GoSoccer, a local firm developing a platform and a mobile application to facilitate booking soccer fields, came on top on Sunday at Smart Axiata’s first SmartStart, a programme that seeks to help young Cambodians launch their own startups.
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The prize is a trip to Singapore, where members of the local startup will visit the offices of some of the biggest names in the tech industry, including Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
From an initial phase consisting of more than 30 candidates, GoSoccer, a five-member team, made it to the final stage of the competition, where they squared up with four other teams at Impact Hub, each vying to convince the judging panel of the superiority of their product and team.
The five teams in the final were made up of students from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Kirirom Institute of Technology, Zaman University, the American University of Phnom Penh, CamEd Business School, and the National Institute of Posts, Telecoms and ICT.
Lim Sengkhun, a member of GoSoccer’s team, said he is looking forward to their trip to Singapore, where he will learn from some of the most iconic firms in the tech industry.
“We want to learn as much as possible from these companies and then bring that knowledge back to use it in our work as well as to contribute to the development of the nation,” Mr Sengkhun said.
Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, said his company is proud to support new digital ideas as well as help develop future tech entrepreneurs for Cambodia’s promising digital ecosystem.
“It is fantastic to see how far these teams have progressed. Their final today and products presented were much more polished than when they first told us their ideas,” said Mr Hundt.
Other contending app ideas were Ligo, a mobile Khmer language learning application; Prestige Gift, a gift consultant, wrapping and delivery service; SPARE, a service to simplify booking or renting real estate and working space; and Propey, a wedding planning service.
All five team received $4,000 for making it to the final stage of the competition. They also received free entrance into a six-month incubator programme with Impact Hub Phnom Penh starting May 2017.
The SmartStart competition was launched last year with strong endorsement from the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.