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Starting up an internet startup

Sok Sopheakmonkol, a co-founder and chief executive officer at Cooingate.  PHOTO SUPPLIED
Sok Sopheakmonkol, a co-founder and chief executive officer at Cooingate. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Starting up an internet startup

These days, with digital technology improving day by day and the influence of social media platforms such as Facebook continuing to grow, some people operate honest internet-based businesses. A handful of people, however, ditch their ethics and try to lure people to websites by using exaggerations, fraud and​ pornography.

But there are the good people with specialised skills who use their abilities to start a business – these folk are a shining example of internet entrepreneurs. Twenty-five-year-old Sok Sopheakmonkol, a co-founder and the chief executive officer of Cooingate, used his knowledge of information technology to start his business. He did so after graduating with a major in information technology and management from the University of Hradec Králové in Czech Republic.

Cooingate was created by a young energetic team seeking to capitalise on their skills. In this way, the capital for their business was actually their own skills. Cooingate helps both foreign and domestic clients outsource work such as web design, graphic design and web applications.

“Everyone needs to have a skill and be specialised in it,” Sopheakmonkol told LIFT. He always believed that he could start his own company by making the most of his initiative and focusing it on his area of expertise – information technology. At first, however, this proved difficult, especially as he and his team did not have money to get the project off the ground. But, by using his hard and soft skills, he was eventually able to bring Cooingate to life.

Right from the beginning of trying to found the startup there were problems that had to be overcome, Sopheakmonkol said. To deal with these problems he needed to use his interpersonal skills. “To make this project a reality required excellent communication abilities, as I had to prove that my team had a strong commitment and clear goals.”

Building a good rapport with someone is the best way to demonstrate that you have the capacity to work for them, Sopheakmonkol said. But that isn’t the only thing you need to do. “Besides good communication skills, I have to continually learn more about my field, do my utmost to fulfil the requirements of my business partners, try to understand my customers, help them with consultations and listen to feedback.”

The most influential thing in Sopheakmonkol’s journey could actually be the inspiration that he takes from his parents. “When I was young I learnt that my parents couldn’t finish their high school degrees. Therefore, my parents had to work very hard to support me, and now I tell myself that I have to study hard and have expert skills to support them.”

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