Cellcard Lab gives young entrepreneurs a helping hand towards business success
Inspiring, empowering and providing opportunities to young Khmer entrepreneurs is the aim of Cellcard Labs, which continues to discover strong talent and giving hope and aspiration to Cambodia’s youth.
Five months after its kick-off, the unique programme today has seen numerous social business ideas being fast-tracked to market. With three Rounds completed and dozens of young Khmers seeing their ideas being fully-fleshed out, Cellcard Lab looks set to achieve its aim.
Organised by the Kingdom’s only fully locally-owned telco and co-working space Impact Hub Phnom Penh, Cellcard Lab has received hundreds of applications per Round. Only six to seven of the most viable, creative and inspirational ideas, however, are selected for the final. To date, finalists have brought to the table ideas that look to address and solve social issues in the fields of technology, healthcare, eco-tourism and education, among others.
“All submissions received for the Lab have displayed creativity, passion and viable business sense, and all have impressed in their sheer ambition and scale,” said Cellcard CEO Ian Watson. “This ultimately bodes well for the future development and growth of Cambodia’s business and entrepreneur landscape.”
He added that after participants identified causes behind social and environmental problems, the Lab would assist them to create sustainable solutions; develop strong value propositions for their customers’ needs; and create a strategy roadmap for their future ventures, among others.
“Once our finalists have used all the necessary Lab tools at their disposal, they then face the hardest part – bringing their ideas to market and making an impact,” Mr Watson said.
“We ultimately hope that our young entrepreneurs not only successfully turn their ideas into reality, but also play an integral role in shaping and elevating the Kingdom’s future business and entrepreneurial environment.”
Teams selected for the final of each Round participate in workshops and receive bespoke business support coaching from three experienced mentors.
The mentors focus on assisting finalists to scale up their business model, provide team-building and creative advice, and help entrepreneurs better implement, develop and execute ideas.
The Lab rewards the top three winners of each Round with cash prizes. The winner receives $5,000, runners-up $3,000 and the third-placed team $2,000. All winners also receive a year’s worth of Cellcard benefits.
Selected members from winning teams will embark on an all-inclusive, fully-funded trip to Malaysia, where they will attend workshops at the prestigious MaGIC (Malaysia Global Innovation and Creativity Centre) and tour the Microsoft office in Kuala Lumpur.
“The opportunities offered by Cellcard Lab have placed me closer to achieving my first milestone,” said the Lab’s first ever winner, Chanrithykol Em, who created the educational, 3D-based building block game DoyDoy.
“I developed my business idea after discovering there was limited access to quality, creative Cambodian games for children, but thanks to the Lab, I can see my idea finally coming to fruition.”
Second Round winner La Chhouk Recycled and Creative Fashion share similar sentiments, pointing out that they would not have been able to conceptualise and realise their ideas without the support of Cellcard and Impact Hub.
The young enterprise, formed by students from the Royal University of Fine Arts, aims to raise awareness of the environment via fashion shows that showcase creative, affordable products made from recycled items.
Start-up Eco-Plastic claimed Round 3’s top prize with their idea of turning plastic waste into corporate gifts.
The team uses specialised machines and equipment to create mugs, phone stands, key-chains and other merchandise for individuals and local businesses.
For more information on Cellcard Lab, visit http://www.cellcard.com.kh/en/cellcard-lab/