After months of preparation, last Thursday Cambodia’s brightest young entrepreneurs pitched their startup ideas to a panel of judges at SmartSpark’s Pitching Night where SUDrain, a startup working on a sustainable water filtration system came out on top.
Held at Impact Hub Phnom Penh, the pitching night concluded the SmartSpark Cohort 1 programme, and gave seven teams a chance to showcase their ideas, get feedback, and network with others. The teams that pitched were DonateH, Khmer SyReal, MeetDoctor, Nuutra Cambodia, Teuk Bottle, eTherapy and the winners SUDrain.
SUDrain received $3,000 from Smart Axiata to kickstart their startup, and together with all the other teams are now part of the “Hub Entrepreneurs Club” and will continue to be supported and mentored by Impact Hub.
The winning team hopes to address water management in Cambodia by creating a product using natural and local coconut fiber that SMEs can use to filter their sewage and meet regulatory requirements at a much more affordable price than the current alternatives. After two years of R&D and many experiments, the passionate team is ready to tackle the challenge and commercialise the process.
Photo credit: Impact Hub Phnom Penh
“It is our great honour to win this competition, for we could bring our idea into a real business which could be profitable and sustainable for the sustainable development goals at the same time,” said the SUDrain team in a statement.
The team intends to invest the money “to develop our business idea from the first stage to prototype stage until we could bring the final product of SUDrain to the market.”
Cohort 1 explored the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
SmartSpark, by leading Cambodian teleco Smart Axiata and Impact Hub Phnom Penh, is designed to build social enterprises that can help tackle the United Nations’ SDGs. The programme is set to span three years, taking in nine cohorts, and producing a total of 54 startups hoping to make a difference in Cambodia and the region.
SmartSpark Cohort 2 is set to launch early next year and applications open on 15th December, This time, the focus will be on SDG4: Quality Education; SDG5: Gender Equality; and SDG10: Reduced Equality.
Join the upcoming SmartSpark Cohort 2: Launch Event to learn more about the programme and see if you wish to take part.