Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t yet have a business, only an idea with friends. I have no experience in business. Can I apply for EPIC?
Yes! We are looking for early-stage start-ups and innovations, which includes aspiring entrepreneurs who only have an idea on paper, but who are passionate, motivated and want to learn. Remember your idea must use technology and be solving a social or environmental problem.
We already have a profitable technology business, which has been operating for many years, providing solutions to problems in the community. Is EPIC right for us?
No, EPIC is targeted at early stage start-ups and innovations, so would not be right for you. The first 8 weeks of workshops will focus on product development, customer discovery, validation and rapid prototyping which will not be relevant for an existing business which already has this knowledge. However, please contact Impact Hub Phnom Penh and Development Innovations for information about programs which can support you.
What problems are eligible for EPIC?
We are looking for innovations which will be able to solve any type of social or environmental problems. Issues could relate to health, education, energy, livelihoods and employment, water and sanitation, human rights, disability rights, pollution, wildlife conservation and so on. What is important is that you are passionate and dedicated to solving your chosen problem.
You say the start-ups and innovations must use ‘technology’ to solve the problem – what does ‘technology’ include?
The definition for technology is very wide. It includes ICT (information communication technology) which includes websites, apps, social media, film-making and radio. It also includes machinery and equipment such as 3D printing. You do not need to be creating new technologies. You could use existing technologies in an innovative or more efficient way, to allow you to have an impact on an existing problem. Please ask us to clarify if your technology would qualify for application.
I am not a technology expert but have an idea which uses technology to solve a social problem – will EPIC be right for me?
Yes! You do not need to have any academic or work experience or expertise in technology, we have advisors who can help you with this.
How many people can be in a team?
You can decide how many people you would like in your team, however, for the EPIC incubation phase (8 weeks of weekend workshops) we will work with a maximum of 4 people per team per workshop.
Can I apply as an individual?
Yes! You won’t be penalised if you are applying alone but you should be willing to work with other people to fill any skills gaps you will have.
Our NGO is developing a new program which uses technology for impact and we would like to create a sustainable model for this. Can we apply?
Yes, EPIC is open to NGOs who are using technology and social innovations for positive change. Be aware that EPIC focuses on entrepreneurial skills – fast moving, customer focused, business skills, quick decisions etc. Some NGOs find this approach difficult to manage within its existing systems and processes. Staff joining EPIC must also be willing to learn new skills which may be very different to the culture within their NGO. We’d be very happy to discuss your particular circumstances.
You say 5 teams receive $20,000 of investment – tell me more.
This funding is not all in cash. It is made up of a prototyping budget to allow you to test your technology, budget to allow you to meet with expert consultants for technical support, stipends for up to two team members, workspace at Impact Hub and access to all membership benefits, including the network. Putting all this together, we believe you have a great chance of success!
You require at least one person per team to work on their project full-time during the 9 months’ acceleration from January 2017. What does that mean?
The aim of EPIC is to launch 5 sustainable ventures and to achieve this, time needs to be dedicated to the idea. We are able to provide stipends for up to two members of each team selected for acceleration to allow people to work full-time on their venture. We know this is a big commitment, but this is because we are looking for people who are so dedicated to their idea, that they are willing to take the risk to make it happen.
What will I win at the end of the program?
EPIC is not a competition. You will not be guaranteed further funding or investment at the end of the program. We will work with you for 1 year to help you develop the strongest case possible and match you with potential investors/funders. At the end of the program there will be a final Demo Day where it will be over to you! You will present your venture to potential investors, donors, and customers and we will be there to support you.
And what happens at the end of the program?
It wont be goodbye! Impact Hub Phnom Penh will continue to collaborate with you through its existing co-working space, community and programs.