The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking to make equity free investments to provide early stage (seed) finance to for-profit technology start-ups that have the potential to benefit humanity. If you have a start-up registered in one of the 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 might be right for you.

The list of UNICEF programme countries can be found here

Who can Apply?

The fund is currently looking to invest in companies that are using data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence or similar technologies to build solutions. Click here to find out the types of start-ups that are eligible.


What does the UNICEF Innovation Fund provide?

  • Seed Funding – The Fund provides $50,000 – $90,000 in equity-free seed funding. The money is intended for prototype testing and validation, and to get it to a stage where the company has proof that the solution works.
  • Product and Technology Development – selected startups will receive technical assistance from the UNICEF ventures team to help validate and improve their solutions.
  • Business Growth – The Fund taps into a network of mentors who help startup teams develop their business model and strategy to grow their company and ultimately, profit.
  • Data networks and platforms – UNICEF Ventures has a dedicated Data Science team hosting and sharing data platforms, and with access to corporate partnerships and use cases that selected start-ups can benefit from.
  • Maximize impact – As the world’s leading organization for children, UNICEF has a network of experts and partners across its country offices who can provide geographically localized advice and partnerships needed to reach more users.

How to Apply

  • Go to Click on ‘Submit’ and then ‘Submissions by Start-ups’.
  • Check that your company and project meet the eligibility criteria
  • Read the Request for Expressions of Interest document
  • Check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the site
  • Submit your expression of interest. To support your preparation, please note that the submission form asks for a link to a 2-minute pitch video. 

Application Deadline

  • Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis, however, only shortlisted companies will be contacted and then requested to submit a more in-depth proposal.

For more information, visit the official fund page here