UNICEF opens applications for $100k fund for drone startups


Applications have opened for the UNICEF Innovation Fund for Drone Startups, which will provide up to US$100,000 in equity-free investment for profit-making tech startups that have potential to benefit humanity through the use of drones.

UNICEF has rolled out a host of innovation funds in recent years, including ones for blockchain and VR startups, and backed South African startup 9Needs.

Its latest fund is for startups utilising drone technology, with successful applicants to be awarded seed funding of up to US$100,000, which is intended for prototyping, testing and validation.

Selected startups will receive technical assistance from UNICEF Ventures team to help validate and improve their solutions, and have the opportunity to grow their business through mentorship and support from UNICEF networks across its country offices.

They will also be given access to the UNICEF drone corridors in Malawi to enable them to test their solutions.

Applicants must be registered as a private company in a UNICEF programme country, and working with open source technology solutions or willing to be open source. They must also have an existing prototype with a promising result from the initial pilot, and the solution must positively impact lives.

Applications are open until July 22.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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