From Cambodian High School Student to Tech Trailblazer: Tevy’s Story

By age 19, Sokuntevy (Tevy) had been a part of a winning team for Technovation Cambodia 2018, she had secured funding for her award winning mobile app, and was named 2019 Girl Innovator of the year at the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Cambodian Women in Tech Awards. When asked what she wants to do after she leaves university, she knows exactly what she wants, saying, “I want to be a tech entrepreneur.” Before she even turns 20, Tevy is already well on her way to becoming one of Cambodia’s youngest female tech trailblazers.

Most women Tevy’s age who’ve just finished their first year at university would be spending their holidays taking a break, seeing family or hanging out with friends. Not Tevy! When she isn’t studying, she is making the 3 to 4 hour road trip from Kirirom Institute of Technology, where she studies Software Engineering, to Phnom Penh to meet with her tech startup partners.

So how did Tevy achieve so much since high school? Her technology awakening happened back in 2017, when she was just 17 years old. Her high school took part in Technovation, a global technology entrepreneurship program for girls 10 to 18 years old, originally funded by DI, now funded by the Royal Government of Cambodia and the private sector. “Before Technovation I have no idea what I am going to do. I don’t have any future plans and I don’t know what I can do to give back to society”. After her first taste of tech, she was hooked. In 2017, her mobile app idea to link Cambodians to health data made it through to the semi-finals, but it wasn’t until Technovation 2018 that she landed on her winning social innovation idea, E-Lab.

Thinking back on the last three years, Tevy says that she can’t really believe everything that has happened. It is hard to imagine this confident young woman not being able to make eye contact with people, but she said “In 2017 even though I can speak English, I was still a bit shy to talk to people and I cannot even look at their eyes while talking. Now I am confident, and I want to help other people.”

When Tevy and E-Lab became part of the Youth Innovate Cambodia Program, they were also exposed to the DI network of partners, people and events. “We got to showcase our products at different events like Barcamp and STEM [Festival], which is great for us to meet people who might be interested in what we are doing”. She also talks about how DI helped to shape who she is today, “DI created a lot of opportunities for me to become who I am right now. They supported me and other Cambodians who struggle and have been through a lot of problems. DI has helped us a lot.”

Effervescent with future plans and ideas for what she will achieve personally and professionally, you can’t help but root for Tevy. “I am very ambitious, I want to accomplish many things. I want to run E-Lab and I want to make it very successful and I want to expand to all the provinces in Cambodia.” She goes on to say, “I have my clear plan. I know I can use technology to create impact to society and solve social problems that my people are facing.”

Scroll to Top