Our Hubbers never cease to amaze us ! On Saturday 13th of March, three of Impact Hub’s incredible Hub Fellows proved that they certainly were among the best rising entrepreneurs of Cambodia. 

The Business Model Challenge Startup Accelerator is a competition designed for young Cambodian entrepreneurs to present their Business Model in front of a high class jury.

8 junior level teams and 8 senior level teams prepared seriously for this challenge. They perfected their business model canvas, tested their ideas with customers, partners and Impact Hub mentors, and practiced their pitch over and over again…  We knew that our three Hub Fellows were ready for success!

Last rehearsals before the competition
Last rehearsals before the competition

What is the Hub Fellowship and who are the Fellows ?

Impact Hub Phnom Penh loves passion and dedication so we are delighted to offer the Hub Fellowship. This is available to rockstar entrepreneurs who display exceptional ideas and commitment to developing their start-ups. For 6 months they gain free use to our co-working space, personal mentoring and access to an extensive network of contacts and potential partners.

Our superstar Hub Fellows – and BMC winners – are Pengpos (co-founders Sarath Uch and Chakrya Chea) , an online grocery delivery service, using an on-demand uber-like service to deliver the food;

Edemy (founder Kagnarith Chea), an affordable, offline system to teach English language in rural Cambodia;

and Teach For Cambodia (founder Moni Siv, Sokhema Nara, and Panha You) working to end educational inequality in Cambodia.

The Big Day: BMC Startup Accelerator

Throughout the day of the competition, 16 teams had 10 minutes to pitch their Business Models. Their presentations were then followed by a Q&A session with the judging panel, which included investors and senior business people.

More than just a competition, this exercise was a real learning experience and teams received valuable feedback: “We learnt a lot with the BMC. We learnt that it is ok to have a big dream but it is important to validate our path toward our dream in small steps. Throughout the competition, we learnt that the most important thing for entrepreneurs is not to plan too much, but to take that little incremental step to test our hypothesis.” Kagnarith, founder of Edemy

Everyone at Impact Hub celebrated the fantastic news that the 3 Hub Fellows were among the 4 winners of the competition ! The Gold Prize went to Pengpos, who won $4,000, the Silver Prize and 3 iPhone 6S’s went to Edemy and Teach for Cambodia received the Special Kiri Award (200,000 yen), which celebrates social innovation ! Good job teams ! The outstanding dedication that they are showing every single day finally paid off as the judges were very impressed by the quality of their performances.

Gold Prize for Pengpos !
Gold Prize for Pengpos !

Being the winners of this tournament, Pengpos will now pitch their business in the Mekong Challenge, held in Phnom Penh next month. Teams from across the Mekong region will compete and the winners will fly to the United States to compete in the  International Business Model Competition.

We are very proud of our Hub Fellows!

At first we were alone with our idea, and joining the Impact Hub community gave me a lot of opportunities to validate the idea and get support. It’s a great place to build networks, test the product and get mentoring to help us with our pitch and hypotheses. The community was also really supportive, helping us with pilot studies and feedback on the product. We couldn’t have achieved this incredible goal without the support from Impact Hub” – Sarath, Co-founder of Pengpos.