Amid the rapid expansion of the internet and spread of technology in the country, a new working space for tech startups was launched on Wednesday offering local entrepreneurs the opportunity to make global connections.
TekHub, founded by business incubator Impact Hub Phnom Penh and The Asia Foundation, plans to offer networking events and hands-on prototyping services as well as workspaces at its new home on the second floor of the foundation’s office in Phnom Penh.
“In Cambodia, many feel the growing promise of mobile technology, but innovative services are often out of reach of those who need it most,” Silas Everett, The Asia Foundation’s country director, said in a press statement this week.
“TekHub provides a helping hand to those startups adapting and creating appropriate technology in Khmer language, making tech affordable and data efficient,” he added.
TekHub plans to host between 12 and 15 resident business ventures, about 70 to 80 people in total, Impact Hub co-founder Alberto Cremonesi said in an email. The selected startups must be working on “tech-based solutions to pressing social and environmental problems,” he added.
The first resident of TekHub is Codingate, a mobile and web app development company whose CEO, Sok Sopheakmonkol, said he believed TekHub would help his firm become the biggest tech outsourcing provider in the country within five years.
“In the tech business, it is all about networking,” Mr. Sopheakmonkol said. “Our existing network combined with their network around the world will be a big plus for our business and help us reach international standards.”
Bun Tharum, a tech blogger and communications specialist, said the hub provides a “great combination of hybrid resources where new and successful startups continue to grow organically.”
“TekHub might be an ideal place where tech startups can benefit the development and nonprofit sector as they tend to execute fast,” he said. “This is something you don’t find in the nonprofit DNA—to improve and iterate if something doesn’t really work.”