Support areas

All companies of the portfolio receive tailored support for product development, building a business model, and user testing based on their own needs assessment. Startups also gain access to the UNICEF Ventures team’s tech expertise, networks and platforms to help them reach the stage where they can prove that their solutions work and tap into larger funding sources.

Business Growth

A network of mentors help startup teams develop their business model and strategy around an open source technology, to grow their company and ultimately profit.

product development

In addition to financial investment, startups and UNICEF Country Offices receive technical assistance from the UNICEF Ventures team and dedicated expert mentors to help validate and improve their solutions. Connections with partners provide valuable expertise on product development.

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Unicef Network

Startups can leverage UNICEF Ventures’ dedicated Data Science team which hosts and shares data platforms including RapidPro and Magic Box, access unique testing environments such as drone corridors and country office programmes, and utilize corporate partners for potential follow-on funding.

Funding

We provide up to $100K equity-free funding to open source frontier tech solutions showing promising results. The funding is intended for prototype testing and validation, and to get the solution  to a stage where the company has proof that the solution and the business model work. This includes being able to generate data to show impact, usability and strategy.

 

In October 2019, UNICEF launched the CryptoFund, a new financial vehicle allowing UNICEF to receive, hold, and disburse cryptocurrency - a first for the UN. The CryptoFund is a pooled fund of bitcoin and ether. It is a part of UNICEF's Innovation Fund, with the distinction that investments made through the CryptoFund are denominated in crypto-assets. Using the benefits of blockchain technology, the CryptoFund aspires to create visibility for the donor and the public, adding a layer of transparent accounting to the donations ecosystem. It is a prototype fund for UNICEF to explore the use of digital currencies, and what it means to operate in a digitally-financed future.

Mentorship

The Fund provides access to a tailored one-to-one mentoring program with the Innovation Fund’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Mentors, based on the startup’s unique needs assessment. This program takes place over 4-5 months and concentrates on topics such as value proposition, competition map, stakeholder map, sales and activities, pricing and business models, growth plan, financial projections, and business and impact focused metrics.

innovation fund team

Mentors