Frontier tech solutions: UNICEF Innovation Funding Opportunity (2023) ($100k equity-free investments)
In order to provide early-stage (seed) funding to for-profit start-ups creating cutting-edge technological solutions that might improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable children and youth, the UNICEF Venture Fund is seeking to make equity-free investments of up to US$100,000.
The UNICEF Innovation Fund team evaluates projects and recommends financing to the internal board. To be considered for funding, businesses must meet the following requirements:
As a private firm, registered
registered in a nation with a UNICEF program
working on (or prepared to be open source) technology solutions under one of the following licenses or an equivalent
(i) a BSD license for software; (ii) a CERN license for hardware; and (iii) a CC-BY license for design or content.
A current open source solution prototype with encouraging outcomes from early pilots
Potentially improving the lives of the most vulnerable children is the solution
creating measurable, real-time data that is accessible to the public
Kind of Organizations/Ideas Supported
i) The project is creating novel technology
ii) Project involves developing new technology while expanding or upgrading an existing platform or technology (i.e., it takes place where the technology is already in use).
iii) The project involves testing a new application or use case for already-existing technology; hence, very little new technology will be created and used in the same location.
Based on their own needs analysis, each company in the portfolio receives customized support for product development, creating a business model, and user testing. In order to get to the point where they can demonstrate the effectiveness of their ideas and approach larger funding sources, startups can also benefit from the tech knowledge, networks, and platforms of the UNICEF Ventures team.
In order to expand their business and ultimately turn a profit, startup teams are assisted by a network of mentors in developing their business model and strategy around open source technologies.
Startups and UNICEF Country Offices receive technical assistance from the UNICEF Ventures team and committed expert mentors in addition to financial investment to help validate and develop their solutions. Connections with partners offer invaluable product development expertise.
Network of UNICEF
Startups can take use of the dedicated Data Science team at UNICEF Ventures, which manages and shares data platforms like RapidPro and Magic Box, has access to special testing settings like drone corridors and country office programs, and can work with corporate partners for potential follow-on investment.