STYLE, a platform assisting its users with renting clothes for special occasions, won a tech trip to Singapore at a SmartStart Young Innovator Program Cycle 3 Grand Final Pitch, after showcasing the team’s efforts of the past six months and presenting an elaborate business plan.
The winning team was awarded a fully-funded tech trip to visit the regional headquarters of tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and LinkedIn in Singapore.
“We are really excited about winning the SmartStart Young Innovator Cycle 3. It means so much to us, the opportunity to explore Singapore and to see how companies such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are doing their business. We hope we can bring back all this knowledge to double-up our operations.” said So Samphors from STYLE.
“SmartStart Young Innovator Program has been a great opportunity for university students, like me, to learn important principles of realizing a tech business idea. We are very thankful to Smart, Impact Hub and all the partners who created this program and gave us a chance. These past 9 months were an incredible experience and I recommend all university students to apply for SmartStart Cycle 4,” she added.
The other four teams participating at the Grand Final Pitch were RENTECH, an app helping users to rent accommodation; Sers Chborng, an app offering mentor support for high school and university students; PhumCAKE, an app for designing and ordering unique cakes for special events and SpeakOut, a platform to help people struggling with depression.
After the Final Pitch in June 2019, the five teams received 5,000 USD along with a six-month funded incubator program with Impact Hub Phnom Penh to grow their tech startups further.
One of the judges, Chan Penhleak, Community Manager at Raintree Development, said it was very difficult to choose the winner since all the pitches were great.
“It was very motivating to see their immense passion and efforts demonstrated in their pitches. Each team has worked relentlessly in the past six months to present their progress to us. I strongly encourage them to continue working on their startup ideas and officially launch their business,” said Penhleak.
Feiruz Ikhwan, Chief Financial Officer at Smart Axiata, also congratulated the teams on their performance: “It is very encouraging to see more young Cambodians being involved in digital entrepreneurship. I am very hopeful that their commitment and desire to build digital businesses will contribute greatly to Cambodia’s future digital economy, which Smart has strived to drive over the years. While I congratulate all the teams for making it to the Grand Final, I also hope that they take all their learnings from SmartStart to excel in their future personal and professional careers,” he said.
Applications for the next cycle of SmartStart will open in April 2020.