The 2023 UNICEF Venture Fund for Frontier Tech Solutions
The 2023 UNICEF Venture Fund for Frontier Tech Solutions is a venture capital fund that invests in start–ups that are generating innovative solutions to global challenges connected to health, education, water, energy, and more. The Fund’s scheme is to invest in early–stage companies and projects, including but not limited to frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, internet of Things, and robotics. In 2023, the UNICEF Venture Fund for Frontier Tech Solutions hopes to continue its mission to recognize, invest in, and support the very promising early-stage start-ups in the field. It will strengthen its priority on companies and projects that are addressing global challenges and keep the possibility to make a lasting social impact.
The Fund will also continue to look out for partners to increase its investments and extend its network of companies and investors. In 2023, the UNICEF Venture Fund is focusing to make up to US$100K in equity-free investments to provide early-stage (seed) funding to for-profit start-ups developing frontier technology solutions that can positively impact the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children and youth. The Fund also intends to launch a fellowship program to attract more talented entrepreneurs to enter the UNICEF Venture Fund family.
Requirements for the 2023 UNICEF Venture Fund
Projects are evaluated by the UNICEF Innovation Fund team and recommended for financing to the internal board. Companies must fulfill the following mandatory requirements to be considered for funding. They must be:
- Registered as a private company
- Registered in a UNICEF programme country (see the list here)
- Working on open-source technology solutions (or willing to be open-source) under the following licenses or their equivalent:
- (i) for software, a BSD license,
- (ii) for hardware, a CERN license and
- (iii) a CC-BY license for design or content, a CC-BY license
- An existing prototype of the open-source solution with promising results from initial pilots
- The solution has the potential to positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable children
- Generating publicly exposed real-time data that is measurable
Kind of Ideas/Companies Supported
i) Project is developing new technology
ii) Project is expanding/improving existing technology/ platform (i.e. it will be in a place where the technology is being used but will involve new tech being built)
iii) Project is a new application/ piloting new use case for existing technology (i.e little or no new technology will be built and it will be used in the same place)
All companies in the portfolio acquire tailored support for product development, building a business model, and user testing based on their personal needs assessment. Startups also attain access to the UNICEF Ventures team’s tech expertise, networks, and platforms to enable them to reach the stage where they can demonstrate that their solutions work and tap into bigger funding sources.
A network of mentors helps startup teams grow their business model and strategy around an open source technology, to grow their company and ultimately profit.
Adding to financial investment, startups, and UNICEF Country Offices obtain technical support from the UNICEF Venture team and devoted expert mentors to help validate and enhance their solutions. Connections with partners provide valuable expertise in product development.
Startups can leverage UNICEF Ventures’ dedicated Data Science team which hosts and shares data platforms including RapidPro and Magic Box, access unique testing environments such as drone corridors and country office programmes, and utilize corporate partners for potential follow-on funding.
Application Deadline: 11:59 PM (CET), 28 July 2023