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.
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.
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.