Five finalists of the Epic Cambodia – the yearlong incubator program launched by Impact Hub Phnom Penh – have received business mentoring and $20,000 in startup support as part of the program’s startup acceleration phase, which prepares them to make a final pitch at investors.
An initial application process launched last October selected 11 teams, with five startups chosen by a panel of judges after giving demo presentations at Raintree on January 14 to progress to a 36-week stage of training, mentorship and development of their final products funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Eco-Fresh box, a project to produce bamboo and burlap containers for farmers to store fruits and vegetables without the need for electricity, was one of the five finalists. “We have learned so far about finance, about being entrepreneurs, creating startups and human-centred design approach,” said team member Moung Vandy. “We’ve worked with a lot of different mentors, and that is the best part of the program.”
Another Epic finalist is E-house. Launched by Suong Sovathana and Phoeun Bopheakdey, the project looks to create a smartphone platform that facilitates access to safe housing for young women by listing vetted housing options. “I think the nine-month support and this acceleration phase is really important for us because we don’t have to worry about the money and the other expenses we need to spend for our business,” said Sovathana. “We just focus on building the app and trying to spread the news about our business.”
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