Phnom Penh, June 21, 2021 – After three months of intensive entrepreneurship training and testing innovative ideas, Ad-Fiden was announced as the winner of SmartSpark Cohort 7 (Smart & Sustainable Cities) over seven other startups, receiving 3,000 USD from Smart Axiata to kickstart their startup idea.
SmartSpark is an entrepreneurship program launched by Smart Axiata and Impact Hub Phnom Penh that is dedicated to building meaningful social ventures that can contribute to the country’s progress towards meeting the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The collaboration is part of a three-year effort that will include a total of nine cohorts aimed at enabling young entrepreneurs to discover and grow social businesses that drive sustainable development.
The seventh cohort was focused on finding innovative solutions that address challenges in building smart and sustainable cities. The solutions were all linked to SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities; and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption & Production.
Ad-Fiden, the winning startup, has created an app that provides transparent nutritional information on locally produced food and drinks to consumers. It also helps local producers to scale their businesses by connecting them with foods.
“It all started with being very passionate about solving problems of the society. However, our business idea was not that feasible. Thanks to the SmartSpark program, we had the opportunity to be trained in business modeling, market research, marketing strategizing, and other important aspects of growing a business, allowing us to enhance feasibility and have a greater impact. The SmartSpark program is so amazing for helping social entrepreneurs to make a greater impact on society,” said Mao Socheata, co-founder of Ad-Fiden.
“Since the first cohort of SmartSpark, the program has trained 176 participants [53% of whom have been female] and supported 53 different project ideas. We are very proud of the passion, commitment and talents of these young, aspiring social entrepreneurs, who have been working so hard to address the social challenges which Cambodia faces through innovative solutions.” said Nara Sokhema, lead trainer and program advisor at Impact Hub Phnom Penh.
“It is very encouraging to see young entrepreneurs tackling such a wide array of issues. From focusing on pet health to eco-friendly marketing solutions and innovative food-processing methods, SmartSpark entrepreneurs continue to impress us with their ability to harness existing technology to help underserved communities. At Smart, we make it our mission to enable and empower these innovations by providing the necessary connectivity infrastructure and training programs like SmartSpark. All the solutions presented at SmartSpark Cohort 7 have huge potential of improving the quality of life for diverse groups of people,” said Smart Axiata Chief Executive Officer Thomas Hundt.
The pitch marked the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey. All eight teams were invited to join Impact Hub’s alumni program – Hub Entrepreneurs Club – and will continue to receive support through mentoring, masterclasses, the provision of working space and access to a strong community of innovators and leaders.
SmartSpark Cohort 7 featured other seven strong ideas that address challenges in building smart and sustainable cities:
- ECOBuddy is an interactive app that encourages people to adopt green lifestyles through gamification of fun eco-challenges, friendly e-bots, convenient eco-markets and vibrant community spaces.
- Pawsome Kh provides fresh, healthy and sustainable pet food for our furry friends.
- E-Piller aims at producing a smart medicine box that contains technical features to help remind elderly people and patients to take their medication on time.
- Your Space is an online platform that connects people who want to rent out their unused space to people looking for available space.
- Agora is a marketing agency that provides premium yet affordable services to help green businesses grow.
- KruoSa is a food-processing startup that seeks to enhance Khmer instant noodles by making them more nutritious and extending their shelf life.
- Housing Mate is a consulting service that helps people design, decorate, renovate and build more environmentally friendly housing and office spaces.
Stay tuned to our social media channels for more information about the next cohort of SmartSpark!
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