Retrospective – SEA Makerthon Phnom Penh

Taking place from August 12-14 this year, the SEA Makerthon Phnom Penh hosted makers, entrepreneurs, tinkerers and designers who all dreamed of becoming change makers.

The SEA Makerthon is an intense 36 hour event that takes place across 10 cities. For the first time, each city was given a different focus revolving around the theme Designing a World with Zero Waste. For this particular edition in Phnom Penh, the focus was on agriculture.

At the event, 48 participants formed 12 teams with one goal in mind – to improve the agricultural scene in Cambodia. Each team proposed a product they thought would improve the scene and were assigned a mentor to guide and work with them through the course of the Makerthon.

Each of these mentors are established in their respective fields and included people like Ki Chong Tran, the founder of ARC Hub PNH, Nadia Wong, a corporate lawyer, entrepreneur and educator who is currently developing TRYBE and Nick O’Neill, a lead industrial design engineer.

Another feature of the event was the master classes that teams could attend. These classes provided participants with valuable training and covered topics like design, business, story telling and pitching.

After the intense three day Makerthon, team Rat Hunter, led by Chanthy Leang, was eventually selected as the winner of the competition. Her idea was a simple yet innovative solution to a rodent problem that hunters faced.

By emitting the sound of a snake, the rodent’s natural predator, it scared the rats away from rice and other crops and into no-kill traps. These live rats could then fetch a higher price as a food export to Vietnam and Thailand which provides farmers with an extra source of income.

Another project worth noting was team Eco Fresh, who made a refrigerated box out of sustainable materials that kept vegetables fresh from the farm to the market using water as its only cooling mechanism.

Both these teams received a 2 month incubation period under ARC Hub PNH and TRYBE space while team Rat Hunter, also received a mentorship from the aforementioned organisations as well as Winrock International.

Rat Hunter will also be Phnom Penh’s representative at the SEA Makerthon summit taking place in Singapore in October where they will get to pitch their idea to investors and entrepreneurs.

All in all, SEA Makerthon Phnom Penh was a roaring success with many innovative ideas being generated. Event organisers also reported that all teams were highly motivated and enthusiastic throughout the event and benefitted greatly from the involvement of industry players as mentors.

So if you’ve got an innovative idea that could improve Phnom Penh, keep brewing those creative juices and look out for SEA Makerthon 2017. You never know, your idea might just come to life.

For more information about the SEA Makerthon, refer to the infographic below which captures the essence of the post event report.