Covering Tech & The Startup Ecosystem in Cambodia with Adrienne Ravez, Founder of Geeks in Cambodia

Adrienne, please introduce yourself…

Initially coming from the non-profit sector, I have developed a passion for digital media and blogging, as they represent for me a way to raise awareness on major issues.

My business partner being a creative designer, madly in love with digital culture and Startups, it was easy for us to end up creating a project embodying our passions.

What’s the story behind creating Geeks in Cambodia?

We recently settled in Cambodia as we have expanded our french digital agency in South East Asia. We realized how much we missed blogging, and as there were no digital resources 100% focused on new technologies and startups here, we decided to start Geeks in Cambodia.

Willing to rely on a collaborative resource, we started developing various partnerships, and were amazed by the motivation we encountered here.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

There is actually no typical work day, considering that Geeks in Cambodia is one project among others nurtured by our agency E. C. Digital Solutions.

To focus on the tasks narrowly related to Geeks in Cambodia, I’d say monitoring and researches are the overriding sections, and keeping in touch with our bloggers friends and other sources are also part of the job. We then e split the tasks to be assigned to the proper team members : namely editorial content, design, partnerships management and sales.

How’s traction working out so far?

Our biggest achievement is the relationships we initiated with local tech savvyleaders in new technologies and in Startups. We did not expect to meet as many motivated people, willing to share their passion with us, and that to me is what blogging is about.

Receiving feedback from readers, partners, local investors, and local Startups expressing their will to gather our common resources is what rewards us the most.

What is your revenue model?

Currently, Geeks in Cambodia’s business model mostly relies on advertising, and consulting. We think it’s important to keep pushing the features and rely on the revenue sources evolving over time.

What challenges did you face when launching, and how did you overcome them?

The main challenge is always profitability and sustainability. By our digital agency, Geeks in Cambodia benefits from our professional human resources, and luckily so far we have gained the support from advertisers believing in the project.

As we want to take Geeks in Cambodia to the next level, we are also considering getting some investment for the project.

What strategies are you using to market Geeks in Cambodia?

This is my personal opinion but I think a digital media property only relying on advertising will struggle one day sooner or later, especially if you want to keep your content free and unsponsored, which is true in our case.

Advertising is only a part of the business model, but you also have to think of strategic partnerships, and related activities generating profit, such as consulting.

How do you see the startup and investment ecosystem developing in Cambodia?

I am more than convinced that Cambodia has huge potential in terms of Startups, especially in the agribusiness. The potential in new technologies is here, but it will take a little more time to gain traction.

I think the biggest challenge faced by investors willing to invest here in Cambodia is that they will struggle to find a turnkey project to invest in, they might have to also bring support in business development and management for instance.

The lack of transparency is also a major issue that many investors have expressed (no clear accounting records etc.).

We have recently been mandated to lead a field study on the potential of Startups and the investment perspectives in Cambodia. The report will be published later this year, so we’ll be glad to tell you more then.

What’s next for Geeks in Cambodia?

We’re hungry for more content, more event coverage and more partnerships. We are also on the way to strengthen our editorial team, as we publish content in both Khmer and English.

We want to revamp our platform very soon and come up with new features as well. In the digital world you need to adapt quickly – and that’s how we’re currently considering Geeks in Cambodia’s future.

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