SmartScale powered by Seedstars to host its Demo Day in Phnom Penh
Mekong Strategic Partners and Seedstars World strengthen the Cambodian tech ecosystem by backing 11 startups through an early stage entrepreneurship accelerator program supported by USAID’s Development Innovations and Smart Axiata
Mekong Strategic Partners (MSP), an investment management and advisory services firm covering the Mekong Region, in association with Seedstars World (Seedstars), the global community and platform for tech entrepreneurs and startups in emerging as well as in fastest-growing markets, launched ‘SmartScale powered by Seedstars’ in May 2019, an acceleration program for the most promising Cambodian-based startups.
11 early-stage startups were shortlisted to be part of the three-month acceleration program. Its comprehensive program structure was fueled by 20+ international and local high-level mentors. The program’s ultimate goal is to help the participating startups be investment-ready by improving their product-to-market fit and ability to scale.
“After having had the opportunity to work with a dozen of startups last year in a 3-day bootcamp and a pitch competition, which resulted in Seedstars investing in a local delivery startup called Joonaak Delivery, we are excited to be back. While the Cambodian startup ecosystem is nascent, the local founders are exceptionally driven and willing to learn. We are excited to contribute to this ecosystem and to the growth of this batch of startups together with all our partners,” said Adriana Collini, Senior Investment Associate of Seedstars World.
The program structure is designed using lean and growth methodologies to help startups scale faster and hit their next investment milestone. It covers multiple topics such as how to target customers and identify their pains; growth strategies and implementation of the AARRR funnel; and fundraising strategy. The format proposes a fresh sequence of sessions, such as dynamic workshops with local and international mentors, dedicated 1:1 meetings with entrepreneurs in residence, exclusive ecosystem dinners, interactive role plays with customer interviews, and allocated helpdesk times.
Bora Kem, Partner at Mekong Strategic Partners said: “Mentorship and technical support are crucial for a startup’s long-term success. With SmartScale, we have been providing the selected startups with experienced mentorship and a best-in-class global startup program. We hope to facilitate regional interests in Cambodian startups and to bring them to the international stage.”
The end of the program will be marked by a demo day on the 25th of July. This day will not only give international and local investors the opportunity to get to know the startups from SmartScale, but will also provide a great platform for all stakeholders in Cambodia’s startup ecosystem to engage with each other – startups, investors, accelerators, corporates, the media and the government.
“At Smart, we envision to play a key role in encouraging, developing and investing into Cambodia’s startup ecosystem. Programs like SmartScale encompass a diverse set of elements needed to propel more ideas, capabilities as well as local businesses to the next level. I look forward to be part of the Demo Day that will certainly showcase, also to the international guests, the promising tech startup sector we have here in the Kingdom!” added Feiruz Ikhwan, CFO of Smart Axiata.
SmartScale is supported by key enablers USAID’s Development Innovations and Smart Axiata, and is jointly implemented by Mekong Strategic Partners and Seedstars World.
“As Cambodia moves towards its 2025 digital goals, it needs a diverse set of actors to define and design solutions for national priorities like employment, healthcare, tourism, and commerce. SmartScale was designed to support growth stage startups, and we are proud to see how many startups have benefited from the program, and are now more self-reliant, investor ready and confident about their sustainability and scalability,” Kate Heuisler, Chief of Party of USAID’s Development Innovations.
The startups that were selected to be part of the inaugural SmartScale are:
- Bongpheak is the first job site in Cambodia specialized in low-skilled and unskilled employment.
- Buyloy.com is a Cambodian-based trusted online shopping platform.
- Impact Explorer connects travelers to impactful travel experiences, while changing lives through tourism.
- DirexPlay creates fun mobile games that encourages multiplayer experiences.
- First Womentech Asia aims at modernizing hospitals and healthcare business operations.
- Healthogo provides cost-effective and patient-demand tools for health providers.
- Kokopon lists promotions as well as discounts of various products and services on a single platform.
- Muuve eases busy lifestyles by facilitating food delivery.
- RENTKH TECH is an online platform for listing and renting property.
- BLOC is a Cambodian-based consumer goods e-commerce and delivery platform.
- Wayhome offers easy to use service solutions to building tenants, owners, and agents.
To attend the demo day on July 25th, please register here: https://smartscalekh.eventbrite.com/