What is SmartSpark?

SmartSpark is a 10-week startup program to introduce the key concepts of social entrepreneurship to people with the ambition of turning their innovative idea into a business that will tackle Cambodia’s biggest challenges. Each of the SmartSpark cohorts will focus on a different set of Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs). The aim is to help them turn creative ideas into viable businesses and innovative solutions!

What is the focus of this cohort?

This cohort was held under the theme, “Environmental Protection.” It was for young Cambodians with the drive and ambition to tackle SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG13: Climate Action, SDG14: Life Below Water, and SDG15: Life on Land.


What were the SDGs?

How did it start?

SmartSpark Cohort 3 was launched in May 2019. The applications opened from May 2019- June 17, 2019. 

Three amazing speakers were invited to join the “Youth with Impact” event- the launching event of SmartSpark cohort 3. The speakers, Sereyrath, Gigi, and Monorom, were very inspiring and showed us hope in making the impossible possible for the greener world. 


There was also an ideation session with our expert speaker, Dinh-Long as well. During the ideation session, our participants had come up with many impressive ideas to tackle environmental problems.

Let’s listen to Kuycheng, the co-founder of Inclusion+ (SmartSpart Cohort 2’s winner), sharing her experiences from the SmartSpark program.

We also had San Dara Vit, the founder of យុវជនសំរាម, to share his experience when running his clean up campaign through a video interview during the open application period. 

Watch the videos here: 

Finally, we have found seven teams of aspiring entrepreneurs who completed the SmartSpark program and took onSDG13: Climate Action, SDG14: Life Below Water, and SDG15: Life on Land.

SmartSpark Cohort 3's Teams


Bio-pesticide produced from gram-positive bacteria to inhibit diseases on tomatoes. 

Windday Energy

A renewable energy innovation that was created with the combination of solar panels and wind turbines on the same pole to provide energy for off-grid people.

Natural Soap

Environmentally friendly dishwashing soap produced from natural ingredients 

Green Bottle

Innovatively designed water bottle 

Mekong Seagull

 Platform promoting eco-tourism and educational experience in the Mekong river 


Solar-powered hydroponics system

Compost City

Compost City provides Environmental Lovers with the equipment, knowledge and power to transform their kitchen waste into compost at home through a 3-month skill validation program, including a ready-made balcony composting system and support service.

Pitching Night

The program finished with a final pitching event. Seven teams pitched to an audience of 100+ people and our wonderful judges.
Congratulations to Compost City, who was voted as the winning team and received $3,000 from Smart Axiata to kick start their business.

Program in Numbers

9 selected team

7 teams pitched

29 participants

59% Female

29% from PP

71% from outside PP

59% graduates

31% students

NPS Score: 67

Total video views: 65k+



“ Getting new ideas from others, making friends, confidence to make conversation with other groups, learn what I did not learn from school.”– SmartSpark’s participant.

“Push me to believe that I can do it and have news idea on how to run and control it” – SmartSpark participant.

Thank You


  • Bridget McIntosh (Country Director, EnergyLab)
  • Sotheavy At, (Senior Innovation Program Manager, Development Innovations)
  • Nithya Menon (Firmware Engineer, Okra Solar)
  • Piseth Phon (Head of Marketing, Smart Axiata)

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