skills to the locals through a series of hands-on activities. It is heartening to see that many left the tent with a smile and additional skillsets learnt.

Even more heartwarming is that in spite of the heat that Cambodian weather brings during this period, the numbers to such outdoor tech booths and events have not dwindled, but risen over the years.

We strongly believe that this is a sure sign of a rising interest in the technology scene in the Kingdom, and hope to see other major tech players following in Microsoft’s footsteps and contributing to growing the tech community in the country.

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