On 05 April 2018, the UNICEF Innovation Fund announces 6 new investments in open source technology solutions –Datawheel is among one of six new portfolio companies to receive investment. Datawheel will join a cohort of companies working on solutions using data science and artificial intelligence.
The UNICEF Innovation Fund invests in technology start-ups from developing markets that are working on open source solutions to improve children’s lives. The Innovation Fund applies a venture capital approach to source solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. These solutions are clustered around $100billion industries in frontier technology spaces. Check out www.unicefinnovationfund.org for more information – including real-time data – on each investment.
Datawheel: Developing DataChile – a visualization engine that makes it easy to integrate datasets from multiple data streams, empowering decision-makers to make better-informed actions.
How would you describe your solution?
Imagine you were tasked to understand the main challenges children experience in a region and how they compare to the rest of the country. Where would you find this information? You’ll probably go to the Education Ministry to access data on education data, to the Health Ministry for health data, and so on. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be easy to find this information and you would need to download files that are difficult to understand.
To address these challenges, we’re developing DataChile – a platform that integrates and shows data from dozens of sources allowing you to easily access information in a simple, beautiful, and interactive way.
A closer look…
DataChile is a country-wide visualization engine that integrates datasets from multiple official sources. It is a fully integrated solution that merges, visualizes, and search engine optimizes multiple data streams to empower decision makers for data-informed decisions.
What is unique about your solution and how is it different from what currently exists?
Even as organizations have more capabilities to collect and organize data and with modern communication technologies becoming more accessible, there is a still a big gap around the ability to deliver that data back to users in a visually accessible format. Traditional data distribution efforts are not able to visualize data well and fail to deliver it in an integrated manner (health, income, and demographic data are provided separately and not merged).
Datawheel solves the data delivery challenge by building robust, memorable, and relevant data visualizations. We focus on designing customizable solutions that fit specific needs and are context-appropriate (e.g building DataChile).
How did you come up with your solution and what inspired you to form your company?
We formed Datawheel to liberate data from files and databases. Data is only as good as how easy it is to access.
How did your team come together. What is your team’s MO and drive towards the problem you’re trying to solve?
We are a small team of programmers and designers who embody the skills necessary to deliver well-designed solutions for data needs. We are motivated to make the world’s information accessible and digestible — for the benefit of all.
What do you plan on doing with UNICEF’s Venture Fund investment and how will you use that to leverage raising follow-on investment?
We will use UNICEF’s Venture Fund investment to expand DataChile capabilities – adding new datasets that will allow the platform to inform and help monitor public investment and childhood realities in Chile.
The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking to make $50-90K equity-free investments to provide early stage (seed) finance to for-profit technology start-ups that have the potential to benefit humanity.
If you’ve got a start-up registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries and have a working, open source prototype (or you are willing to make it open-source) showing promising results, the UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for you. Find more information visit: https://unicefinnovationfund.org/