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Incubation programme for start-ups to launch

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SmartScale will launch next month in search of Cambodia’s most promising start-ups. PUBLIC DOMAIN

Incubation programme for start-ups to launch

Smartscale, a three-month entrepreneurship incubation programme, will launch next month in search for Cambodia’s most promising start-ups.

Set to start in May, the programme will be launched by Mekong Strategic Partners (MSP) in cooperation with Seedstars World, Smart Axiata and USAID’s Development Innovation.

It will choose up to 15 Cambodian-based start-ups to receive on-site intensive training based on the Seedstars programme structure.

The programme aims to develop products to fit market needs and to enhance customer interactions by providing knowledge and expert guidance.

MSP partner Bora Kem said: “Mentorship and technical support are crucial for a start-up’s long-term success. With SmartScale, we will provide start-ups with experienced local mentors while partnering with Seedstars to deliver a world-class incubation programme.

“We hope to facilitate regional interest in Cambodian start-ups and to bring them to the international stage.”

The selected start-ups will have an opportunity to enjoy a free working space in an inspiring environment, equity-free participation, local company support and weekly meetings with entrepreneurial experts.

Two full-time entrepreneurship trainers and more than 20 local and international investment professional trainers will be part of the programme structure.

Participating start-ups will also potentially receive follow-up investments of up to $100,000 from the Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund and the Seedstars investor network, as well as exclusive access to thousands of dollars’ worth of tech benefits contributed by firms such as Xero, HubSpot and Amazon Web Services.

“We want to support entrepreneurs on their path to self-reliance, especially those who need greater mentorship from experts in the investment industry to acquire more customers, increase revenues and ultimately secure financing or investments,” said Development Innovations Cambodia chief of party Kate Heuisler.

Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt said Cambodia’s start-up community has been yearning for such a programme, which will act as a funnel for more local start-ups to move on to the growth stage of the business cycle.

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