On Friday September 25, 2015, Impact Hub Phnom Penh was excited to hold our first “Hub Pitching Challenge” which aimed to promote business ideas that can bring positive impacts and sustainability to Cambodia.
Building on many, many hours of work, including mentoring sessions with Impact Hub mentors, our four teams had just 10 minutes to present their business ideas and were judges on their concept/vision, the feasibility of the idea, their financial detail and presentation techniques. The winner was to be awarded USD 500 and second place USD 250 award.
The teams had to face a tough panel of judges – three successful individuals from well-known business industries: Nira Lim, Chief Executive Officer of Brands Management Limited, Vithaya Chhuor, Vice President of the Investment Department of Canadia Bank, and Socheata Sao, Deputy Rector of the English Language Based Bachelor of Law Programme at Royal University of Law and Economics.
In front of an audience of over 70 people and after many tough questions from the judges our eventual winner was Tuk Tap. Tuk Tap wants to solve the problem of communication between Tuk Tuk drivers and foreigners in Phnom Penh. It is an geolocalization application which connects TukTuk drivers and customers to agree fares and destinations. The business will also provide the drivers with training and support to help improve their livelihoods.
Our close second-place team was BoostJob.co, who plans to create a website to help small and medium businesses to automatically boost their job advertisements to other job sites in Cambodia with one click, saving time and money.
We were also delighted to hear from Silence – an innovative Khmer-Western fusion style restaurant employing deaf and mute people to not only provide employment but also educate the public on the positive capabilities of this community – and Oh Delivery Food – an organic lunch delivery food service focusing on healthy, good quality meals.
All teams received great feedback and useful suggestions from the experienced judges on how to develop their ideas and create successful ventures.
In the second half of the night we had a quick fire open pitch round. 4 teams had just 2 minutes to explain their innovative idea for an audience vote. Our popular winner was Peng Pos, who plan to combine online technology with food delivery to help save families time and money. The team were delighted to win their USD 100 award.
Representing Tuk Tap, Rémi Van Ooteghem said that though his team won the first place, he had learnt that his team had a lot of weak points to improve after getting comments from the judges. He said, “The CEO of Brands Management Limited made our team realize that we did not understand the market clearly yet. The vice president of Canadia bank taught us that our team did not have a sustainable financial plan yet.”
Kimseng Huon from the second winning team BoostJob.co said that he is excited to continue working on the ideas after the judges told his team they they were very interested in their business idea, especially because the start-up cost is very affordable. His team plans to officially launch the business in November 2015. He said, “All the judges were very excited in our idea because our start-up cost is just around USD 1000 and we have enough human resource and skills to make the business successful.”
Judge Nira Lim, was excited by the potential that the Hub Pitching Challenge has to start innovative, sustainable ventures, “I am positive that there will be more than enough volunteers to help guide them towards the right path. I would really love to see their ideas come to life and blossom into a successful and sustainable business.”
Laura Smitheman, Co-founder of Impact Hub Phnom Penh, said, “We have seen many of the teams make great progress in the short time we have been mentoring them. I was very impressed by the exciting ideas that the teams presented and the passion to make their businesses successful. We are looking forward to the next competition in January and to hear from the most dynamic entrepreneurs in Phnom Penh.”
Impact Hub Phnom Penh is excited to continue to work with all the teams and stay tuned to hear about their journeys. If you are interested in applying for the next competition in January, join our Facebook group for all you need to know. See you there!