Financial and technological support from UNICEF’s Venture Fund is available for companies that can show a strong founding team and a clear path to improving the lives of children. If you’ve got a startup registered in one of UNICEF’s program countries and have a working, open-source prototype (hardware, software or content) showing promising results, the UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for you.
UNICEF invests in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. Moreover, it finds these solutions clustered around $100billion industries in frontier technology spaces, such as blockchain; UAVs; virtual and augmented reality; 3D printing; machine learning; quantum computing; genetic engineering; Internet of Things; artificial intelligence; nano-satellites; as well as human dynamics.
The UNICEF Innovation Fund can help a startup with these kinds of investments up to $90,000 to support the acceleration of your company’s work. You might need a small amount of money to get your prototype to the stage where the company has proof that the solution works for other people. Maybe you will need another developer or two to design help to communicate what the project can do or some server space. Refactoring something into a new language because the initial one won’t scale. Testing it in a new area. Getting some data points.
The startup will receive several benefits from the UNICEF Innovation Fund including Seed Funding, technological assistance as well as networking opportunity.
Seed funding: the Fund provides $50-90,000 in equity-free seed funding. The UNICEF Innovation Fund can help to support the acceleration of your company’s work. The next stage after that proof would be going for more funding private sector investment or grant-funding, or other; depending on the type of technology and solution.
Product and technology development: Receiving investment from the Innovation Fund also gives access to UNICEF Innovation’s Venture team. The team provides technical assistance in emerging technology areas, which is accessible to companies receiving investment. Dedicated advisers can help you select the most appropriate open source license. Further, they can help you create a community around your product and network with leaders in your space.
Network across a cohort of similar companies: Support from UNICEF will focus on these technical areas and facilitate access to the most relevant networks. Moreover, you will be directly connected with other groups working on similar solutions, exchange lessons and exchange data and benefit from other contributors to your open source solution.
Growing grow your business: We invest in companies with a sustainable approach that will ultimately grow your business and profit. The UNICEF Venture Fund taps into a network of mentors as well as advisers who can help you develop your business model and strategy. We also facilitate access to networks of partners, funders, and investors that can help scale your solutions.
Maximizing impact for children: As the world’s leading organization for children, UNICEF has experts across its Country Offices and partners. Moreover, the experts can advise on the development of your solution. As well as they can provide insight on how to assess its impact and partnerships needed to reach more users.
Startup from the UN member countries can apply for the UNICEF Innovation Fund. To apply, the candidates will require to complete and submit the online application form. Moreover, the startup, as well as the project, should meet the Innovation Fund eligibility criteria.