UNICEF Innovation Fund: Thinking Machines
UNICEF Innovation Fund: Dymaxion labs

On 05 April 2018, the UNICEF Innovation Fund announces 6 new investments in open source technology solutions – Suzhou Crenovator Lab Corp. is among one of six new portfolio companies to receive investment. Suzhou Crenovator Lab Corp. joins a cohort of companies developing solutions using Virtual and Augmented Reality.

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.

Suzhou Crenovator Lab Corp: Enhancing children’s creative storytelling skills using Virtual Reality.

Written by Simon Chang, CEO of Suzhou Crenovator Lab Corp.

How would you describe your solution?

Suzhou Crenovator Lab Corp’s VRMaker is an easy-to-use virtual reality content creation tool enabling children to think, design, and create content for Virtual Reality (VR) devices. Children will be able to create Virtual Reality (VR) stories through a library of art assets including 360 photos/videos, text, and sound. VRMaker makes the content creation process very simple – allowing children to enhance their storytelling skills while expressing themselves creatively.

What is unique about your solution and how is it different from what currently exists??

Most VR content creation tools are designed for adult users.  VRMaker is designed for children, including hundreds of art assets, sounds, music that can help children to easily start creating their own VR content. Together with our visual programming tool “Action,” we enable children to control 3D objects in a virtual setting, letting children focus on creating interesting stories for VR devices.

Why does being open-source make your solution better?

Making VRMaker an open-source project helps us to connect with developers and artists around the world, and invites them to contribute in providing more actions and art assets for VRMaker.

How did you come up with your solution and what inspired you to form your company?

Our business goal is to improve the efficiency of school education through harnessing frontier technology.  As China has become one of the biggest markets for selling VR devices, we ventured to develop a very simple VR content creation tool that can let children easily create stories and virtual worlds on their computer, including sharing their content with others.  We believe it will encourage parents and teachers to understand the capabilities of VR in learning and be open to integrating this technology into a school’s daily education.

How did your team come together? What is your team’s MO and drive towards the problem you’re trying to solve?

The key members of our team have been working together since 2008.  We cofounded Suzhou Crenovator Lab together with the initial business goal of helping start-ups create mobile internet applications that can help make our world better.  We are now pursuing VR technologies as we see a great VR potential in learning particularly in countries like China (which is already being used widely). We think VR technology is a great fit and we enjoy making great content and tools for children to learn and explore.

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 are thrilled to have the investment from UNICEF’s Venture Fund.  We hope to meet investors and business partners around the world through the network from UNICEF’s  Venture Fund, and we hope to create a wider community and user base through this great opportunity of making VRMaker an open-source project.

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/

UNICEF Innovation Fund: Thinking Machines
UNICEF Innovation Fund: Dymaxion labs