Phnom Penh, 03 February 2021 – Seven dynamic startups run by young entrepreneurs pitched their innovative ventures to business leaders and investors from Cambodia and around the world, at the culmination of the Bluetribe initiative, a unique and intensive 6-month startup incubation scheme.

Bluetribe helps young founders build investment ready ventures. Launched in May 2020, the initiative attracted more than 300 entrepreneurs who were ready and willing to make full-time commitments to their budding businesses and were on the hunt for investment. Bluetribe is run by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Russian Federation.

“Bluetribe has raised the bar for what I want to accomplish in the future for our business and has taught me critical skills for building a successful venture,” said Kong Hongleang, CEO and founder of HomeApp, an online community of professional builders, designers and skilled labourers.

“Dynamic and innovative young entrepreneurs like these are a true inspiration and can help power Cambodia’s development for years to come,” said Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Cambodia. “Bluetribe focuses on the sustainability and growth of innovative businesses, so they can create better employment opportunities for young people.”

The incubation programme, run at the Khmer Enterprise co-working space, brought in seasoned business leaders and mentors to aid entrepreneurs’ efforts to develop minimum viable products. Founders are given a pre-seed grant to jumpstart their business and a basic living stipend. This program is for entrepreneurs who are serious about building a business for the long-term and not just a side project which would end after 6 months.  The programme included 30 workshops and 15 sessions conducted by international and local advisors.

“Khmer Enterprise, an implementing unit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, is delighted to help power these startups’ journeys from inception to growth. Building on the great collaboration with our stakeholders, we look forward to supporting their success and scaling up,” said Dr. Chhieng Vanmunin, CEO of Khmer Enterprise.

When the incubation program ends, Bluetribe connects the young leaders with customers, partners and potential investors to help secure growth and sustainable futures.  In this time of COVID-19, it has not only challenged early stage start-ups and their resiliency, but the program’s adaptability to seize an opportunity which connects Bluetribe entrepreneurs with a global network of support.  Founders also gain direct access to a global network of more than 60 advisors, including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, domain experts and investors, and three top startups are selected to continue receiving direct support from Khmer Enterprise to further develop their functional prototypes and business models.  They had the opportunity to closely chat and learn from successful entrepreneurs like Chy Sila, CEO & Co-Founder at Sabay Digital Plus, and C-Suite executives like Dr. Chhieng Vanmunin, CEO of Khmer Enterprise, Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, Pen Chenda, CEO of Bongloy, Sisowath Chakara, CEO of 3E-Fii Financial Group and more.

Bluetribe draws on expertise from other global incubator and accelerator experiences such as Next36, Antler, Entrepreneur First, and 500 Startups,   

This program is in collaboration and supported by Khmer Enterprise, 3E-Fii Group, and Smart Axiata.

Ends

For media inquiries, contact Mr. Im Samruol, Head of Communications, UNDP Cambodia at samruol.im@undp.org.

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