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Deadline: February 26, 2016 | Apply here
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Eligibility: 
Technology startups from developing countries
Prize
: Up to US$100,000

UNICEF is inviting technology startups developing solutions with the potential to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children to apply for funding from its recently launched Innovation Fund. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is seeking applications for its open source technology solutions that address the most pressing challenges faced by children and young people. UNICEF works with governments, civil society organizations, and other organizations around the world to advance children’s rights to survival, protection, health, development and participation and is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The UNICEF Innovation Fund Startup Grants 2016

The purpose of the UNICEF Innovation Fund is to invest in open source technologies for children. The Fund has raised $9 million so far and offers innovators in developing countries a pooled funding mechanism to help them take their tested projects to the next stage. The Fund brings together models of financing and methodologies used by venture capital funds and the principles of UNICEF’S award-winning Innovation Unit.

Focus Areas

  • Products for youth under 25 address a range of needs including learning and youth participation.
  • Real-time information for decision-making: allows the situation of the most vulnerable to be understood by those who have an ability to address their circumstance.
  • Infrastructure to increase access to services and information, including connectivity, power finance, sensors and transport.

Eligibility

UNICEF is looking to provide investment-style funding to early-stage tech startups. Only entities that fulfill these mandatory requirements will be eligible:

  • A private company/institution registered in a UNICEF programme country.
  • Working on open source technology solutions (or willing to be open source) under the following licenses: Software: BSD, AGPL, LGPL and Content and designs: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA or CC-SA
  • Projects funded need to increase the ability of children to access information and to increase opportunity and choice. Specifically, projects should align with one of UNICEF Innovation’s three portfolio areas:
  1. products for youth under 25 to address a range of needs including learning and youth participation
  2. real-time information for decision making and governance
  3. Infrastructure to increase access to services and information, including connectivity, power, finance, sensors and transport.

Eligible Countries

Central & Eastern Europe & the Commonwealth of Independent States: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
East Asia & Pacific: Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati,Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Republic of Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam
Eastern & Southern Africa: Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Republic of Swaziland, Tanzania, United Republic of Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Middle east & North Africa: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates
South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Latin America & the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Plurinational State of Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivian Republic of)
West & Central Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.

Application

Submit your expression of interest by completing the online form. If you wish to preview the questions to prepare your submission, view/download this PDF.  Please update your browser to the latest version before submitting.

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