24 episodes

Chatting with the boldest and most inspiring entrepreneurs and investors in the highest potential markets of Southeast Asia. The journey begins in Cambodia!

Rising Giants Max Thornton & Dominic Kalousek

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

Chatting with the boldest and most inspiring entrepreneurs and investors in the highest potential markets of Southeast Asia. The journey begins in Cambodia!

    Rising Giants - N.24 Jazmyn Himel, Incubation Lead, Women in Tek Network

    Rising Giants - N.24 Jazmyn Himel, Incubation Lead, Women in Tek Network

    This week, we have Jazmyn from Women in Tek Network joining us for a fascinating conversation about her journey into the incubation space in Cambodia. WTN is one of the few incubation programs in the country fully dedicated to advancing women's entrepreneurship. Jazmyn is Cambodian-Canadian, having also lived and worked in Canada, Laos, and Thailand. She is intent upon making a big difference in the entrepreneurial community in Cambodia, driving forward the case for women tech entrepreneurship, acting as a mentor, mediator, and confidant to some of the most talented up and coming women entrepreneurs in the country. 

    What we get into:

    - 'Headstrong with an immense clarity in their direction'; how Khmer women entrepreneurs are making waves in the tech community

    - Why incubators should not have a start and endpoint; the need for long term community-driven support for entrepreneurs

    - Getting more VC/PE investment into Cambodia; create a flywheel of successful Cambodian entrepreneurs reinvesting in startups

    If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more about the startup and venture capital ecosystem in Southeast Asia, subscribe to our free Rising Giants Substack newsletter linked in the show docs. Each week we highlight a recap of the episode, job opportunities, entrepreneur resources, and links we like, as well as notable VC deal flow and startup news from every country in the region.

    Rising Giants Newsletter

    Rising Giants Website

    • 48 min
    Rising Giants - N.23 David Totten, Managing Director, Emerging Markets Consulting

    Rising Giants - N.23 David Totten, Managing Director, Emerging Markets Consulting

    This week we have the pleasure of speaking with David of EMC.  David has built EMC into a leading regional consulting firm that uses international best practice methodologies and hard-won local knowledge to help clients answer their most difficult strategic questions when operating in the frontier markets of Cambodia and Laos. David is originally from the UK, with an extensive background that includes working in post-communist Russia, Germany, and Greece, operating mostly in the telecoms and software space before arriving in Cambodia in 2008 and joining EMC in 2011. 

    What we dive into:

    - Witnessing the first wave of investment in Cambodia; launching the first commercial incubation program in the country in 2011-2013

    - Market differences between Cambodia and Laos; how Laos is still a decade behind Cambodia in terms of free-market economics

    - Strategies for dealing with adversity and doubt in business; 'cope with it, if you're not encountering it, you aren't trying hard enough'

    If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more about the startup and venture capital ecosystem in Southeast Asia, subscribe to our free Rising Giants Substack newsletter linked in the show docs. Each week we highlight a recap of the episode, job opportunities, entrepreneur resources, and links we like, as well as notable VC deal flow and startup news from every country in the region.

    Rising Giants Newsletter

    Rising Giants Website

    • 45 min
    Rising Giants - N.22 Sofia Perez, Managing Principal, Idea Consultancy

    Rising Giants - N.22 Sofia Perez, Managing Principal, Idea Consultancy

    This week we are welcoming Sofia Perez on the podcast. Sofia is originally from the Philippines, having lived and worked in Cambodia since 2006, witnessing firsthand the radical change the country has been through. Sofia is the Managing Principal of the Idea Consultancy having built it into one of the leading names in the design consultancy space in the country. The Idea is a social company with a multi-disciplinary team of business consultants, data analysts, multimedia designers, project engineers, writers, trainers, and event planners.

    What we discuss:

    - How corporate social responsibility and community engagement is becoming an important business component in Cambodia

    - Novel methods for approaching 360 consulting in developing markets; focusing on sustainable long term partnerships

    - Using running as a way to realign your body and mind, and push past boundaries in your work life

    - Why limitations and structure can be massively freeing for the creative process

    If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more about the startup and venture capital ecosystem in Southeast Asia, subscribe to our free Rising Giants Substack newsletter linked in the show docs. Each week we highlight a recap of the episode, job opportunities, entrepreneur resources, and links we like, as well as notable VC deal flow and startup news from every country in the region.

    Rising Giants Newsletter

    Rising Giants Website

    • 45 min
    Rising Giants - N.21 Robbert Groenen, Myanmar Director, One to Watch

    Rising Giants - N.21 Robbert Groenen, Myanmar Director, One to Watch

    This week on the podcast we are diving into Myanmar, to give our audience an update on the investment situation in the country. Robbert has been on the ground in Myanmar, running incubation and investments for One to Watch since 2017, witnessing firsthand the rapid development and investor interest the country experienced in recent years. Prior to Myanmar, Robbert has worked in Nepal and Mexico, he is a keen frontier market enthusiast with a strong passion for impact investment. 

    What we get into:

    - How entrepreneurs have responded to the crisis in the country in 2021; sectors that remain well insulated and investable

    - Outlook on how the investor landscape will change over the coming years; commercial vs. impact

    - Frameworks for understanding frontier market development; 'Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty'



    If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more about the startup and venture capital ecosystem in Southeast Asia, subscribe to our free Rising Giants Substack newsletter linked in the show docs. Each week we highlight a recap of the episode, job opportunities, entrepreneur resources, and links we like, as well as notable VC deal flow and startup news from every country in the region.

    Rising Giants Newsletter

    Rising Giants Website

    • 47 min
    Rising Giants - N.20 Bora Kem, Partner, Mekong Strategic Partners, Investor, Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund

    Rising Giants - N.20 Bora Kem, Partner, Mekong Strategic Partners, Investor, Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund

    In this week's podcast, we are joined by a very special guest, Bora Kem. He is one of the key names in the investment community in Cambodia, currently directing the Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (SADIF), a $5m fund dedicated to investing in early-stage technology ventures in the country with a total of 10 portfolio companies. Bora has led SADIF in investing in some of the most innovative companies in the country over the last 5 years, including super app Nham24, fintech players Bahnji and Morakot as well as logistics firms Joonak and DRVR.

    Bora grew up in the USA, receiving an MBA from Kellogg School of Management, and working for many investment groups including Putnam Investments, Rocket Internet, and Equilibrium Capital before returning to Cambodia full-time in 2016.

    What we get into:

    - Red & green flags to spot when evaluating whether to invest in early-stage founders

    - Who the new breed of investors are in Cambodia VC; young CEO's that understand innovation is an essential part of any business plan

    - The importance of taking 'thinking weeks' to decompress and realign your motivation amidst turbulent times



    If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more about the startup and venture capital ecosystem in Southeast Asia, subscribe to our free Rising Giants Substack newsletter linked in the show docs. Each week we highlight a recap of the episode, job opportunities, entrepreneur resources, and links we like, as well as notable VC deal flow and startup news from every country in the region.

    Rising Giants Newsletter

    Rising Giants Website

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Rising Giants - N.19 Kim Tan-Am, Chief Digital Strategy Officer, Prudential (Cambodia)

    Rising Giants - N.19 Kim Tan-Am, Chief Digital Strategy Officer, Prudential (Cambodia)

    In this week's episode, we have the pleasure of speaking with Kim Tan-Am, Chief Digital Strategy Officer at Prudential in Cambodia. Kim shares her remarkable journey moving to California at an early age from Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge. After graduating from Pepperdine and working at Wells Fargo, Kim returned to the Kingdom to join a microinsurance firm which led her to join Prudential in Cambodia as the Chief Digital Strategy Officer. In the episode, we cover the microinsurance sector, how these products work, the importance of education around insurance, and ultimately Kim’s perspective on how this product can be used to drive positive impact.

    If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more about the startup and venture capital ecosystem in Southeast Asia, subscribe to our free Rising Giants Substack newsletter linked in the show docs. Each week we highlight a recap of the episode, job opportunities, entrepreneur resources, and links we like, as well as notable VC deal flow and startup news from every country in the region.

    Rising Giants Newsletter

    Rising Giants Website

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

ETWKL ,

VV

Rising Giants provides such new and insightful conversations with local and international entrepreneurs in Cambodia. Enjoy every minute of every podcast. Thank you for bringing us fresh ideas about the growing economy of Cambodia!

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