Written by Vandara Sin
After three months of intensive entrepreneurship training and testing innovative ideas, on December 11th, Tinky Bike was announced as the winner of SmartSpark Cohort 4, receiving 3,000 USD to kickstart their startup idea.
Cohort 4 addressed challenges in sustainable jobs, cities and industries which align with SDG 8, 9, and 11.
SmartSpark is an entrepreneurship program by Smart Axiata and Impact Hub Phnom Penh, dedicated to building meaningful social ventures that can contribute to the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Tinky Bike, the winning team, develop stylish urban electric bikes that aim to encourage motorbike users to switch to greener e-bikes, reducing urban air pollution and helping users cut down on fuel spending.
Before joining SmartSpark, just 3 months ago, Tinky Bike only had a sketch of how their e-bike would look on paper. They were then mentored by Tony Morvant, who is the founder of Soben-Advanced Bamboo Composite. With the help and advice from Tony, Tinky Bike successfully developed their first e-bike prototype in just 4 days, during the recent Water Festival. Check out Tinky Bike’s Facebook Page and Video to see their first bike.
“Smartspark is an eye-opener for me. I started from scratch and in 3 months, with the support from great mentors, I am able to know the market for Tinky bike. Also, I know how to do customer validation which is the thing I’ve never been taught at school. Now, I have one prototyped e-bike, and so far, people love it. Smartspark is a great program to join since it tells us everything we need to know for the early stage of our startup.” Kimhak, Founder of Tinky Bike.
“I now can see a clear picture of my son’s future and how far he can go in the future with his ability. Before, I was always worried about him when he was not at home even though he didn’t have any class to attend. Now I know why; he was busy and into building this amazing work. I don’t have any words to explain how proud I am seeing my son and his team being on this stage as the winner. “ said Kimhak’s mother, with the tears of joy during the event. “I would like to encourage other parents to be more open and supportive of your children and believe in their dreams, especially when your children are determined to do something greater than themselves and for society.” She continued.
The pitch last Wednesday marked the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey. All five teams were invited to join Impact Hub’s alumni program – Hub Entrepreneurs Club – and will continue to receive support with mentoring, masterclasses, space, and access to a strong community of innovators and leaders.
“We are very thankful to Smart and Impact Hub for hosting such a great event. We’ve learnt to improve our start-up, and we’re happy with the result. We hope that what we’re doing can give a great impact on society. ” Bouky, Co-founder of SEPAK.
The other four teams that joined the programme were:
SEPAK: an e-commerce website that builds a market between customers and Khmer handicraft producers. They aim to increase the use of Khmer handicrafts products as opposed to imported ones, for improving the standard of living for local producers’ and their communities. SEPAK’s Facebook Page and Video
Unseentra: an online platform offering unique activities/experiences in Cambodia. Unseentra aims to provide an alternative choice to independent travellers to quickly book any experience/activities anywhere across Cambodia and more, highlighting some of Cambodia’s less well-known attractions, besides Angkor Wat- in order to boost tourism and help travellers explore Cambodia more intimately. Unseentra’s Facebook Page and Video
INTRI Innovation: a digital marketing agency supporting SMEs with creative ideas to solve their branding problems and help them grow their market and competitiveness. INTRI Innovation aims to grow an integrated community of SMEs in order to help scale business in Cambodia, and find solutions for small businesses struggling to survive in a market dominated by big brands. INTRI Innovation’s Facebook Page and Video
JumNeanh: a platform for Cambodian youth to learn valuable job skills related to their desired careers and connect them to internships and employment opportunities. JumNeanh – ជំនាញ aims to grow Cambodian youths into productive and high-potential employees that use their knowledge, talents, and learned skills to sustain themselves and help others while pushing forward innovation. JumNeanh’s Facebook Page and Video
SmartSpark Cohort 5
Think you could be the next SmartSpark winner? The application for SmartSpark Cohort 5 (Social Welfare) will open on Friday, December 20th. We are looking for innovators who want to start a business that contributes to:
- SDG1: No Poverty
- SDG2: Zero Hunger
- SDG3: Good Health and Wellbeing
- SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Join us to unleash your potential and be a part of the above social solutions in Cambodia!
Get updates about SmartSpark and how to apply at SmartSpark Program
For more information about SmartSpark, please email to Vandara at [email protected]