Open source technology startups can now apply to UNICEF’s Innovation Fund

by | Feb 1, 2016

UNICEF is re-emphasizing its commitment to give a fair chance in life to children everywhere, especially the most disadvantaged by inviting technology startups developing solutions with the potential to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children to apply for funding from its recently launched Innovation Fund. UNICEF’s Innovation Fund, which has raised $9 million so far, offers innovators in programme countries a pooled funding mechanism to help them take their tested projects to the next stage.

“The purpose of the UNICEF Innovation Fund is to invest in open source technologies for children,” said Christopher Fabian, UNICEF Innovation Co-Lead. “We’ll be identifying opportunities from countries around the world including some that may not see a lot of capital investment in technology start-ups. We are hoping to identify communities of problem-solvers and help them develop simple solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing children.” He explained. 

The Fund brings together models of financing and methodologies used by venture capital funds and the principles of UNICEF’S award-winning Innovation Unit.

Advertisement

To qualify for funding, projects must be open source and have a working prototype. They can involve developing a new technology, or expanding or improving an already existing one.

The fund focuses its investments on three portfolio areas:

  • Products for youth under 25 to address a range of needs including learning and youth participation.
  • Real-time information for decision-making.
  • Infrastructure to increase access to services and information, including connectivity, power, finance, sensors and transport.

These three areas are ripe for investment due to rapidly changing technologies such as blockchain, 3D printing, wearables and sensors, artificial intelligence and renewable energy.

Applications will be assessed according to a number of criteria including the strength of the team, the project’s relevance to children, and the ability to see potential future value in the open source intellectual property being created.

UNICEF Innovation has previously invested in technology solutions, such as RapidSMS, RapidPro and U-Report, which now reach millions of users. Submissions of expressions of interest must be received no later than 26 February, 2016. Click here for more information.

 

Image credit: UNICEF Innovation Fund

Ifeanyi Ndiomewese
Ifeanyi Ndiomewese

Ifeanyi is a desk reporter-turned administrator. Outside of work, I love to read and travel.

Advertisement

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

0 Comments

Recent News

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Crypto Explorer

A monthly series featuring in-depth analysis on the cryptocurrency sector in Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap