UNICEF Funding Opportunity for Health Tech Startups

The UNICEF Venture Fund is looking to invest in Open Source frontier technology solutions that have the potential to create radical change in children’s health, nutrition, and mental health. We are offering up to US$100K in equity-free funding for early stage, for-profit technology start-ups that can improve the lives of children.

If your company is leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data science (DS), drones, blockchain, or extended reality (XR), we want to hear from you! We are specifically seeking companies registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries that have impressive working prototypes and a commitment to Open Source licensing.

The Challenge

Every child has the right to survive and thrive.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on global health, nutrition and mental health indicators for children. It has also amplified the persistent inequities in access to quality healthcare, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Factors such as where a child is born, their gender and their household’s socio-economic status greatly influence their survival and overall wellbeing. Challenges like distance, cost, trust and lack of medical supplies or trained personnel also make it difficult to access quality care.

As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s crucial to enhance the skills and capacity of frontline workers, especially in fragile contexts and vulnerable populations to strengthen health (including immunization), nutrition and mental health.

What we’re looking for

UNICEF’s innovation portfolio approach prioritizes addressing the most challenging problems faced by children and young people through nine thematic portfolios, including maternal, newborn, child & adolescent health, nutrition, mental health, youth, and humanitarian response to reach the most vulnerable populations. These portfolios prioritize solutions that strengthen systems in remote and low or no connectivity areas, improve access to data, skills and services, and empower and actively engage young people.

UNICEF’s Venture Fund is currently looking to invest in companies that are developing software solutions using frontier technologies such as blockchain, drones, data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, or extended reality to strengthen systems for health, including mental health.

Application Deadline: 20 October 2023

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