The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking to make up to $100K equity-free investments (in cryptocurrency) to provide early stage (seed) financing and mentoring to for-profit technology startups that have the potential to benefit humanity. If you’ve got a start-up registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries, you can apply now.
UNICEF Innovation Fund only accepts submissions from companies registered in UNICEF programme countries.
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Submission deadline: 30th November, 2022.
As digital currencies see record adoption globally, the Venture Fund’s ability to hold, receive, and invest in cryptocurrency has allowed us to expand services and opportunities for people around the world. It has also opened doors for companies in emerging markets to engage with new partners and technical experts who joined due to the CryptoFund.
If you’re new to crypto, the CryptoFund supports startups with a step-by-step process for setting up wallets. Email the team at [email protected] with the subject line “[Company Name]: Setting up a crypto wallet”.
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
- 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
- Solution has the potential to positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable children
- Generating publicly exposed real-time data that is measurable
- Only private companies are eligible.
- Individuals cannot submit expressions of interest. The entity submitting an expression of interest needs to be a legally registered company. If the funding is awarded, the university is accountable for all the contractual responsibilities with UNICEF.
- UNICEF will assess the suitability of the team and key personnel to implement the project. The team members’ formation and experience in similar projects will be an asset for the expression of interest.
- Only a registered company can submit an expression of interest. We recommend approaching a start-up incubator or accelerator in your region. Often times they will be able to help you with the incorporation process.
- NGOs or CSOs are not eligible to submit an expression of interest for funding through this investment vehicle. If you are a NGO or CSO working on a great prototype, we suggest you to approach UNICEF country office in your country to learn about other funding and partnership opportunities available.
- The company that submits the expression of interest needs to be registered in a UNICEF programme country. If the company is partnered with companies in the countries where the product or service will be used, it is recommended that the expression of interest be submitted by the partner company registered in the UNICEF Programme Country. If selected, the company that participated will enter into a contractual agreement with UNICEF.
- In this case the company should be the entity submitting the REOI. The companies submitting the REOI are asked to list partners and advisors and it is possible to list an NGO as partner. UNICEF will issue Institutional Corporate Contracts to the successful applicants and it is the company that bears all the contractual responsibilities vis a vis UNICEF.
- An eligible company can submit more than one expression of interest for different projects. Each will be assessed independently based on the criteria. The funding cap will be applied to each application.
The following criteria will be used:
- 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