Business Model Competition (BMC Cambodia), a student-based national start-up competition, has returned for the 13th time. Organisers are inviting candidates to submit their business or social venture ideas for a chance to win a trip to Tokyo, Japan.
“The programme is open for students at both public and private universities across Cambodia. High school students are also eligible to apply,” said Stephen Paterson, BMC program coordinator.
BMC Cambodia was founded in 2009 and expanded to five categories including agriculture, clean energy, medical, technology, and general business in 2011.
The programme aims to promote entrepreneurship and a business mindset among young Cambodians.
Applications for the 13th competition will be accepted until December 29. Paterson said the event normally receives up to 100 video applications each year from about 20 to 25 different teams from public & private universities and schools across the country.
In order to join the competition, students need to follow a few steps before sending in their video applications.
Students should form three-person teams and create a three minute video which outlines their business plan. The video should be uploaded to YouTube. Once their video is online, each team should use a QR code from the competitions website to download an application form. Once it has been completed, they simply email it to the organisers.
“Around 20 teams will be selected for a three-month training programme. This will be followed by the semi-finals of the competition, said Paterson, also chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer at the National University of Management.
“The top ten teams will move onto the finals which will be held in May 2023,” Paterson told The Post.
“We are looking for unique business and social enterprise models which solve real customer or societal problems,” he added.
The judging committee consists of entrepreneurs and business executives from leading international companies.
He said the main aim of the programme is to teach the lean start-up methodology so that students learn how to come up with business ideas and also how to validate or test their assumptions. The goal is to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set.
“Each year, one or two teams will implement their businesses. Over several years, we find that teams will often implement other business ideas since normally the first business idea is not the one that is successful,” he added.
Ideally, once they understand the methodology of a lean start-up, they will use the same approach with regard to other entrepreneurial opportunities in the future. Therefore, if the winning business idea is not always practical, it is not necessarily an issue.
In partnership with The University of California Berkeley, the management university will serve as a knowledge partner, meaning some of its professors will participate in the training programme, both in person and virtually.
2022 BMC Cambodia’s Gold Medal Prize winner – with a $5k award package – produced plastic-less Sugarpads, an environmental-friendly menstrual pad for women. “SugarPads is your new innovative, biodegradable Sanitary Pad made from agro-waste that aims to ease” said the company.
Since 2009, more than 1,500 teams have applied for the programme. More than 300 teams from over 20 universities have participated in the competition.
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