The UNICEF Venture Fund for Frontier Tech Solutions

The UNICEF Venture Fund for Frontier Tech Solutions

The application for the the UNICEF Venture Fund for frontier tech solutions is now open. The application deadline is January 9, 2023. The UNICEF Venture Fund is looking to make up to US$100K in equity-free investments to provide early-stage seed funding to for-profit technology start-ups developing software solutions using frontier technologies for climate action.

Eligibility Requirements

Projects are assessed by UNICEF Innovation Fund team and recommended for funding to the internal board. Companies need to fulfill the following mandatory requirements to be considered for funding:

  • Registered as a private company
  • Registered in a UNICEF programme country (see list here)
  • Working on open source technology solutions (or willing to be open source) under the following licenses or their equivalent:
    • for software, a BSD license,
    • for hardware, a CERN license and
    • 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
  • Solution has the potential to positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable children
  • Generating publicly exposed real-time data that is measurable

Please review the additional information for the Request for Expression of Interest here before you start your application.

What kind of ideas / companies will the Innovation Fund support?

You can apply if your project is

  1. developing new technology
  2. 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)
  3. 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)

How will Expressions of Interest be assessed?

UNICEF Venture Fund will use the following criteria to assess the Expressions of Interest:

  • Relevance of solution for children and young people, problem-solution fit and potential for application at global scale
  • Novelty of project and alignment with Innovation Principles
  • Suitability of the team and key personnel to implement the project
  • Project budget and financing

Application Process

Below are information on the application process

Step I: Check Eligibility

Interested companies are required to check the eligibility of the Innovation Fund

Step II: Submit Application

Interested companies are required to submit an online application through the Fund website. You should provide the information and supporting documents indicated in the form. 

Applying to the Fund does not automatically ensure that the submitting company will be selected to participate in next stages of the application process.

UNICEF reserves the right to change or cancel the requirement at any time during the application/selection process. Also, UNICEF reserves the right to require compliance with additional conditions as and when they make investment decision. 

Step III: Submit Request for Proposal 

The Innovation Fund reviews all applications and notifies companies of the decision. Shortlisted applicants are invited to submit a detailed proposal, this is called the Request for Proposal (RFP) step. 

Step IV: Demo Interview

After a careful review, companies shortlisted at the RFP step will receive invitation for an online demo interview. This is usually a 30 min interview the with Innovation Fund team and experts from our tech teams. 

Step V: Final Result 

Based on a complete assessment of the application, RFP and interview, the Innovation Fund makes the final investment decision and notifies all selected companies.

For more information about the opportunity, visit the UNICEF Venture Fund for Frontier Tech Solutions website.

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About Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Co-founder & Publisher of AfricaX. He is interested in: Technology | Media | Startup | Business | Education. Emmanuel currently lives in Calgary, Canada with his family.

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