DakDam Innovators Lead the Way: A Milestone in Cambodia’s Climate-Resilient Agriculture
13 June 2024 - Kuntheavotey Mech

Phnom Penh: June 5, 2024, marked a significant achievement for the DakDam Innovators for Resilient Agriculture program. Five teams – ZeroCarbon, Chiv-Cheat, Bansam, CamboGreens, and Her Agri completed their final pitches after 3 months of incubation with Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

Supported by the International Rice Research Institute Cambodia Office and implemented under the CGIAR initiative on Asian Mega-Delta, Impact Hub Phnom Penh organized the “DakDam-Innovators for Resilient Agriculture” program to empower aspiring entrepreneurs to develop innovative and climate-resilient solutions for Cambodia’s agricultural industry.

The program started with a 3-day hackathon where 51 participants were recruited and 14 teams startup ideas on agriculture formed. The Hackathon concluded with 5 teams selected to receive $500 seed funding and join a 3-month intensive incubation to develop and test their ideas.

During the incubation, they joined various masterclasses shared by different experts to learn about business concepts, finance, marketing, and agriculture to kickstart their startup.

Participants also joined a 3-day field trip to Battambang province where they visited various agriculture businesses and Agricultural Cooperatives Cambodia to learn more about business and climate-resilient agriculture.

Check out more information about the DakDam-Innovators for Resilient Agriculture Demo Day here!

The DakDam Innovators for Resilient Agriculture – Demo Day marked a significant milestone for the program, culminating in a public pitch event where five dynamic startups from the hackathon showcased their innovative prototypes, which are pivotal for driving a more innovative and climate-resilient future for Cambodian agriculture. 

Months of sweat, smarts, and prototypes have culminated in Demo Day, fueled by a comprehensive support system. This included weekly masterclasses, ongoing coaching, and mentoring sessions tailored to each team’s needs, helping the five startup teams refine their business ideas and prototypes. 

This intensive preparation proved crucial for their success at Demo Day, where the top three business ideas received a major boost, each awarded $1,500 in seed funding to further develop their prototypes. The two following ideas received $500 each to propel their innovative solutions forward.

“We believe that young people have the power to make a change in the world, and through this program, we are planting new seeds of next-generation entrepreneurs who will make Cambodia’s agriculture more innovative and sustainable. We also hope that the seed funding and the support from expert mentors from the program will serve as a stepping stone that can help the teams to explore and test their startup ideas,” said Mr. Chhim Tithamatak, Director of Entrepreneurship Education of IHPP.

Her Agri: Rewarding $1,500 to develop an innovative pest management solution using local and organic cabbage baits to replace harmful chemical pesticides, protecting soil microorganisms and consumer health while maximizing cabbage yield.

Bansam: Rewarding $1,500 to create an advanced climate-resilient vegetable propagation system that maximizes vegetable yield, guarantees quality, and saves farmers time during harvesting.

Chiv-Cheat: Rewarding $1,500 to develop Chiv-Cheat Telegram Chatbot that helps cashew nut farmers in Cambodia by detecting, connecting them with resources, and providing disease control techniques to prevent yield loss.

CamboGreens: Receive $500 to continue developing their innovative green powder supplements, which are processed from vegetables under strict food safety and quality control. This initiative reduces food waste, supports local farmers, and promotes convenient vegetable consumption.

Zero Carbon: Receive $500 to develop innovative solutions in addressing land degradation further by providing soil analysis, sensors, treatment recommendations, and expert consultancy services to farmers.

The DakDam Innovators for Resilient Agriculture program Demo Day was a resounding success. It spotlighted five startups propelling Cambodia towards a more sustainable and resilient agricultural future.