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Apply Now: $1.8 Million in Seed Funding for Artificial Intelligence Startups

By Wayan Vota on February 4, 2019

unicef seed funding startups

The UNICEF Innovation Fund’s Data Science Call for Proposals seeks to invest in innovative companies that are using data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, or similar technologies to improve development outcomes.

For-profit technology start-ups that are working on the following problems can receive up to $100,000 USD in equity-free investments to provide early stage (seed) financing:

  • Machine Learning to analyze satellite imagery and automatically map infrastructure such as schools, health centers, roads or cell towers.
  • Natural Language Processing to analyze large amounts of text, understand context, and define knowledge relationships in multiple languages
  • Predictive Analytics to learn the relationships between different variables that improve service delivery, resource allocation, or content delivery

Apply Now! Deadline is February 28

Seed Funding Application Criteria

The UNICEF Innovation Fund will make investments in for-profit companies registered in a UNICEF programme country that has an artificial intelligence solution with the potential to positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable children.

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The technology must be an Open Source solution (or willing to be Open Source) under the following licenses or their equivalent:

  • BSD license for software
  • CERN license for hardware
  • CC-BY license for design or content

The existing prototype should have promising results from initial pilots and be generating publicly exposed real-time data that is measurable and have the potential to benefit humanity.

Artificial Intelligence Project Scoring Criteria

Companies interested in The UNICEF Innovation Fund’s early-stage financing are required to complete and submit an Expression of Interest Response form showcasing how their project will score highly on the following criteria:

  • Novelty of open source project and robustness of prototype
  • Relevance of solution for children and young people, problem-solution fit and potential for application at global scale
  • Suitability of the team, key advisers and partners to implement the project including diversity and origin or connection to the country where the solution is being built and piloted.
  • Alignment between budget ask and project goals and value for money
  • Quality and relevance of solution’s code repository, designs, and content as relevant)

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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