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Top five SmartStart Young Innovator teams progress to incubation stage

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Five teams have been selected to progress to the next stage of the SmartStart Young Innovator Program. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Top five SmartStart Young Innovator teams progress to incubation stage

After getting through the bootcamps, and “Hatch” and “Digithon” challenge activities, five teams have been selected to progress to the next stage of the SmartStart Young Innovator Program – Incubation and Internship.

The SmartStart Young Innovator Program is now in its fifth edition.

The SmartStart Young Innovator Program, initiated by Smart Axiata in collaboration with Impact Hub Phnom Penh, is Cambodia’s leading digital talent development programme identifying and nurturing the Kingdom’s future leaders in digital entrepreneurship.

The initiative is part of Smart’s commitment to the Capacity Building Research and Development Fund, launched by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

Five teams will now move forward to the incubation stage of the competition.

KAKVEI – AI technology that improves Khmer writing by converting romanised Khmer into Khmer Script by automatically correcting Khmer Script grammar and spelling mistakes.

MOVERY – An application providing convenient, reliable and professional moving services for both households and companies.

HOMATIC – An automated home security system that detects burglars and automatically alerts the local police.

DOLFIN – A financial inclusion application that provides users information about loan products, direct connection to credit officers and personalised loaning consultations.

SKINOREA – A mobile skincare marketplace application for Gen Z that overcomes stressing choices through machine learning.

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This year’s SmartStart Young Innovator Program Cycle 5 began in June. PHOTO SUPPLIED

“We congratulate all the teams who have made it through to this exciting incubator stage. We would also like to send our appreciation to all those who have taken part in this year’s programme.

“With our SmartStart Young Innovator Program, we aim to expand the minds of our future generations through technology and entrepreneurship by giving them the opportunity to express, develop and create their futuristic ideas,” said acting CEO of Smart Axiata Feiruz Ikhwan.

The five successful teams went through a number of knockout rounds that included a ‘Hatch’ and ‘Digithon’ challenge that involved solving a real-life challenge using the Internet of Things technology and pitching their ideas for the “Technopreneurship Challenge”.

They will now undertake three-month paid internships with incubation at local tech startup companies to better understand business processes and expand their knowledge base.

After successfully completing their three-month long internship programme, the five teams will move onto stage five, the Grand Final Pitch, of the SmartStart Young Innovator Program to compete for a $10,000 grand prize.

They will also have the chance to win a fully sponsored trip to a regional technology conference.

“We are so delighted to give these young tech-driven entrepreneurs a chance to really display their critical and creative thinking skills, and put them to the test.

“Since 2017, through the SmartStart YIP programme, we have supported more than 580 students in Cambodia and will continue to do so, because for the majority of these young people, this platform becomes a life-changing opportunity where they can really exhibit what they are capable of.

“This programme not only gives them a platform and professional guidance, but also sets them up for a brighter future,” said CEO of Impact Hub Phnom Penh Mélanie Mossard.

This year’s SmartStart Young Innovator Program Cycle 5 began in June and will end in December, with 120 participants having benefited from the 2022 program through learning, mentoring and hands-on experience.

Having gone through the Digithon, the 12 teams entered the “Technopreneurship Challenge”. During five days of intensive work over three weekends, they built on their ideas and created a pitch for a panel of judges who selected the five teams to progress to the next round.

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A panel of judges who selected the teams. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Established in 2017, the SmartStart Young Innovator Program enables Cambodian university students to launch digital startups by offering unique learning experiences through mentorships and financial support.

SmartStart has expanded to provide entrepreneurial education to more young Cambodians, impacting over a thousand students.

For more information on Smart’s CSR and sustainability initiatives, follow the Smart For Cambodia Facebook page at www.facebook.com/smartforcambodia.

About Smart

Smart Axiata Co, Ltd, Cambodia’s leading mobile telecommunications operator, currently serves eight million subscribers under the “Smart” brand. Smart Axiata is part of Axiata Group Berhad, one of Asia’s largest telecommunications groups.

Smart is at the forefront of mobile technology advancement in Cambodia. Smart was the first network to introduce 4G LTE in 2014, 4G+ in 2016, 4G+ with HD Voice (VoLTE) and LTE Advance Pro in 2017.

In mid-2019, Smart hosted the first 5G live showcase in the Kingdom, manifesting its mobile data leadership position. Smart also provides 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 3.75G mobile services, as well as international roaming across more than 190 countries. Its extensive nationwide network coverage stretches to 99 per cent of the Cambodian population.

The company is also rapidly transforming itself into a digital lifestyle brand, having introduced many innovative offerings and lifestyle entertainment value propositions.

This includes various international brand partnerships with Universal Music, Apple and Facebook, as well as digital services including Smart Insurance, SmartPay, Pleng by Smart, Pi Pay and SmartNas.

Smart aspires to be the No1 and most loved communication tech brand in Cambodia by 2022, while having a strong corporate social responsibility and sustainability agenda for national socio-economic growth.

The company’s workforce consists of more than 1,000 local and foreign experts striving towards a common mission of connecting and making lives better.

Live. Life. Be Smart.

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