A group of 30 students from universities across Phnom Penh have taken their first steps into the future of technology and innovation in business, as the first Techpreneur Bootcamp was launched in Phnom Penh today.

After being selected from a field of over 600 applicants, for the next six months, the handpicked candidates will undergo rigorous, accelerated learning to master computer programming and full-stack development skills.

Following hard-skill development, they will spend another three months on entrepreneurship training, challenging them to engineer impactful solutions to potential employers.

The programme offers students the opportunity to apply their learning into practice with the hands-on building of prototypes. 

They will receive mentorship from industry experts, be able to access exclusive job opportunities from 13 programme career partners and gain industry recognised certifications upon graduation, according to the programme organisers.

“This programme is vital for growing countries like Cambodia. As the Kingdom advances, it will require a pool of dynamic, technical talent to drive innovation and economic growth,” said Sivhuang Lay, managing director of DICHI Academy, the training provider.

"Our diverse range of career partners across different industries showcases the unified approach that is needed to bridge the gap between talent demand and supply,” she added.

The programme is being organised in conjunction with the ELIX Organization, through the USAID Digital Workforce Development (USAID DWD) project.

According to the programme, the students will become involved in both “front-end” development – what users typically see such as the interface of a website or application – and “back-end” programming – the behind-the-scenes coding and logic that powers them. Student participants will choose specialised technical pathways.

The organisers explained that “full-stack” developers, or those having skills in front-end and back-end work, are sought after in most industries and sectors due to their diverse skill sets, which include proficiency in various coding languages and a strong foundation in system design, algorithms and data management. 

“The Techpreneur Bootcamp will address the staggering shortage of full-stack developers in Cambodia. With the emergence of technology such as artificial intelligence, dynamic, technical talents will be needed for the country to advance in the digital age,” they said. 

Rith Chanthyda, a fourth-year student from the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, is one of just 30 of more than 600 applicants who were offered a place on the course. Niem Chheng

Rith Chanthyda, a fourth-year student from the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, was one of the 30 selected for the bootcamp. 

She explained that while she currently has basic computer skills, she intends to use the nine-month course to explore what she can develop to solve real world problems.

“I will explore any innovation, any startup idea, and present them to investors who may be interested in our ideas. This is important for us because we need to form our ideas to pitch to investors and to understand whether our ideas have potential. We will figure it out, prototype and do final pitching,” she told The Post. 

“After this programme, I expect to use my skills and knowledge of full-stack developing to integrate with data science to build applications and solve real world problems in several industries,” she added.

Pen Chanda, USAID DWD chief of party, described the bootcamp as “vital” in the digital age and added that Cambodia is no longer in the preparation stage of industry 4.0 because it has already begun. 

So Visothy, secretary of state at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, noted that the programme is well aligned with the policies of the seventh mandate government. His ministry has already put two relevant digital policies in place.

He explained that the government is currently focusing on building the Kingdom’s digital technology infrastructure at the local level, such as in health centres, high schools and commune police stations. It is expected that hard infrastructure will be completed in 2027.