Phnom Penh Post: Tech start-up pitches sought

by Stuart Alan Becker

A group of Phnom Penh-based high-tech professionals are putting on the second annual Startup Weekend Cambodia from June 22 to 24 at Yellow Tower, across the Tonle Sap from the Riverside.

Darren Jensen of Yoolk, a software company that builds content, sales and HR management systems for Yellow Pages, invites anybody who wants to pitch a good idea for a start-up business, especially with high-tech components, to pony up the $15 to join the event.

“There are 15 organisers flying in from around Southeast Asia, a mixture of investors and entrepreneurs,” Jensen said. “This is a really great opportunity for Cambodians to meet these people for the first time. Some people may get invited into an incubator which helps their business grow and may even get funded.”

Last year 25 people came to the event and 100 are expected this year.

Last year’s winner was Australian Dave Wilkie, 26, whose idea became a successful mobile dating and networking service that works all on mobile phones and does not require an internet connection. It can be seen on the website chibitxt.me.

According to Jensen, Wilkie is launching the service in conjunction with Smart Mobile.

“They’re going to launch with other partners in Thailand, Vietnam and who knows where else,” Jensen said.

Jensen describes the weekend as an entrepreneurial education experience.

“Everyone gets to pitch their business to a panel of judges, and then they announce a winner. There is a prize: some tools, vouchers, some things to help a business get started.”