Cambodian start-ups are invited to take part in the Kingdom’s inaugural She Loves Tech competition – the world’s largest of its kind for women and technology.
The Global Startup Competition Series will be coming to Cambodia and is co-organised by She Loves Tech and Raintree, authors of the Startup Kingdom, in partnership with the ministries of Posts and Telecommunications; Economy and Finance, and Khmer Enterprise and Global Shapers Phnom Penh Hub.
She Loves Tech was founded in 2015 to create a diverse global tech sector, where more women occupy technical roles and positions of leadership.
A global UNESCO study in 2017 on girls and women’s education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) found that only 30 per cent of all female students in higher education chose to study STEM-related fields.
Alarmingly, female enrolment in Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) was the lowest at three per cent.
The competition has continuously expanded its reach over the last five years and with alumni start-ups from previous years going on to raise over $100 million in aggregate funding from some of the world’s top investors, including Microsoft, Amazon, and Sequoia Capital.
In addition to going fully online this year, the 2020 edition is extra special as it marks Cambodia’s first appearance in the competition as one of the 30+ international partners across North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Rhea See, She Loves Tech co-founder said: “The Cambodian tech start-up community has been growing more vibrant each year.
“We are very excited to finally become part of the community as well as contribute to it by bridging local start-ups with strategic and international resources. We can’t wait to see what impactful technologies will emerge from She Loves Tech Cambodia this year!”
She Loves Tech Cambodia’s first place winner is set to represent the Kingdom and compete in the international finals for an equity-free cash prize of $15,000 from the She Loves Tech affiliate fund – special media coverage and mentorship prizes, fast track access to She Loves Tech’s partner funds and accelerator programmes, plus in-house advisory services.
Although Cambodia’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications is doing its part with initiatives like the Cambodian Women in Tech Awards, gender diversity remains a challenge.
Co-founder Virginia Tan said: “Without women, we are unable to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Women represent a new generation of innovation and disruptive thinking.
Another co-founder Leanne Robers said: “Empowering women in technology will change the way we live and work, and our competition is one of the best ways to springboard that change.”
Applications for She Loves Tech Cambodia require background information about the company and are open from August 1 to August 31.
Shortlisted candidates will be awarded mentorship from seasoned professionals and regional experts to refine their pitches.
To qualify, entrepreneurs who may be men or women must represent a technology start-up that has a minimum viable product, is currently seeking funding under $5 million.
They must also be able to fulfil one of the following criteria – be founded or co-founded by a woman; have women as a significant proportion of end-users or consumers; have products designed with women users in mind; or have products that address a problem disproportionately affecting women.
For application and more information, please check online for the She Loves Tech Cambodia page which will be uploaded soon.