The entrepreneur aiming to create the Silicon Valley of SE Asia…in rural Cambodia

An ambitious Japanese entrepreneur is developing a master-planned community for 100,000 residents in a Cambodian forest three hours from the capital. His vision is off to an apparently strong start, with an eco-resort, a tech campus and free scholarships for Cambodian students. Will his 20-year plan become Southeast Asia’s answer to Silicon Valley?

Takeshi Izuka is quietly building a city of the future in the Cambodian wilderness. At the heart of it is a tech university that he says will spearhead similar planned communities globally. The Japanese tech entrepreneur started looking for projects around the world after selling Digital Forest, a leading web analytics firm he founded in 1998, when he stumbled onto an opportunity in Kirirom National Park, where he could execute his vision without the regulatory bureaucracy he would face in most other nations. 

The Cambodian government gave a 50-year lease on 10,000 hectares of land to Takeshi and his vKirirom development company, 20% of which it can build on  – and, six years later, his planned community is taking shape.

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