Geeks in Cambodia Geeks in Cambodia Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:02:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PlasGate selected to represent Cambodia in regional finals of Seedstars World Competition Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:02:48 +0000 Alejandro Berger Cambodian tech startup, PlasGate, has been selected as one of the participants. PlasGate is an enterprise communications solution ... More]]> The local winners of the SeedStars World Competition (SSW) 2020 have been announced. From over 5,000 applicants, 94 (15 from Asia) tech startups from emerging markets were selected to advance to the regional stage of the competition.

Cambodian tech startup, PlasGate, has been selected as one of the participants. PlasGate is an enterprise communications solution company and currently Cambodia’s largest SMS gateway authorized by Smart, Cellcard, Metfone, SeaTel, qb and CooTel.

PlasGate’s Vision and Mission is to enable a legitimate direct connection and a single access point by providing innovative, reliable, affordable enterprise communications services with local touch and support.

The start-up is set to move to the next round of the competition where it has the chance to represent Cambodia in the regionals  and possibly Asia at the Global Finals for a chance to win.

The start-up will now represent Cambodia in the regional finals. In Case PlasGate wins, the enterprise would then represent Asia in Global finals, where it would compete for $500,000 in equity funding, which they would use to develop technology and resources to expand their service to a global scale.

The regional stage of the competition will include a 1 month long Investment Readiness Program, a modernized and personalized program helping startups get investment ready. It will consist of action-driven webinars on key business metrics, online office hours, where startups can discuss challenges they are facing; domain groups and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions, investor meetings for potential funding opportunities, and peer-to-peer learning and networking sessions.

There will be online episodes available for the regional stage of the competition which will be aired at the end of January 2021. Viewers will get to see each local winner pitch in front of the juries and learn more about each of the teams’ startup stories. At the end of each episode, the regional winners moving on to the Global Finale in March 2021 will be announced.

SeedStars, a Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, annually holds the SeedStars World Competition to continuously scout for the most promising startups around the Asia, Africa, CEE, MENA, and LATAM regions.

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“Business Chats with Facebook” introduce Facebook Shops: Helping Small Businesses sell online Fri, 04 Dec 2020 05:06:49 +0000 Veronika Janouchova To support small businesses in Cambodia and help entrepreneurs achieve online success, Facebook has launched a Khmer-language education ... More]]> Small and medium-sized businesses in Cambodia are working hard to adapt to the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic with many looking to the rapid digitization of the local economy as an opportunity for success.

To support small businesses in Cambodia and help entrepreneurs achieve online success, Facebook has launched a Khmer-language education series “Business Chats with Facebook” which features experts in digital marketing, social and conversational commerce talking about Facebook’s newest products and features.

In the latest episode, broadcast live on Geeks in Cambodia Facebook page on Thursday, December 03, two social media experts discussed Facebook Shops, a new feature to support businesses in adapting to consumer trends and accelerating their shift to online shopping by creating a space where people can discover and buy things they love.

Facebook Shops, which was recently launched in Cambodia, allows Cambodian businesses to create an online store directly on Facebook, choose which items they want to feature, create collections, customize them, and tell the story of their brand. Entrepreneurs can also connect with customers via Facebook Messenger to answer questions or offer support.

People can find Facebook Shops on a business Facebook Page, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, they can browse the full collection, save products they’re interested in and place an order.

“Many small and medium businesses are moving online after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. It becomes even more important for them to ensure that their digital marketing strategy for online platforms such as Facebook and Instagram is effective,” said Sopanha Hem, Httpool Facebook expert and a Country Head of Httpool Cambodia.

“I believe that Facebook Shops could be a way forward for SMEs in Cambodia since they offer hassle-free effort in setting one up. As a small or start up business, the first several months are crucial for a business to survive and thrive. Using Facebook Shops can help them set up their digital store in a few simple steps and will come with a powerful Commerce Insight tool for them to control their business activities,” added Sopanha.

In the next episode, social media experts and Facebook representatives will chat and answer questions about more aspects of doing business on Facebook.

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Facebook’s Community Standards are now available in Khmer language Tue, 01 Dec 2020 01:14:46 +0000 Veronika Janouchova More]]> Every day, people use Facebook to share their experiences, connect with friends and family, and build communities. Since the social media should be a place where people feel empowered to communicate, Facebook focuses on keeping abuse off the platform and developed a set of Community Standards that outline what is and is not allowed on Facebook.

These Community Standards are now available in the Khmer language.

So what are they all about?

Facebook Community Standards are based on feedback from the social media community and the advice of experts in fields such as technology, public safety and human rights. They are designed to be inclusive of different views and beliefs, in particular those of people and communities that might otherwise be overlooked or marginalized.

Facebook focuses on five core values that are considered during the development of Community Standards, voice, authenticity, safety, privacy and dignity.

Community standards are being constantly updated according to the changes in online behaviour. Facebook’s team focused on content policy is based in over 11 offices around the world, and is made up of experts on diverse topics such as terrorism, hate speech, and child safety. They cover a wide range of policy areas to catch all kinds of harmful content, from bullying and harassment, to graphic violence and credible threats all the way to fake accounts, fraud and impersonation.

To enforce these policies, Facebook uses combination of reports from their community, reviewed by their teams, and technology to identify and review content against the standards.

Anything that is on Facebook can be reported – page, profile, post, photo, comment, and anyone can report content they believe violates the standards. People can also customize and control what they see by unfollowing, blocking and snoozing people, and hiding posts, people or pages.

Facebook relies primarily on artificial intelligence to detect violating content on Facebook and Instagram. Algorithms are getting better all the time at identifying content that violates the Community Standards and automatically take it down before anyone sees it.

95% of the organized hate, firearms, adult nudity and sexual activity, drug sales, suicide and self injury, fake accounts, terrorist propaganda, child nudity and exploitation, and violent and graphic content removed from Facebook is found proactively using technology.

But there are still many cases in which a human reviewer is critical to enforcing the standards fairly and accurately, for example in case of hate speech. The systems can recognize specific words that are commonly used as hate speech, but not the intentions of the people who use them. So people have to review such content.

Around the world, there are over 35,000 people working in safety and security at Facebook, of which, about 15,000 are content reviewers. This team reviews content 24/7 and includes native language speakers. The reviewers undergo extensive training when they join and throughout their time working for Facebook. They have different kinds of support including access to wellness and psychological support teams.

To show how Facebook enforces their policies, the company regularly publishes Community Standards Enforcement Reports, which share numbers on the content found violating the Community Standards.

To learn more, you can visit Facebook’s Community Standards here.

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Khmer Tourism for the Future semi-finals have 6 winners Wed, 25 Nov 2020 09:43:02 +0000 Veronika Janouchova The initiative, organized by Impact Hub Phnom Penh and co-funded by Khmer Enterprise, started with a 2-month pre-incubation ... More]]> Khmer Tourism for the Future, an initiative aimed to improve resilience and bring innovation to the tourism industry heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, has found its 6 winning teams during semi-final pitch on 20 November.

The initiative, organized by Impact Hub Phnom Penh and co-funded by Khmer Enterprise, started with a 2-month pre-incubation phase.

After the Khmer Tourism for the Future Pitch Night, 6 out of 10 startups in the tourism sector were announced as winners and will receive USD 5,000 seed fund from Khmer Enterprise to develop their startups and businesses. They will also participate in a 6-month entrepreneurial incubation program.

“Since the borders have been closer to international tourists, the tourism sector is facing the biggest crisis of its history. In such a challenging context, new opportunities are arising to design the future of domestic tourism in Cambodia. From the 10 startups teams we selected, we can see new models emerging such as agro-tourism, permaculture tourism, community based eco tourism, art tourism, adventure tourism, tech-based and non-tech solutions, all run by passionate and committed entrepreneurs who share the same desire to create new jobs, and develop new destinations,” said Melanie Mossard, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Impact Hub Phnom Penh, about the initiative.

The six selected teams were:

Unseentra, a web platform, where travel operators, local guide, tourist attraction sites can sell adventurous, local oriented travel activities and experiences packages to travelers from around the world. The platform allows operators to manage their operations, booking, and most importantly gaining sales numbers by accessing new markets.

Haystome, a platform which connects tourists with local artisans to experience various Art & craft through masterclasses.

WeFarm, supporting youth and young farmers on sustainable farming since 2018. They have organized training courses to learn on sustainable agriculture topics and community-based tourism.

Solo Landscape, an adventure tour operator for explorers and nature lovers. Beside running tours, Solo Landscape is committed to support the training of local guides in waste management practices and hosting skills.

YEA Catalyst, an agency working in partnership with CBETs to strengthen management capacity, develop diversified products and brand their destination to marketplaces.

CRDT Tours, a non-profit operator supporting CBET by developing educational and community development tours. They organize 1-7 day trips to remote destinations in Cambodia, where tourists can enjoy an immersive learning experience in the local community while staying in a rural homestay and contributing to local community project development.

The initiative Khmer Tourism for the Future was originally launched on 13 August 2020 as a startup incubation program designed to build resilience and drive innovation in an industry that has been drastically impacted by COVID-19. The incubator aims to provide young startups with intensive training and extensive support to re-imagine the sector in the next 12 months, and to pave a new future for sustainable community-based tourism.

To check out what happened during the Pitch Night, visit:

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Sisters of Code, Cambodia’s first female coding club, receives two international awards Tue, 24 Nov 2020 07:47:35 +0000 Alejandro Berger Sisters of Code won the EQUALS in TECH Award 2020, international competition to support the integration of girls and women in the ... More]]> Sisters of Code, a non-profit educational program in Cambodia, has received prestigious international awards in the field of skills development, becoming the first Cambodian program to receive such important international recognition and attention.

Sisters of Code won the EQUALS in TECH Award 2020, international competition to support the integration of girls and women in the IT industry, for the organization and successful development of the first programming club for girls in Cambodia.

The project was competing against 360 initiatives from around the world and was highly praised by the jury from UN Women, UN Information Technology Unit, GSMA, United Nations University, and International Trade Center.

This has been the second international award given to IT Academy STEP Cambodia for the educational project Sisters of Code. Just a month ago, in October 2020, the initiative was recognized as one of the best in the international SOLVE MIT competition held by the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technologies. Sisters of Code made it to the top 7 in the category ‘Learning for Girls and Women’.

“It was an amazing experience to present Sisters of Code in front of international judges and to meet fellow innovators from all around the world. The fact that Sisters of Code has received such outstanding international recognition will allow the growth of the Sisters of Code community according to the best international standards and create new partnerships,” said Ms. Natalja Rodionova, founder of Sisters of Code.

Sisters of Code programming club for girls aged 10 to 20 was founded by the IT Academy STEP Cambodia in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of Cambodia, with the support of USAID and Development Innovations, The British Embassy, and The Australian Embassy in Cambodia.

It was through this institutional support that Sisters of Code was able to deliver coding lessons to the girls free of charge. Cambodia has one of the lowest participation rates in programming among female students in the world, with only 7% of young women choosing technical specialization and only 30% of graduates continuing to work in the IT field.

“We hope that these awards would help us to discover new possibilities to support our mission to provide a safe and supportive environment for female students to learn coding skills and grow their presence in the digital economy. It is an outstanding fact that Sisters of Code is the first program from Cambodia that has received such important recognition and attention”, Ms. Rodionova added.

Sisters of Code was established to push back against the widespread stereotypes in society that only boys can learn programming. In just a year, 150 female students have successfully completed the training course and many graduates have decided to continue their education in the field of IT. Sisters of Code aims to double the number of female students in Cambodia enrolling in tech related majors in the coming 3 years.

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