A hundred and twenty shortlisted participants battled it out in teams at the SmartStart Hackathon Challenge over the weekend on April 27-28. The Smart Axiata and Impact Hub organised event had participants gearing up for the greatly-anticipated pitching segment on Sunday, where 15 teams were chosen for the five-day bootcamp in Kampong Cham.
Thirty teams, formed prior to the Hackathon on Hatch Day, spent their time refining their pitches for their tech startups, creating mockups of their applications and websites, doing market research, and defining what differentiates them from their competitors.
“A lot of people would rather fail taking the traditional route, versus taking risks trying to succeed unconventionally… All of you right now are taking that risk, because you’re doing something unconventional, you’re taking that risk of trying to be successful doing something that other people haven’t done,” said Mr Richard Yim, CEO of Demine Robotics, guest speaker of the event.
Mr Richard Yim, CEO of Demine Robotics, inspiring the teams
The pitching segment was divided into two panels of 15 teams each at Raintree Cambodia, giving us a series of lively and passionate ideas. The diverse panels of judges pushed the limits of participants in the Q&A segment, asking the hard questions that may mirror that of future investors. A good preview of what’s to come in future for some of these teams!
“SmartStart Hackathon helps me to define my business concept, before I wasn’t so sure of my business concept. The [Hackaton] program helps find supporting data for my pitch, did some surveys so that I can find solutions to the problem,” said Khat Senghak from PhumCake, a cake-customising and delivery service.
CEO of Smart Axiata, Mr Thomas Hundt with the shortlisted teams
We would like to give a big congratulations to AgriGo, Alpha ED, COSMI, E-Tung Tin, MUSE, Lor, Kamong, KADO, PhumCake, Rentech, Sers Chbong, SpeakOut, STYLE, Som Nob and WearWaer for progressing to the next round in the SmartStart programme!