1) ASEAN Focused Ideas
Cambodia has a real opportunity to establish itself in the new ASEAN marketplace. Phnom Penh, the capitol, has amazingly low startup costs, decent access to internet, and a growing technology sector. With plenty of young, smart, and entrepreneurial Cambodians coming of age, this market is going to grow large in the new couple of years.
Cambodian’s have also embraced English as a core of their university studies and that sets up Cambodia’s Startup Weekend in a great position for ASEAN. I think given the market conditions in Cambodia, there is reason to believe that they could be competing with Vietnam very soon. But in order to be successful, we need some great region based ideas.
2) Real Business People
We need more business people to show up to startup weekend. Ideas are abundant at every Startup Weekend, but ideas are worthless. The real value in building a business is about how you execute your idea.
Traditionally, Startup Weekend Cambodia has attracted a lot more people from the tech industry, mostly programmers. Startup Weekend Cambodia needs a large push to get business professional to come out for the weekend. There will be a much better product once the event draws more people with business planning experience.
3) Minimum Viable Products
I want to see more building of minimum viable products. The last four years I’ve mentored at Startup Weekend the demo session is usually a collection of very boring, very long, pitch decks. I’ve blogged about this before, but hopefully someone will impress me with an real prototype I can use.
I’ll be at Startup Weekend this year in capacity as a seed investor, but we need more investors. Last year, Joonaak, acquired $30,000 in seed funding after taking 2nd in Startup Weekend. This is a great first step, but as far as I can recall, it might be the largest funding that has come out of startup weekend. We need more investors and more incubators taking place in the weekend.
5) Unique Ideas
Ideas are worthless. But I’d really love to see some unique ideas this year. We don’t need another Uber for Tuk-Tuks or local restaurant app. Come to Startup Weekend with an interesting idea. Something that hasn’t been attempted in Cambodia yet. This is a young market, a new digital culture is emerging here. Hopefully someone will try something new.