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13 new businesses are up for the SmartScale competition

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Photo: Khmer Times

SmartScale is a growth program run by the Mekong Strategic Partners. It started last week, and 13 local tech startups are working to grow their ideas.

Bora Kem, the investment manager for Mekong Strategic Partners, said at the opening of Smartscale that the program is a great way for local startup founders to find answers to business gaps. Mekong Strategic Partners, with help from Smart Axiata, USAID's Development Innovation Fund, and Seedstars, will take 13 Cambodian startup founders to different business workshops for 12 weeks, until July. The goal is to help them learn business skills and tactics.

Photo: Khmer Times

"We have 13 startups in the program. Forty percent of them are run or led by women founders. "They are from child care, real estate, gaming, e-commerce, education, hospitality, and a café," said Mr. Bora.

Cambodia's tech companies are growing, especially among young people. According to a report put out by the MSP in 2018, there are currently more than 300 active technology startups in different stages of growth. And most of the people who start new businesses are Cambodian, which is great news. But some startups are having more and more problems that are causing them to fail or not reach the point of success because they don't have a good business plan or can't figure out what the market wants.

Photo: Khmer Times

So, SmartScale is more than just a challenge. It is a place where young entrepreneurs can go to build their business networks and find partners, advisors, and investors to help them with their business ideas. In addition to the business workshops, participants have the chance to meet their mentors from different business sectors in foreign countries who can help them beat business barriers.

The chosen startups will finally have the chance to get follow-up investments of up to $100,000 and get access to tech benefits from other tech organizations worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Photo: Khmer Times

Thomas Hundt, the CEO of Smart Axiata, liked that SmartScale gave Cambodian kids a way to help improve the digital ecosystem of the Kingdom.

He thinks that SmartScale will also force businesses that are already in place to grow and aim for success.

Photo: Khmer Times

Participants will get "increased investment readiness" from SmartScale, which will help their startups grow faster and reach their funding milestones quickly.

Photo: Khmer Times


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