UNICEF Innovation Fund for Profit Technology Startups

Deadline: 26-Jul-2020

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking to make up 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 the 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.

UNICEF is looking for:

UNICEF is currently looking to invest in companies developing blockchain-based software solutions. Examples of areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
Finance: Financing enables individual people to participate in and contribute to various ecosystems. They are seeking solutions that :
  • Enable people to use, earn, and hold cryptocurrencies
  • Allow people to access decentralised financial instruments
  • Explore new models to empower communities to act as their own economic hubs
  • Make financial systems more transparent
  • Connect: Around the world, groups work together to deliver services. Increased transparency and accountability in these processes lead to better results. They are seeking solutions that:
  • Allow various group to work together in a transparent and accountable nature (i.e. supply-chain, contract management, data tracking, etc.)
  • Enable decentralized deal-making, for example through decentralised marketplaces
  • Empower: UNICEF supports the creation of open source software to ultimately enable communities with new tools. They are interested in solutions that empower local communities to engage with systems in new ways, such as those that:
  • Explore new ways of making decisions (i.e. using a decentralized method such as DAOS to determine what projects should receive funding)
  • Protect user data collected through solutions through zero knowledge proofs or other mechanisms.
  • And + The 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.
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.
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