National SmartStart Unipreneur Learning Platform Hackathon finds winning team, gets tech trip to Singapore
From an initial pool of 11 top teams from six universities, a team of four members, Velea was chosen as the inaugural winner of the SmartStart Unipreneur Learning Platform (ULP) National Hackathon and Competition award.
The winners won a fully paid tech exposure trip to Singapore.
All the top 11 teams took part in a two and a half-day hackathon, where they developed business ideas, evaluated their competitors, tested prototypes, and planned out go-to-market strategies. The program, which was an initiative of Cambodia’s leading telecommunications operator Smart Axiata and Impact Hub Phnom Penh, took place from April 7 – 10, 2022.
After showcasing their productivity app that allows users to better manage their time, Velea succeeded in convincing a panel of judges to support their inspiring ideas, solutions and products.
A member of Velea Hour Lenghuy said “I think everyone should learn about entrepreneurship and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. Throughout my studies in the SmartStart ULP course and the Hackathon, I’ve become better at analyzing complex problems and I feel more comfortable in using creativity and research to come up with innovative solutions in a short time span. Most importantly, I gained collaborative skills to work productively in a team.”
A grand final pitch event was held on Sunday, 10 April in Raintree Cambodia, with a panel of judges including Ms. Leakhena Saroeurn, Country Manager, SHE Investments; Mr. Vuthy Odom, Head of Talent Acquisition from Smart Axiata; Mr. Sarath Uch, Co-founder of Karot Market; Ms. Vandara Sin, Program and Creative Manager of Impact Hub Phnom Penh.
Acting CEO of Smart Axiata Feiruz Ikhwan ” SmartStart ULP builds future leaders who are equipped to solve Cambodia’s challenges. Through a curriculum that encourages learners to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, students of all backgrounds learn the importance of being proactive, curious, and motivated in a rapidly changing world. These skills will also go a long way in helping Cambodia build a robust information, communication, and technology sector with a thriving digital economy. With endorsement from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, and the Capacity Building Research and Development Fund, we hope to scale this program to reach more Cambodian university students.”
As a fully accredited 45-hour course, SmartStart Unipreneur Learning Platform has more than 1000 students that signed up for the course and 35 entrepreneurs and lecturers who participated in the intensive training to deliver the course.
Ms. Kim Kosoma, Business Development and Digital Impact Director of Impact Hub Phnom Penh, said “The Hackathon has been a great showcase of the work we’ve put in the program since its launch two year ago, working together with Smart Axiata, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, university partners, rectors and deans, entrepreneurs, local lecturers, and students to improve entrepreneurship education in Cambodia.”
As part of the collaboration, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, Smart Axiata and Impact Hub Phnom Penh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on SmartStart Unipreneur Learning Platform in December 2021 with ten Cambodian universities to offer a course that provides university students with an entrepreneurial mindset and technical capabilities including essential use of technological skills that are relevant to the Cambodian market. Since its inception, the course has had more than 1,000 enrolled students.
SmartStart ULP is being carried out in conjunction with the Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology, University of Puthisastra, National University of Management, Royal University of Law and Economics, Build Bright University Phnom Penh and Build Bright University Siem Reap, the Royal University of Agriculture, Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia Battambang, Angkor University, Svay Rieng University and CamTech.