Startups that are using machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain or extended reality (virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR)) technologies to build software solutions that respond to the four broad categories of digital risks to children: Content, Contact, Conduct and Contract Risks are invited to apply for the UNICEF Innovation Fund 2020.

The UNICEF Innovation Fund in partnership with the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and Giga is looking to make up to $100K equity-free investments to provide early-stage (seed) finance to for-profit technology start-ups that have the potential to benefit humanity.

Also Apply: University of Debrecen Hungarian Scholarship 2021 – Fully Funded

UNICEF’s Innovation Fund

Launched in 2016, the Fund is specifically designed to finance early stage, open-source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Innovation Fund is to identify “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology – so that UNICEF can both share markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We invest in solutions clusters around $100 billion industries in frontier technology spaces, such as: blockchain, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children

End Violence is the largest and most diverse public-private coalition focused on accelerating progress towards SDG 16.2: ending all forms of violence against children by 2030. It acts as a global platform for evidence-based advocacy, action and investments. Through Safe Online, End Violence is making investments in organizations designing tools, programs and technology solutions to tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA), as well as working with global leaders and organizations to ensure a continued focus on child online safety, placing it high in key global policy debates.

Eligibility criteria

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 program country (see list here)
  • 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
  • Please review the additional information for the Request for Expression of Interest here.

Read the full Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) document here.

Female-founded startups are encouraged to apply.


Application Deadline: 20 December 2020

Application Process:

Interested startups are required to fill and submit their forms online.



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