Retrospective: National Pitch Event of Technovation Cambodia 2018 Posted on: May 21, 2018 អត្ថបទនេះមានជាភាសា៖ ខ្មែរ By Leng TRI Communications Specialist Development Innovations On Sunday, May 20th, 2018, Technovation Cambodia organized the national pitch event at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, where 14 Cambodian all-girl teams ages 10 to 18 presented their business plans for mobile applications that address social issues in Cambodia. H.E. Dr. IM Koch, Secretary of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport opened the event. Distinguished guests Mr. William A Heidt, US Ambassador to Cambodia, Mrs. Erma L. Miranda, Test Engineering Manager and Head of CSR of Digital Mobile Innovations, Ms. Kate Heuisler, Chief of Party of Development Innovations, Mr. LAY Heng, Vice-Dean of Faculty of Electronic and Energy of Technology of Cambodia, also provided remarks. Over 400 participants, including students, parents, and stakeholders from technology companies, NGOs, the Royal Government of Cambodia, and the international diplomatic corps joined the event. In his opening remarks, H.E Dr. IM Koch expressed the strong support from the Royal Government of Cambodia, “Technovation program is a very special opportunity for young girls to show their innovative ideas and make it become reality. I want to see more girls from private and public schools joining this program and also to get more support from private and public sector as well as more experienced entrepreneurs and IT experts register to be mentors for Technovation.” Ambassador Heidt said: “Through initiatives such as Technovation and this National Pitch Event, Cambodia can fully take part in – and take advantage of – the tech boom sweeping Southeast Asia. This would be good for Cambodia’s economy and good for the tens of thousands of young Cambodians interested in tech. I am very confident that all the teams pitching here today are going to have great business ideas and even better apps aimed at solving the problems they see in their communities.” Development Innovations’ Chief of Party Kate Heuisler sees Technovation as a practical gateway to help girls access tech learning opportunities, saying, “We hope this is just the start of their engagement in tech fields. Next, the girls will continue to learn new programming languages, and refine their soft skills. Technovation gives girls a toolkit to be the problem-solvers of the future.” USAID’s Development Innovations has supported Technovation, the world’s largest social entrepreneurship and technology program for girls ages 10-18, for the past five years in Cambodia, and has helped 100 teams of more than 500 girls to compete in the program. This year, with support from the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS), Smart Axiata, Digital Mobile Innovation, and MyTeb Cambodia, Technovation Cambodia ran a 12-week learning program for more than 180 girls in 44 teams from public and private schools across three provinces: Siem Reap, Battambang, and Phnom Penh. Participants learned basic computer programming skills, created business ideas for mobile apps, wrote business plans and and submitted their projects to the global judges in San Francisco, CA, USA. All 44 Cambodian projects will be judged by Technovation Global for consideration for the semi-final and final rounds. Globally, more than 2,500 teams from over 100 countries competed in the program this year. The finals, called the World Pitch, will be held in San Francisco in August. At the national pitch event, three winning teams were chosen based on technical and presentation scoring criteria by the panel of judges. The judges were from the Cambodian tech and business sectors, and all gave critical feedback to the teams after their presentations. Judges included: Ms. Penhleak CHAN, Tech Innovation Consultant, Mr. Sopheakmonkol SOK, Chief Executive Officer at Codingate, and Ms. Sikieng SOK, Curriculum Developer for Saturday Kids. One more winning team was selected for the People’s Choice Award, a Facebook-based competition to engage online audiences. As in previous years, the winners from the Cambodia national pitch event are not automatically qualified for any global prizes. 1st Place National Grand Prize Winner from Junior Division: Five Infinities MEP Center is an app to help suppliers and customers in the mechanical, electricity and plumbing fields communicate with each other. 1st Place National Grand Prize Winner from Senior Division: Tech Girls Cambodia E-Lab serves Cambodian students from grade 7 to grade 12 who enjoy doing science experiment by themselves, and want to connect to fun, online science experiment tutorials. 2nd Place National Grand Prize Winner: ABC (Always Be Close) My Cam Guide helps tourists connect to trusted tour guides for their trip to Cambodia. People’s Choice Award National Grand Prize Winner: Estrogen TutorKH is an application that helps connect teachers to the students who need trusted, educated tutors. It includes a ‘trustworthiness rating system’ based on the feedback from their former students. Please follow the Technovation Cambodia Facebook page to get updates on the journeys of all the teams.