Applications for the She Loves Tech, the world’s largest startup competition for women and technology, are now open for Cambodian startups. For the first time, the Global Startup Competition Series will be coming to Cambodia and is co-organised by She Loves Tech and Raintree, authors of the Startup Kingdom, in partnership with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khmer Enterprise and Global Shapers Phnom Penh Hub.
She Loves Tech was founded in 2015 with the goal of creating a diverse global tech sector, where more women occupy technical roles and positions of leadership. A global UNESCO study in 2017 on girls and women’s education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) found that only 30 percent of all female students in higher education chose to study STEM-related fields. Alarmingly, female enrolment in Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) was the lowest at 3 percent.
The competition has continuously expanded its reach over the last 5 years and with alumni startups from previous years going on to raise over US$100 million in aggregate funding from some of the world’s top investors, including Microsoft, Amazon, and Sequoia Capital. In addition to going fully online this year, the 2020 edition is extra special as it marks Cambodia’s first appearance in the competition as one of the 30+ international partners across North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
“The Cambodian tech startup community has been growing more vibrant each year,” said Rhea See, Co-Founder of She Loves Tech. “We are very excited to finally become part of the community as well as contribute to it by bridging local startups with strategic and international resources. We can’t wait to see what impactful technologies will emerge from She Loves Tech Cambodia this year!”
First-place winner of She Loves Tech Cambodia is set to represent the Kingdom and compete in the international finals for an equity-free cash prize of US$15,000 from the She Loves Tech affiliate fund – special media coverage and mentorship prizes, fast track access to She Loves Tech’s partner funds and accelerator programs, plus in-house advisory services.
Although Cambodia’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) is doing its part with initiatives like the Cambodian Women in Tech Awards, gender diversity remains a challenge. “Without women, we are unable to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Women represent a new generation of innovation and disruptive thinking.” remarks co-founder Virginia Tan. “Empowering women in technology will change the way we live and work, and our competition is one of the best ways to springboard that change,” says co-founder Leanne Robers.
“Raintree was founded to promote diversity and drive local innovation through cross-sectoral collaboration,” said Penhleak Chan, Raintree’s Community Manager. “60% of our management, and 50% of our Board members are female. In 2019, we hosted the Women in Tech Meetup and launched the #IamRemarkable workshop to enable women to self-advocate in their workplace and supported the Cambodian Women in Tech Awards. We are proud to partner with She Loves Tech to bring Cambodia’s women-led and women-impact startups to the global arena.”
Applications for She Loves Tech Cambodia require background information about the company and are open from August 1st to August 31st 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be awarded mentorship from seasoned professionals and regional experts to refine their pitches. To qualify, entrepreneurs – men or women – must represent a technology startup that has a minimum viable product, is currently seeking funding of under $5M, and fulfill one of the following criteria:
- Founded or co-founded by a woman; or
- Have women as a significant proportion of end-users or consumers; or
- Have products designed with women users in mind; or
- Have products that address a problem disproportionately affect women.
For application and more information, please see: She Loves Tech Cambodia