Cellcard Lab closes Cycle 1 with innovations that aim for a brighter, more sustainable future | Cellcard

Cellcard Lab closes Cycle 1 with innovations that aim for a brighter, more sustainable future

Published Date: February, Tuesday 07, 2017

Phnom Penh, Feb 2: Three young teams of innovators and entrepreneurs looking to address Cambodia’s social issues boost the local business landscape and be an inspiration to young Khmer everywhere came closer to achieving their dreams when they emerged winners of Cellcard and Impact Hub’s future-shaping accelerator program – Cellcard Lab.

The initiative, which empowers young Khmer to realize their social business ideas and contribute towards the nation, celebrated its Cycle 1 completion recently by naming projects DoyDoy, Chelsy and Sweet Life as its first-ever winners. The teams behind the ideas won cash prizes and telco benefits to support their continued progress towards launching their products to market.

First prize went to DoyDoy, a project led by student Chanrithykol Em of the Institute of Foreign Languages (RUPP). Identifying a pressing need for developmental toys for children, Chanrithykol created an affordable, safe and eco-friendly building-block game that utilizes 3D joints connected with straws.

“With DoyDoy, I hope to provide all Cambodian children with access to toys that develop motor skills and creativity,” he said. “There are many such toys available, but they are expensive and out of the reach of most Cambodian families, especially those in rural areas.

“Some of them don’t even have toys to play with even at school, and I hope to change this situation with DoyDoy,” added Chanrithykol, who took home a cash prize of $5,000 and a year’s worth of free telco benefits.

Second prize went to team Chelsy’s Chhlat, a project that looks to encourage young Cambodians to reduce their usage of plastic water bottles and preserve the environment via the use of innovative, colorful and refillable folded bottles. The team’s Chhalt Chingching Pu and Chanchav Gnem won themselves $3,000 and a year’s worth of telco benefits.

“We never expected to win, as our fellow finalists had such unique innovations and solutions,” said the duo. “But the first-class advice and coaching from our Lab mentors really helped inspire us to do better in implementing and executing all aspects of our idea.”

Project Sweet Life came about from a desire to promote a healthier lifestyle via the cultivation of home-grown organic vegetables. To address the issue, Sereysothea Sao and Somalen Sao offer to design and install mini vegetable farms in urban households and provide training courses and farming tours to encourage the consumption of chemical-free veggies.

“Cellcard Lab is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that provides expert, in-depth insights on what it takes to transform an idea into a business that’s not only successful, but sustainable,” said the pair, who won the third prize of $2,000 and a year’s worth of telco benefits. “This win will further motivate us to achieve our goal of getting more Cambodians to eat healthy, fresh-from-their-farm veggies every day.”

Cellcard Lab is an intensive six-week business model validation program for aspiring entrepreneurs aged 18-30 looking to turn their social business ideas into viable opportunities and bring them to market. The Lab announces three winners every business quarter.

The Lab also provides all finalists with expert coaching, workshops and bespoke business support courtesy of renowned mentors. These comprise trainer and Cellcard ChangeMaker Program lead Chhunny Noem, Friends International’s technical coordinator Maelle Barbancon and Impact Hum Phnom Penh co-founder Laura Smitheman

The three focus on assisting finalists scale up their business model, provide teambuilding and creative advice, and help entrepreneurs better implement, develop and execute ideas. As a bonus, the eight final teams have access to Impact Hub’s co-working space and network.

Cellcard CCO Laszlo Barta, in congratulating the winners, said the young but capable startups showcased creativity, originality and most of all, a steely determination to bring their ideas to fruition and create an impact.

“The overall standard of entries received was top-notch, which is extremely promising for the first edition of Cellcard Lab and shows just how much talent we have waiting to be provided an opportunity,” he said. “Based on this, and the enthusiasm shown by all our participants in trying to make a difference, we are confident that today’s youth will play an integral role in shaping and elevating the Kingdom’s future business and entrepreneurial environement.”

For more information on Cellcard Lab, visit http://www.cellcard.com.kh/en/cellcard-lab/.