Retrospective: Startup Weekend Siem Reap

The first ever edition of Startup Weekend in Siem Reap was held at the 1961 Coworking and Art Space from the 29th to 31st May this year. After organising several successful events in the heart of the Kingdom, Phnom Penh, the local Startup Weekend team decided to let the people of Siem Reap jump on the bandwagon by bringing Startup Weekend to their doorsteps.

Participants registering for the event outside the 1961 Coworking and Art Space

A total of 25 participants came together to engage in thought-provoking activities, beginning with brainstorming ideas, to turning them into reality. They were also provided with all the basic tools as well as coaching from mentors in order to prepare them for the final pitch to a live panel of experts and potential investors.

The aim was to build up an understanding of the local entrepreneurship and startup community in Siem Reap, as well as strengthen the ecosystem with like-minded people, all the while having fun.

Siem Reap is finally on the entrepreneurship map, and can further build up its connections with the startup ecosystem in Phnom Penh.

On the first day, participants brainstormed for ideas on what they wanted to come up with during the workshop. Some of them stepped up to pitch their ideas, solutions, and plans to the entire group in just 60 seconds. A total of 10 pitches were proposed, of which focused on education initiatives, community building ideas, and tech devices and apps.

Out of the 10, 5 ideas were chosen and adopted by the participants to be developed. The participants then broke up into groups based on their abilities to contribute as developers, marketers, and so on. Over the weekend, the groups put in a lot of effort in coming up with and developing the ideal solutions to their respective problems, before making the final pitch to a live panel on Sunday.

Only three teams made it to the top, and they were:

1stCleanbodia: This eco-conscious startup wants to bring bio-degradable plastic bags to replace the current plastic bags in Siem Reap to curb the problem with plastic pollution there.

2ndCoEnlight: This startup is an online education platform created for Cambodian students, with tailored courses for each individual.

3rdWhozaround: This startup is a social network discovery application to help you find people that you are indirectly connected to, by syncing your Faecbook, Linkedin account etc. to the network.

Upset that you missed this Startup Weekend? Fret not, for there will be many more upcoming events like this in Cambodia as well! Stay tuned to Geeks in Cambodia for details of future events! Additionally, check out the 1961 Coworking and Art Space website here.


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