UNICEF’s Innovation Fund has recently announced investments in 5 open source tech start-ups, in the first set of seed capital investments for the fund. In addition to financing, UNICEF Innovation portfolio companies receive bespoke mentorship and technical assistance from a variety of experts. Watch this space to follow the first 2-day mentorship workshop, kindly hosted by Her Excellency, Shamma Bint Suhail Faris al Mazrui and the Ministry of Youth in Dubai.   

FundMentorsMeeting
Kickstarting the day with casual introductions. Mentors and Fund Startups meet for the first time.

11th – 12th of December 2016 – The first UNICEF Innovation Fund mentorship programme kicks off in Dubai’s Innovation City. This meeting is hosted by the Ministry of Youth of the UAE with the support of UNICEF’s Gulf Area Office.

Over two days, UNICEF’s Innovation Fund will provide mentorship, networking, and technical assistance to Fund’s first five start-ups comprising of Somleng, 9Needs, Saycel, mPower and Rah-e-maa – helping them strengthen their business models, suggest partnerships, highlight areas of concern, and provide global connections to a variety of startups, CEOs, and technologists.

Joining the workshop are technology, investment, and policy experts, Shaffin Jamal (Union Trust Investments Limited), Gabriella Levine (Google X), Julia Lam (entrepreneur), Katrin Verclas (The Blockchain Trust Accellerator), Evan Wheeler (UNICEF, Global Innovation Centre) and Bernino Lind (Moni Ltd) who will share their successes and failures as entrepreneurs and investors.

From Left: Shaffin Jamal, Chris Fabian, Bernino Lind, Evan Wheeler, Gabriella Levine, Katrin Verclas and Julia Lam.
From Left: Shaffin Jamal, Chris Fabian, Bernino Lind, Evan Wheeler, Gabriella Levine, Katrin Verclas and Julia Lam.

Follow along online @unicefinnovate – as we give updates about the workshop and share insights around deep dive discussions such as:

  • Failure. How to build it into a successful journey?
  • What is Rapid Evaluation? How do we know quickly access if a solution can grow big?
  • Mobile technology now, and then. How to build communities around emerging technologies?
  • Show me the money – financing, investments, and pathways to profit.

Get excited;  it’s only the beginning.

Want to be part of this growing network of individuals, companies, and solutions?

Looking for seed funding for your open source tech startup?

Check out www.unicefinnovationfund.org to find out more about the process and to make a submission by 1 Jan 2017.


About the UNICEF Innovation Fund:

The UNICEF Innovation Fund just announced its first investments in open source tech start-ups in developing and emerging markets, as published by the NYTimes and the Wall Street Journal. These 5 companies are developing and piloting solutions to increase access to information and to improve digital identity and registration systems. These portfolio companies will be joined by another 20-40 new investments in 2017. The Fund aims to identify “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology – we want to build a network of individuals, companies, and solutions that are creating new solutions that can improve the lives of children. The Fund does not take an equity stake, but places all technology on open source licenses to generate a value return of open technology and intellectual property.

Read related blog:

Venture investing in symmetry, fairness, and global collaboration: Launching the UNICEF Innovation Fund.

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