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SmartStart Cycle 3: Students get creative in their mobile apps

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times Share:
15 teams are set to move to the next stage of SmartStart Cycle 3. Supplied

Out of 30 talented teams, 15 had been chosen to advance into the next phase of SmartStart Cycle 3 Hackathon Challenge organised by Smart Axiata, in partnership with Impact Hub Phnom Penh. The selected groups, whose project pitches was lauded by judges last week, will be competing for the top five.

Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, said that the competition saw the participation of 120 students divided into 30 groups. Mr Hundt said that the students all have the capability to create powerful ICT project, and SmartStart will equip them with the knowledge and guidance they need to soon be the forefront of the country’s digital and ICT sphere.

“For the 15 winning teams, you are now one step closer to realising your tech idea with Smart. The journey will get more and more challenging so do not be complacent but keep finding ways to strengthen your idea before the next challenge in two weeks’ time. And remember, digital businesses, opportunities and technologies are limitless, so be bold when shaping your business ideas,” Mr Hundt said after announcing the top 15 teams.

The groups will continue their work in Kampong Cham province from May 11 to 16 to further develop their ideas for their apps. They will need to analyse all that data will be able to gather before their final pitch. The chosen top five will each win cash prizes to put their apps into reality. One group will emerge on top and will win a tech trip to Singapore, where they will gain more knowledge and hands on experiences.

Khat Senghak, 21-year-old student from Paragon University led her group in presenting their PhumCake application.

“This app is aimed to save customers’ time in choosing and customizing their cakes. The app will show them the size, colours and shapes of birthday and anniversary cakes, so they don’t have to go to the shops anymore. They can order and choose the cake they want online,” explained Senghak, adding that the app also has delivery service.

“When the user registers her location, we would recommend her the nearest stores so she can easily have the cake delivered in her doorstep or she can choose to pick it up herself.”

Pen SamAth, another participant, created AgriGo app that aims to make it easy for farmers to rent machines they need in their farms.

“Farmers want to rent machines for their agricultural needs, but they don’t know where to get the best deal. So with this app, we will help them find good places that offer affordable machine rentals. I know that most farmers don’t know English, so the app will be using Khmer language,” says SamAth, also from Paragon University.

He added, “My app will connect with different stores throughout Cambodia. I will partner with shops who want to rent out their machines for farmers. When there are many places or shops in one app, all of them will bring their prices down because they will be challenged by their competitors.”

Aside from AgriGo and PhumCake, the top mobile apps at the SmartStart Cycle 3 include Kamong, Alpha Ed, E-TungTin, Sers Chbong, Muse, Kado, SpeakOut, Som Nob, WearWaer, Cosmi and RenTech.

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