Updated Jun 12, 2018

UNICEF Innovation Fund

Offered by United Nations Children's Fund as part of UNICEF Innovation

UNICEF's Innovation (Venture) Fund is a non-thematic, pooled fund which has been specifically designed to finance early stage, open-source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Innovation Fund is to identify "clusters" or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology - so that UNICEF can both shape markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We find these solutions clustered around $100 billion 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 and human dynamics.
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GrantType
Open Year RoundDeadline
$50,000 - $100,000Amount
12Duration(Months)

Mandatory Requirements

StageStage 3: Proof of Concept
Implemented in:
RegionN/A
CountryMongolia, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Cape Verde, Comoros, Brazil, Belize, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Ghana, Georgia, Gambia, The, Gabon, Fiji, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Ecuador, Djibouti, Cuba, Croatia, Costa Rica, Congo, Republic of the, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Colombia, China, Chile, Chad, Cameroon, Cambodia, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Bulgaria, Botswana, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bolivia, Benin, Belarus, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Argentina, Angola, Algeria, Albania, Grenada, Haiti, Sao Tome and Principe, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Serbia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Nauru, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Maldives, Malawi, Lebanon, Kiribati, Senegal, Rwanda, Romania, Qatar, Philippines, Peru, Panama, Palestinian Territories, Oman, Nigeria, Niger, Nepal, Namibia, Mozambique, Morocco, Moldova, Mexico, Mali, Macedonia, Libya, Liberia, Lesotho, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Kenya, Jordan, Jamaica, Iraq, Montenegro, Kosovo, India, Honduras, Guinea-Bissau, Egypt, Cote d'Ivoire, Central African Republic, Bhutan, Armenia, Tuvalu, Turkmenistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Togo, Timor-Leste, Tajikistan, Suriname, Solomon Islands, Seychelles, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Uzbekistan, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uganda, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Vietnam, Venezuela, Vanuatu, Turkey, Tunisia, Thailand, Tanzania, Syria, Sudan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, South Africa, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Saudi Arabia, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Madagascar, Kazakhstan, Iran, Myanmar, Tonga and Pakistan
Focus AreasAll Sectors and Crowdsourcing and Open Source
Blockchain
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
AR/VR
AI
The Fund has raised $14.4 million.

You must be registered as a private company in a UNICEF programme country
– You are working on open source technology solutions or willing to be open-source under the following licenses or their equivalent: BSD (software), CERN (hardware), or CC-BY (content)
– You have an existing prototype of the solution with promising results from initial pilots

We invest in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. We find 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 and human dynamics.

Other Requirements

Target BeneficiariesYour solution has the potential to positively impact the lives of children.REQUIRED
Planned Usage of FundsA need for a small amount of money to get it to the stage where the company has proof that the solution works for other people. Maybe another developer or two are needed, 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. These are not huge financial investments, but they are what the Innovation Fund can help with, as UNICEF Innovation supports the acceleration of the company’s work.
Potential for ScaleYou have anexisting prototype of the open source solutionwith promising results from initial pilots.REQUIRED
Financial StatementsYou must be registered as aprivate company.Your company/institution must be registered in aUNICEF programme countryREQUIRED
Impact Evaluation/M&E PlanYour project generates publicly-exposedreal-time data that can be/is measured.REQUIRED
OtherYou’re working on open source technology solutions or willing to be open source under the followinglicensesor their equivalent:
(i) for software, a BSD license,
(ii) for hardware, a CERN license and
(iii) for design or content, a CC-BY license,

The Innovation Fund does not take equity, instead UNICEF requires that all code, content or hardwaredeveloped and tested be open source and be publicly available. The Innovation Fund provides money,technical support and a network to help such companies grow. Funded projects will be connected toother similar early-stage projects in other countries, which should enable projects to develop faster andbetter.

REQUIRED

Application Directions

1. Go to www.unicefinnovationfund.org
2. Click on ‘Submit’ and then ‘Submissions by Start-ups’.

Only shortlisted companies will be contacted and then requested to submit a more in-depth proposal.

Application And Awards Process

Step 1: Check that your company and project meet the eligibility criteria
Step 2: Read the Request for Expressions of Interest document
On the site, you can find a document that explains how your submission will be evaluated. Read it before you make your submission, as it will help you focus on what’s important.
Step 3: Any Questions?
Check out the Frequently Asked Questions on the site. You can also submit questions that you have through the form provided on the UNICEF Innovation website
Step 4: Submit your expression of interest
All submissions must be made in English. To support your preparation, please note that the submission form asks for a link to a 2-min pitch video.
Apply on Funding Site