Phnom Penh, 1st February 2019: After impressing a panel of judges at the Grand Final on Thursday evening, SomJot, a mobile parking application to help vehicle owners to find parking spaces was selected as the winner of the SmartStart Young Innovator Program Cycle 2 and was awarded a trip to Singapore.

“Congratulations to SomJot, for making substantial progress in the last six months, once again raising the bar for SmartStart in terms of output quality. Their pitch made us all proud of the tremendous efforts put into the program. Such an initiative proves that the Kingdom’s startup ecosystem is growing and being stimulated by great talent – it’s a positive sign for our shared vision of Cambodia’s sustained digital economy,” shared Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt.

The four other teams in the final were: Homex, a mobile application that connects users with household needs to reliable technicians; Haystome, a digital platform that connects tourists with local artists for a truly authentic experience; Malis, a digital solution facilitating appointments at beauty salons and Tos Rean, an online platform matching tutors and students.

All five teams had received 4,000 USD and a six-month incubator program with Impact Hub in June 2018, and battled it out yesterday at Impact Hub Phnom Penh for a fully-funded Singapore “tech trip” to visit the likes of Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

Ny Chanpichmean from SomJot said she is very thankful to Smart and Impact Hub for creating such a comprehensive tech program.

“My team and I have been working very hard to define our business model and develop our minimum viable product. Although we had to face many challenges in the last few months, we were grateful to have experienced mentors, Impact Hub and Smart, who guided us along the way. We look forward to build on this success as our digital product and service gains traction in Cambodia.”

Mélanie Mossard, Impact Hub Phnom Penh’s Director of Venture Support, praised the commitment of all the teams throughout the whole program.

“The quality and hard work on display in SmartStart Cycle 2 has been amazing. It has been great to see how these young university students have all responded to the advice and workshops during the incubation period. I really admire their commitment and desire to learn and get exposed to new networks and opportunities. We at Impact Hub can’t wait to see all the teams further develop their ideas and use our continuous support to guide them through their entrepreneurial journey.”

SmartStart, a 9-month program by Smart and Impact Hub endorsed by Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, aims at enabling promising Cambodian university students to launch their digital business ideas. Shortlisted students undergo a hackathon, 5-day technopreneurship challenge as well as intensive workshops to stand a chance to win 4,000 USD cash and tailored support for 6 months with Impact Hub.

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