Tech Academy Developing Cambodia’s Future Digital Workforce

Lydet Pidor has been shortlisted in this year’s Cambodian Young Entrepreneur Awards as the founder of a tech academy for Cambodian kids that aims to develop the nation’s digital workforce.
Pidor Lydeth, founder and CEO of Tech for Kids Academy
Pidor Lydeth, founder and CEO of Tech for Kids Academy

Lydet Pidor founded a tech academy for Cambodian children nearly four years ago, built on his belief that entrepreneurship and technology innovation are core in creating a valuable impact in Cambodia.

His Tech for Kids Academy (TKA) provides short courses related to the Information of Things (IoT), coding, robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and entrepreneurship in Phnom Penh.

The 28-year-old Chevening scholar, with a Master of Science in Business Innovation with Entrepreneurship from Birkbeck, University of London, is currently nominated for this year’s Cambodian Young Entrepreneur Awards (CYEA).

On founding Tech for Kids Academy

The first Kid-KATHON (Kid + HACKATHON) in February
The first Kid-KATHON (Kid + HACKATHON) in February

He said, “I founded TKA to join hands with the government to develop a digital workforce.” Next month, his academy, with sponsorship from Smart Axiata, is partnering with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to run a Kid-KATHON to ignite their interest in technology.

It all began at high-school when he wanted to become a person who can help solve global problems. After overcoming many challenges, with support from family, team and partners, he is now the CEO of TKA.

“It is crucial to work on long-term missions or business with visionary people,” said the former trainer of Cambodia’s Technovation, a global tech education nonprofit that empowers girls to become leaders, creators and problem-solvers.

He said parents have limited understanding of the importance of tech education for their children. However, he hopes with TKA, he can help bring tech and entrepreneurship education to more children, especially those living in rural areas. So, TKA is currently working on developing an e-learning platform for Cambodia and Asia.

“At the moment, I have been exploring some big problems, not limited to any industry, starting things related to education, finance, and health where scalable technology solution and innovation should be the heart in solving them,” Lydet said.

Students in an class in September 2019
Students in an class in September 2019

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On education technology and startups

Lydet told Kiripost about how he has been involved in education technology and his views on tech startups.

He is currently building an education tech and business innovation ecosystem with his co-founder. As technology innovation has been changing the world rapidly, he sees there are genius and tech talents who make it possible.

When talking about the tech landscape in Cambodia, Lydet sees young generations are motivated to run a startup or be a part of the new startup journey. He said that is great because it shows hope to the older generations of unknown possibilities to solve today's problems.

He believes what determines a prosperous future shaping the young generation is based on the quality of their characteristics, mindset, values, knowledge and skills.

As the number of startups grows, Lydet is worried that many young startup founders do not yet have a clear purpose or understand the problem and context that they are trying to solve with a quality skillset to execute.

He explained, “That is one of the main factors [why] we do not see many startups stay long enough or grow to another stage. At the same time, I also see a successful startup company in Cambodia has scaled and even expanded to other countries, which is inspiring and an example for me and the young generation as well.”

As the Cambodian government has been trying to promote and enhance entrepreneurship and the technology environment, Lydet believes “that the young generation should be equipped with a quality skillset and know your purpose first rather than doing many things over the place and not focus which would make their foundation is not solid enough to thrive”.

Students at work during a Kid-KATHON
Students at work during a Kid-KATHON

He added Cambodia is unlike developed countries, where their skill development and education is so strong that they produce highly competent individuals who can do quality work in a majority of areas.

“As Cambodia continues to develop, I believe everyone can choose to be at that level, or even better as we witness there are a few, by knowing themselves and context well with a two or three-time work experience or working harder.”

“Three things important to my work are grit, optimism, and love,” Lydet said.

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