Startup Weekend Education Phnom Penh Retrospective

From 16-18th September this year, Startup Education Weekend was held at The Canopy @ Raintree. The event attracted over 50 people who came together with one goal in mind – to create a startup to better Education in Cambodia.

The 50 attendees split into 10 teams to work on their ideas and also got the chance to network with industry experts, mentors and coaches like Kagnarith Chea, co-founder of Edemy and Monirath Siv, CEO & co-founder of Teach For Cambodia.

Ms Nadia Wong, a lecturer at Puthisastra University and one of the organisers of the event said that she hoped the event would “inspire” Cambodians to think about the transformation that can be brought about through education as it will be a major influence on the future of the country.

Starting with 10 minute pitches on Friday, the teams then worked through the weekend to improve their product before finally pitching in front of 5 experienced judges on Sunday. The startups included EasyTutor, Read-In, Frich, Yul, EDU-Medic, Tos Rean, Project Camp, Snadia Seavphov Khmer (SSV), Khalture and Academic Goal.

Each of the teams presented their amazing idea which made deciding the winning team especially difficult for the judges. Eventually though, the judges awarded the top three spots to Project Camp, Tos Rean and Academic Goal(AG) in order of 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The goal of AG was to create an online platform that could introduce high school students in Cambodia to various workshops and skills, along with connecting them to an expert mentor. As for Tos Rean, it is a mobile app for high school students in Cambodia which allows them to receive learning materials from their teachers in both document and video form.

While both these ideas are really innovative and meaningful, Project Camp was the idea that clinched the top spot! Project Camp is a camp event that is held outside of study time which aims to equip students with soft skills that they may not have been able to pick up in school.

Another project that deserves an honourable mention is SSV, a project looking to create the first online bookstore that gives a platform to Khmer writers in the Kingdom. While they may not have placed at Startup Weekend, they have been successful in their application for the EPIC! programme and we wish them all the best as they go through the incubator.

All in all, Startup Weekend Education was a rousing success, having unearthed 10 meaningful startup ideas. Indeed, here at Geeks in Cambodia, we are really heartened to see more and more people realise the advantage of integrating technology into education!

If you have a startup idea and want a platform to develop it, keep a look out for the next Startup Weekend event where the main focus will be on “Development”.