Written by Abigail Perriman
DakDam Incubator Pitching Night
DakDam Incubator is run by Impact Hub Phnom Penh and supported by HEKS Cambodia and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It is designed for entrepreneurs with a prototype or startup that has the potential to impact the agricultural sector across Cambodia. Through funding, mentoring, network connections and business workshops, the program supports entrepreneurs to develop a viable, responsible business model to get their product or service to the market, with the ultimate goal of benefiting small-holder farmers (in particular women), in a healthy way for the planet.
Ten teams were selected from 65 applications to join a one-month pre-incubation program. The pre-incubation phase consisted of a two-day Innovation Bootcamp, meetings with mentors, testing their prototype with the market and preparing to pitch. After an intense month of hard work and dedication, the ten teams pitched to an audience of 120+ people, and our esteemed panel of judges:
Mr Norng Sivouthan, Country Director, HEKS Cambodia
Mr Heng Sovathara, Investment Manager, Infunde Development
Mr Ros Va, Programme Manager, SDC
Ms Cheu Ponleu, Coordinator of Milling and Export, CAVAC
The pitching event welcomed a record number of people to Impact Hub’s space, all curious to learn more about these innovative ideas to tackle real issues for small-holder farmers and see which teams would be selected to join 6 months of incubation with Impact Hub.
After 45 minutes of passionate debate between the judges, they finally agreed on six teams to award the $5,000 funding and intensive support. Judges were looking for entrepreneurial teams with strong leadership, a deep understanding of the problem, quality and viability of a solution, solutions validated with the market, scalability and strategic planning.
We are excited to announce the six selected teams, in no particular order:
SAART MUSHROOM : “IoT system controlling the growth of highly nutritional straw mushroom”
Reacheny (រាជិនី) : “Reacheny is a business that produces processed food from the agriculture product/plant (banana) in Cambodia. Hygienic, food safety and quality are our priority. This will help to increase the value/price of those agricultural products that the price and demand in the market are very limited and challenging.”
Camkaseka : Social enterprise providing backyard chickens for local/restaurants and technical support/supplies for locals who want to do it by themselves to help increase the supply of safe and quality chicken to the market, increasing the revenue for local farmers.”
Junlen( worm) : “JUNLEN ( Earthworm) is a social enterprise, which turns cow dung wastes into high-quality fertilizer with a vision to create a network of earthworm farms throughout Cambodia. Their products are vermicompost, earthworm, and education training services. They work closely with smallholder farmers to develop their sustainable community.”
De Lotusia Enterprise : “De Lotusia Enterprise produces natural handmade health & beauty care products inspired by traditional knowledge but made in a modern way. All their raw ingredients are locally grown by the community.”
Smart Farm Assistance : “Smart Farm Assistance, IoT company installing devices to control the water system remotely via App and SMS.”
“I am happy that we found the winning teams based on their innovation and viable business models providing benefits to Cambodian farmer. I wish each winning team the best as they continue to refine their ambitions. We know their journey to success will face challenges and hope they can continue to move forward towards their dream. This Incubation programme with Impact Hub is designed to strengthen their capacity and resilience through masterclass, mentoring and funding. I feel confident that the teams will have a positive impact on smallholder farmers in Cambodia.” Norng Sivouthan, Country Director, HEKS Cambodia
“It was really exciting to see the progress, the passion and the commitment of the teams over the past 2 months. They are at a very strategic time, as they have already their first customers and they are looking at expanding their sales and strategic partnership. We will be actively mentoring the shortlisted teams during the upcoming 6 months in order to strengthen their business and personal leadership skills. ” Melanie Mossard, Director of Venture Support, Impact Hub Phnom Penh
If you’d like to connect with any of the teams to learn more or offer your support, please get in touch with Melanie Mossard at email@example.com