The UNICEF Innovation Fundis looking to makeup to $100K equity-free investments (in USD and/or cryptocurrency) to provide early stage (seed) financing and mentoring to for-profit technology startups that have the potential to benefit humanity. Applicants have the opportunity to receive a portion of funding in cryptocurrency (bitcoin or ether) through our recently launched CryptoFund. Given the current global climate and a dramatic shift to a digital world as a result of COVID-19, open-source solutions that address critical needs for society are as important as ever.
If you have a start-up registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries and have a working, open source blockchain prototype (or you are willing to make it open-source) showing promising results, they are looking for you.
Who they are looking for
They are currently looking to invest in companies developing blockchain-based software solutions. Examples of areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
Financing enables individual people to participate in and contribute to various ecosystems.
Around the world, groups work together to deliver services. Increased transparency and accountability in these processes lead to better results.
UNICEF supports the creation of open source software to ultimately enable communities with new tools.
Their funding is not necessarily limited to the above. They are interested in companies that use distributed ledger tech in new, groundbreaking, ways that are scalable, and globally applicable.
If you are aligned with their general criteria, they want to hear from you.
What does the UNICEF Innovation Fund provide?
The Fund provides up to $100,000 in equity-free seed funding, in USD. The investment is intended for prototype testing and validation, and to get it to a stage where the company has proof that the solution works.
Selected startups also have the opportunity to receive part of their funding in cryptocurrency. The UNICEF CryptoFund disburses funds in both bitcoin and ether.
The Fund taps into a network of mentors who help startup teams develop their business model and strategy to grow their company and ultimately profit.
Networks and platforms
UNICEF Ventures has a blockchain and computer science team with access to corporate partnerships and use cases that selected blockchain start-ups can benefit from.
Product and Technology Development
Investee’s receive technical assistance from the UNICEF Ventures team and dedicated expert mentors to help validate and improve their solutions.
As the world’s leading organisation for children, UNICEF has a network of experts and partners across its Country Offices who can provide localized advice and partnerships needed to reach more users.
How to apply:
Step 1) Check the general eligibility criteria:
• 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, GNU, MIT (software), CERN, MIT, TAPR (hardware), or CC-BY (content);
• You have an existing prototype of the solution with promising results from initial pilots;
• Your solution has the potential to positively impact the lives of children.
Step 2) Read the full Request for Expressions of Interest document and FAQs
• Read the full Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI)document to understand the submission process and to learn more about the kinds of projects that qualify and how the scoring will be done;
• Read the FAQs;
• For any other questions, please submit through the form here.
Step 3) SUBMIT
• All submissions must be made in English. If you wish to preview the questions to prepare your submission, view/download this PDF.
• To support your preparation, please note that the submission form also asks for a link to a 2-min pitch video. Detailed instructions can be found in the form.
The submissions deadline is on 11:59 PM ET July 26th, 2020. Only shortlisted companies will be contacted and then requested to submit a more in-depth proposal.
For more information visit UNICEF Funding