From June 6th – 10th, Impact Hub ran Unreasonable Institute’s regional program “Unreasonable Lab Cambodia” – a 5 day Business Validation Accelerator.
We are often asked ‘how can we stop our start-up failing?’ One of the primary reasons for failure is that many start-up entrepreneurs spend too much time on their own, planning their businesses on paper and making assumptions about what their customer wants. What they need to be doing is getting out and about, speaking to customers, rapidly testing their ideas, getting feedback and validating their assumptions. The quicker the testing, the quicker good ideas can be turned into substainable reality!
The goal of the Lab was to fix this problem – helping entrepreneurs have the courage and motivation to rapidly identify and validate the foundational assumptions of their business – primarly through getting out their and speaking to customers!
After receiving fantastic applications from early/idea stage Cambodia-based entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental problems, the following 8 teams were selected:
– Lyheng Phuoy designer of a new khmer language keyboard layout called Khmerism
– Prumsodun Ok founder of Prumsodun Ok & Natyarasa, Cambodia’s first all-male and gay identified dance company
– Ham Kim Houn founder of Parable Cambodia, a soft skills training company
– Saher & Jessica entrepreneurs bringing electric bicycles to Cambodia
– Chanthy Leang entrepreneur look to launch a venture in food waste collection and biomass production
– Leah, Laura & Khim developers of Mobilituk offering wheelchair accessible Tuk Tuks.
– Charlotte Mukensturm project manager of Plastic Free July Cambodia
– Sophy Tea entrepreneur looking to launch solar dry bananas business
Following an orientation session with introductions of our teams and their exciting ideas, our entrepreneurs learned about assumption mapping before spending the afternoon interacting with target customers as part of their customer discovery workshop. The following day, they learned how to plan and physically build a prototype which they tested on DI staff. Day 3 and 4 saw our teams focusing on how to build and maintain powerful, long-term relationships before preparing for their meetings with our world class 12 mentors who brought in a variety of expertise to help validate their business assumptions.
On the last day, our unreasonable entrepreneurs worked on their pitches to present at our Hubber’s Night where teams got the opportunity to network with members of our community. Our members were so impressed by their ideas and the fantastic display of creativity, innovation and courage from the 8 teams. They were also treated to a moving performance from Prumsodun Ok & Natyarasa dance company. We wish our fantastic teams the best of luck on their business ventures and look forward to hosting another Unreasonable Lab in the future.