Olivia Hough

Last year we were proud to announce the launch of Cambodia’s first, one year social impact incubation program designed to support outstanding social entrepreneurs to transform their tech-based business ideas into sustainable social businesses: EPIC.

“EPIC’s goal is to accelerate the progress of impact focused entrepreneurs. By providing them with seed-funding, access to mentors, consultants and most importantly investment networks, we’re confident EPIC will result in innovative solutions and business models which are strong enough to raise money from investors, foundations or other sources.” --Laura Smitheman, co-founder Impact Hub Phnom Penh.


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Teams have worked tirelessly through the EPIC program since October 2016, attending workshops, meeting with mentors and hearing from inspiring start-up leaders and technical experts. More recently, they have been busily preparing for their first big pitch: Demo Day. The big day where the eleven social enterprises showcased their work to a panel of judges in a bid to obtain $20,000 of support and to make their way into the second round of the program: business incubation for nine months.

Whilst the teams perfected their presentations, judges were assembled from across the ASEAN region, spanning specializations in investment, private enterprise and impact. The judges included Mun Ching Yap, the Executive Director of AirAsia Foundation, Pagna Ukthaun, the Chief Operating Officer of WaterSHED Ventures and Laina Raveendran Green, co-founder of Angels of Impact.

‘’The impressive influence and reputation the judges bring to EPIC reflects the ambition we have for the teams and the potential we know they have’’--Laura Smitheman.

The Demo Day was a huge success, the room filled with industry experts, investors, press and more, all eager to catch a glimpse at the next big social businesses to enter the market. Each team had their own booth where they could demonstrate their prototypes and explain the social or environmental problems they were trying to solve. Judges reviewed the business plans and met one-on-one with the teams to gain a greater understanding of their business’, their impact, the team motivations and dynamics.

Whilst nervous, all the teams pitched incredibly well, and it was a tough choice for the judges. With categories such as commitment, teamwork and innovation taken into account, the selected participants were ones who the judges were confident would take their businesses to the next level.

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Whilst nervous, all the teams pitched incredibly well, and it was a tough choice for the judges. With categories such as commitment, teamwork and innovation taken into account, the selected participants were ones who the judges were confident would take their businesses to the next level.

The following startups were selected for acceleration:

  • Eco Fresh Box
  • Edemy
  • E-House
  • Food Processing Incubator
  • Rat Hunter

  • “We feel very excited and inspired by the way the judges asked us questions and provided feedback, especially how they provided good advice on how to keep going with our project.” --Bopheakdey Phoen, co-founder E-House

    These 5 selected startups will be assigned a dedicated business mentor and have access to $20,000 worth of start-up support, which includes funding for testing, innovating and piloting their technologies, consultation with technical experts and the Impact Hub workspace and community.

    To find out more about Epic, the teams or their journeys, visit www.epiccambodia.com

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