UNICEF Innovation Fund Opportunity for Drone Startups

Grants Opportunities
United States of America
Posted 3 years ago

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking to make up to $100K equity-free investments to provide early stage (seed) finance to for-profit technology start-ups that have the potential to benefit humanity through the use of drones. If you’ve got a start-up registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries and have a working, open-source drone prototype or service (or you are willing to make it open-source) showing promising results, the UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for you.

Eligible candidates to the UNICEF Innovation Fund should be a company developing drone solutions. Such as :

a)      Software to collect, share and analyze data from UAVs (for low-connectivity areas)

Remote transfer or processing of visual data over low bandwidth networks

AI / Machine learning / Deep learning algorithms for feature detection and counting

Data management portal/stakeholder access protocol management

**Of particular interest software applications that work in low-connectivity areas

b)      Software to manage flight and delivery operations

Manage supply chain payments and quality of assets for sensitive products

Load, delivery or flight navigation optimization

Digital management of delivery execution

Feature detection to land or drop deliveries autonomously on landing pads

c)       Business models and sustainable drone services in emerging markets

Develop new services through the use of existing third-party drones for transport, image capturing and analysis (e.g. to support health care, crop disease detection, risk  mapping, search and rescue, disaster preparedness, etc.)

Explore ways to combine existing services into multi-role service applications

d)      Air Safety, risk management tools and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Systems

Simulation or predictive tools for managing altitude, navigation deconfliction, schedules, routings, or fleet management

Use case specific risk assessment tools (integratable with ICAO, EASA, NASA or other internationally recognized frameworks in development)

APP for field operations and decision-making process management

Machine-to-machine / V2V anti-collision software, neural networks

What does the UNICEF Innovation Fund provide?

Seed funding. The Fund provides $50- $100,000 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.

Networks and platforms. UNICEF Ventures has a Drones lead and data science team with access to corporate and academic partnerships and use cases that selected drones start-ups can benefit from.

Maximize impact. As the world’s leading organisation 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.

Drone Corridor.Selected start-ups will have access to the UNICEF Drone corridor in Malawi providing the physical space for testing their solutions. Data from peer companies testing in the three drone  corridors where UNICEF is present will be made available.


How to apply for the UNICEF Innovation Fund

Check the general eligibility criteria:

  • You must be registered as a private company in a UNICEF programme country;
  • You are working on open source technology solutions or willing to be open-source under the following licenses or their equivalent: BSD (software), CERN (hardware), or CC-BY (content);
  • You have an existing prototype of the solution with promising results from initial pilots;
  • Your solution has the potential to positively impact the lives of children.
  • If your company and project meet the eligibility criteria and is aligned with the tech use cases we have outlined above, visit our site to read more about the application process and submit an application.

Go to www.unicefinnovationfund.org

Click on ‘Submit’ and then ‘Submissions by Start-ups’.


Deadline: July 22, 2018


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