UNICEF Innovation Fund — a $17.9 Mn pooled fund that invests in early stage, open-source, emerging technology with the potential to impact children on a global scale — is inviting applications from Indian early-stage startups working in VR/AR, drones and blockchain domain.
The Innovation Fund is looking for frontier technology startups to apply for funding and become part of its portfolio of open source solutions. It is looking to make $50K-$90K equity-free investments to provide early stage (seed) finance to for-profit startups, registered in a UNICEF programme country and that have the potential to improve the lives of children.
Apart from funding, the UNICEF Innovation Fund also provides product and technology assistance, support with business growth, access to a network of experts and partners. So far, the fund has invested in 33 startups located in UNICEF programme countries, 5 of which have been Indian startups, including — Ninaad, TeliportMe, StaTwig, Veative Labs, and Avyantra. Additionally, 43 investments have been made in UNICEF Country Office projects.
Here’s What Startups Get Under UNICEF Innovation Fund
- Seed funding: The Fund provides $50K- $100K in equity-free seed funding which is intended for prototype testing and validation, and to get it to a stage where the company has proof that the solution works.
- Product and technology development: Selected startups will receive technical assistance from the UNICEF Ventures team to help validate and improve their solutions
- Business growth: The Fund taps into a network of mentors who will help startup teams develop their business model and strategy to grow their company and ultimately profit.
- Data networks and platforms: UNICEF Ventures has a dedicated Data Science team hosting and sharing data platforms, and with access to corporate partnerships and use cases that selected startups can benefit from.
- Maximize impact: UNICEF looks to provide experts and partners with geographically localised advice and partnerships needed to reach more users.
Are You Eligible?
- The interested startups have to be:
- Registered as a private company in a UNICEF programme country;
- 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);
- Have an existing prototype of the solution with promising results from initial pilots
- Potential to positively impact the lives of children.
The applications are open for startups working in:
- Virtual and Augmented Reality: Deadline April 30, 2019
- Blockchain: Deadline June 30, 2019
- Drones: Deadline August 31, 2019