Phnom Penh, January 22: Dozens and dozens of ideas were pitched at the recent Startup Weekend Cambodia here, but the one that really wowed the judges, participants and invited guests was a healthcare app that helps connect patients with doctors.
Presented by Cellcard, the 54-hour event at the Emerald Hub co-working space here saw over 150 designers, developers, entrepreneurs and experts from various fields vying to get their startup ideas noticed by a panel of judges. Before they could face the panel, however, participants had to undergo an intense three-day session that saw them pitch their startup ideas to their peers, receive feedback and guidance from a group of coaches and mentors and form teams around the most popular ideas as voted by attendees.
When the dust finally cleared, team Doctor Advisor was adjudged the first prize winner for their idea of an app and web-based platform that connects local patients with relevant doctors. The team was rewarded with a $300 voucher, a complimentary six-month Cellcard Internet plan and three months of free co-working space at Emerald Hub.
“We were inspired to develop this app due to the numerous cases where patients have been unable to find a doctor who specializes in their illness, which costs the patient time, money and may even affect their life,” said Doctor Advisor’s team leader Sok Naroth. “Startup Weekend has taught me how to get my business idea up and running, and now all we have to do is make the app a reality.”
“I think the first step to getting your business going is to put your thoughts on paper and look for a partner to share your ideas with,” Naroth continued. “Initiatives like Startup Weekend can also play a major role in turning ideas into reality.”
Second prize went to team Tuk-It Easy and their Uber-like app, which allows users to find a reliable, reasonably-priced tuk-tuk or taxi in their vicinity. The idea earned its creators a $200 voucher, a six-month Cellcard Internet plan and two months of free co-working space at Emerald Hub.
Team Rice Market Price’s idea of a mobile app that provides farmers information on current rice market prices grabbed the third prize of a $100 voucher, a six-month Cellcd Internet plan and a month of free co-working space at Emerald Hub.
“Cellcard believes that there are many young Cambodians with potential to make valuable contributions in solving social issues. What they lack is opportunity and guidance. And this is why we continue to give our support to Start Up Weekend, as we see it as a venue that opens doors for them, developing them into budding entrepreneurs, and empowering them to make changes one innovative idea at a time.” said Cellcard CEO Ian Watson. “I congratulate all of the winners, and wish them luck as they further develop t heir business ideas.”
Several relevant coaching sessions were also presented by Startup Weekend speakers on a variety of topics that included design, business models and pitching.
Startup Weekend Cambodia will hold five other similar events with different themes focusing on women entrepreneurs, education, development and general business ideas, among others.