Partnering with 500 Global, Khmer Enterprise (KE) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance co-hosted a one-day showcase of talent and opportunities for the Cambodian and regional tech ecosystems at American University of Phnom Penh.
“This event is the first ever international showcase of the Angkor 500 program to provide local and international leaders in the venture capital industry and leaders in corporations the insight of the Cambodian startup ecosystem,” KE said in a release.
In a closing remark at Friday’s event, KE’s CEO Chhieng Vanmunin said,
"With the current momentum and vibration of the startup ecosystem, KE is convinced that it is time for our startups to grow locally, and regionally.”
He added, “In the short- and medium-term, we are expecting to see more startups with innovative ideas emerging from the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Tech Founder Stories, Fintech Trends led by CAFT, in depth discussion about Southeast Asian Startup Ecosystem Outlook from Gobi Partner, and investment in startups by Obor Capital were central parts of the day-long event.
At the event, Cambodia’s startup ecosystem was described as “promising and forward thinking” by panelists, such as Borima Chann, co-founder and CEO of Nham24, Sou Jolyda, an investment specialist, and Hay Phirum, managing director of BOSCH Cambodia & Myanmar.
Carrie Liauw, Regional Director, Market Launch at 500 Global, said,
“We are honored to be working with KE to continue our work in the Cambodian ecosystem, and to co-host Turn Up under the Angkor 500 umbrella.”
She noted, “We believe that the success of the event is a sign that the startup ecosystem has a lot of opportunities, untapped innovation, and interest from regional folks. We hope to continue supporting KE in their efforts.’’
The Angkor 500 Turn Up event also featured a startup pitch session and feedback from potential investors, customers and the general public to improve their business. It also offered a chance for startups and investors to share, learn, and connect with entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, financial institutions, and industry experts.
KE, through Angkor 500, aims to generate fast-growing startups from ideation to growth stages among young talented entrepreneurs, accelerate potential startups to scale internationally by leveraging 500 Global’s expertise, global networks of investors and mentors, create more opportunities for startups to connect with international VCs and access to capital, and build a vibrant startup ecosystem by promoting the knowledge transfer through mentoring and other community activities.
In the past two years, Angkor 500 has implemented a number of startup supporting programs such as four cohorts of Ideations, three cohorts of Business Activation, a cohort of Globalization Acceleration Program, a cohort of Growth Program, a mentor training program and this International Showcase “Angkor 500 Turn Up”.
Cambodia’s technology-based startups have grown rapidly in recent years, aided by a support ecosystem boosted by policies and infrastructure geared towards their development, according to a report released in July by Asian Development Bank (ADB). Tech startups emerged in Cambodia in the early 2010s, according to the ADB report, which added they have increased from less than 50 in 2013 to as many as 300 by 2018. The report said the exact number is hard to verify as new startups are constantly emerging while others fail and go out of business.