Call for Applications: The UNICEF Venture innovation Fund (up to $100,000 Equity Free Investments)

Call for Applications: The UNICEF Venture innovation Fund (up to $100k)

The UNICEF Venture Fund is looking to make up to US$100K in equity-free investments to provide early-stage (seed) funding to for-profit start-ups developing frontier technology solutions that can positively impact the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children and youth. If your product is registered in one of UNICEF’s program countries, is a working prototype, has demonstrated results, and is (or could be) open-source licensed, we encourage you to apply.


  • Only private companies are eligible.
  • Individuals cannot submit expressions of interest. The entity submitting an expression of interest needs to be a legally registered company. If the funding is awarded, the university is accountable for all the contractual responsibilities with UNICEF. 
  • Only a registered company can submit an expression of interest. We recommend approaching a start-up incubator or accelerator in your region. Often times they will be able to help you with the incorporation process. 
  • NGOs or CSOs are not eligible to submit an expression of interest for funding through this investment vehicle. If you are an NGO or CSO working on a great prototype, we suggest you approach UNICEF country office in your country to learn about other funding and partnership opportunities available. 
  • You have an active prototype – it works. You are in a stage where you need a small amount of money to get it to the stage where you can prove it works to other people. Maybe you need to hire another developer or two or get design help to communicate what your project can do.  Maybe you need some server space. Refactoring something into a new language because what you first wrote it in won’t scale. Testing it in a new area.  Getting some data points. These are not huge financial investments, but they are what the Innovation Fund can help with, to accelerate your work. 
  • An eligible company can submit more than one expression of interest for different projects. Each will be assessed independently based on the criteria. The funding cap will be applied to each application.

Criteria : The following criteria will be used:

  •  Relevance of solution for children and young people, problem-solution fit, and potential for application at a global scale
  • The novelty of project and alignment with Innovation Principles
  • Suitability of the team and key personnel to implement the project
  • Project budget and financing


  • Only selected companies will be contacted with information about the outcome and next steps.
  • The company will be requested to open source the IP of your product or idea. The company will be the open-source license holder. In addition, the real-time data collected will be shared publicly. All other intellectual property is owned by the company.
  • UNICEF will issue Institutional Corporate Contracts to the successful applicants. The participating entity – a private company- needs to be legal entities, meaning registered companies in order for UNICEF to have a contractual relationship with them. The companies that are selected for funding will need to register as a vendor/suppliers with UNICEF. 
  • The invested funds should be used for what the company details in its proposal. 

Deadline: July 28, 2023

Click HERE to apply


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