Technovation Cambodia has announced that four teams of young girls have won awards at their national competition for 2021 for developing mobile apps that attempt to tackle social problems.

A total of 25 teams of girls aged 10-18 from Cambodia participated in the competition with the goal of building a better future using technology.

As participants in the global Technovation Girls programme, these girls coded mobile apps that solve specific local problems, said a Technovation Girls Cambodia press release on May 25.

Technovation Girls is a global technology entrepreneurship programme that challenges girls to identify real-world problems and address them through the development of a mobile app. This is the seventh year the Cambodian chapter has held a Technovation Girls contest.

“Among all of the teams participating, just 10 teams are shortlisted for Nation Pitch 2021,” said the press release.

“All finalists will receive a portion of the 5,000,000 riel ($1,250) prize. The cash and prizes are intended to help further fund their education in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] and assist teams in bringing their product to market,” the organisation wrote.

The team E2STEM Dynamique from Phnom Penh with their app “Scientifique” was the senior division winner, receiving a 2,000,0000 riel ($500) prize.

Scientifique is an affordable mobile app providing students from the ages of 11 to 18 with science lessons students can use for self-study purposes. Lessons in the app are relevant to Cambodia’s national curriculum textbooks and it explains theories and concepts using illustrations and analogies. It also has tips on developing good study habits.

The Nice Girl team from Battambang province with their app called “Repair” was the junior division winner of 1,200,000 riel ($300). Repair assists people whose vehicles have broken down by helping them find the nearest repair shop to them in Cambodia and helping them to connect with the shop quickly and safely.

Chapter ambassador of Technovation Cambodia Pen Voneat told The Post on May 25 that the national pitch competition this year is aimed at promoting and showcasing the work of young girl technovators after they have received coaching in coding for 12 weeks.

“They can use the prize money to improve their app development project if they wish to do so, and we will provide more coaching to them,” she said.

“After only 12 weeks of coaching, the young girls have the ability to develop an app and pitch business ideas to the jury,” Voneat said.

“The national event also inspires other young girls who wish to gain such knowledge and skills to apply for the competition for the following year,” she said.

Technovation 2021 was co-organised by the Institute of Technology of Cambodia and Tech for Kids Academy with support from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. It was sponsored by Khmer Enterprise.

Despite there being only 10 finalists for the national pitch event, all 25 projects have been submitted to the Technovation Global Submit for the jury to consider and all will have the chance to enter future rounds of the final World Pitch which will be hosted virtually from the US, said the press release.