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UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for start-ups that are developing and piloting new open source VR/AR solutions.

VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) technologies can be used to solve real human problems. By providing new, immersive ways of accessing data they can enhance our learning experience, expand understanding of complex systems and improve how to interact with one another. The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking to make investments in:

        software for authoring or consuming these new realities,

        platforms and ways providing wider access to that software,

        platforms and ways providing better tools for content creation (such as a template, workflow, or format), and

        particular applications of content.

For next VR/AR cohort of investees the fund is particularly interested in the following applications of content:

        Learning: Teaching people to perform simple tasks, in many languages, with higher retention rates and better motivational levels (examples: how to install a water pump; how to recognize malnutrition in under 5-year-olds; how to teach seamstresses to perform simple procedures). VR/AR also presents new ways of increasing access to experiential learning, including for people with disabilities.

        Understanding complex environments: Accessing large amounts of data and deciphering them in a better way. Getting a simple picture from a complex collection of data points (examples: converting history of GIS data points from refugee camps into a VR environment for better planning; improving situational awareness for emergency responders).

        New ways of storytelling: Undiscovered ways of using VR/AR to tell a story, especially by bridging cross-cultural gaps and creating a dialogue.

Benefits

        Seed funding: The Fund provides $50-90,000 in equity-free seed funding.

        Product and technology development: Receiving investment from the Innovation Fund also provides access to the UNICEF Innovation Ventures team. The team provides technical assistance in emerging technology areas, which is accessible to companies receiving investment.

        Growing your business: The UNICEF Venture Fund taps into a network of mentors and advisers who can help to develop business model and strategy.

        Maximising impact for children: As the world’s leading organisation for children, UNICEF has experts across its Country Offices and partners who can advise on the development of your solution, how to assess its impact and partnerships needed to reach more users.

Eligibility Criteria

        Start-ups registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries (mentioned below) and have a working, open source prototype (hardware, content or software).

        The Fund provides early-stage seed funding to start-ups with a strong team and a clear path to impact on children’s lives. For this cohort, they are looking for startups with a working VR/AR prototype (hardware, software or content).

Deadline: 28 February 2018 For more information, please visit UNICEF Innovation Fund.