United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has adopted a venture capital approach to source solutions through its innovation fund, urging more technology start-ups to utilize opportunities next year.
The UNICEF Communication Officer, Lagos, Blessing Ejiofor, in a statement made available to journalists in Akure yesterday, announced its first portfolio of investments in open source technology solutions.
Ejiofor added that the investment included tools that improve connectivity, real-time data collection, identity technology and learning.
According to her, the approach would proffer solutions for transportation, identity, wearable technology, finance, and personal data.
“The UNICEF Innovation Fund is a new way of doing business at the UN; combining the approach of Silicon Valley venture funds with the needs of UNICEF programme countries.
“Using UNICEF’s 190 offices and 12,000 staff, the Fund will help us source and support companies that might be overlooked by traditional investment vehicles. The Fund allows us to prototype technology solutions, as well as expand our networks of open source collaborators to improve children’s lives.”
Aside announcing the first investments by UNICEF, the Communication Officer disclosed further that it has also opened the next round of applications from technology start-ups.
She said the first portfolio of investments included the following five start-ups from Nicaragua, Bangladesh, South Africa, Pakistan Cambodia; with an eye to investing in 20-40 additional companies in 2017.
“UNICEF Innovation Fund is inviting technology start-ups to apply for investment and become part of this growing portfolio of open source solutions. The next round of applications for investment from the Fund is now open. “