UNICEF Innovation Fund for VR/AR Technologies ($50-90,000 in funding)

UNICEF Innovation Fund for VR/AR Technologies ($50-90,000 in funding)

Deadline: September 17, 2017

The UNICEF Innovation Fund Call for VR/AR Technologies is now open. 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 our understanding of complex systems and improve how we interact with one another. Are you developing open source VR / AR technologies that can help improve children’s lives? Apply by to be part of a dedicated cohort of start-ups working in this space.

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for start-ups that are developing and piloting new open source VR/AR solutions. They are looking to make investments in

  • 1) software for authoring or consuming these new realities
  • 2) platforms and ways providing wider access to that software
  • 3) platforms and ways providing better tools for content creation (such as a template, workflow, or format)
  • 4) particular applications of content.

For their next VR/AR cohort of investees, they are particularly interested in the following applications of content:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. New ways of storytelling: Undiscovered ways of using VR/AR to tell a story, especially by bridging cross-cultural gaps and creating a dialogue.

Funding Provision

What does the UNICEF Innovation Fund provide?

  • Seed fundingThe 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. In addition, you can also join a technology focused cohort.
  • Growing your business: The UNICEF Venture Fund taps into a network of mentors and advisers who can help you develop your business model and strategy. UNICEF Ventures also facilitates access to networks of partners, funders and investors that can help scale your solutions after this early-stage investment.
  • 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.


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).


Applications to the Fund are accepted on a rolling basis. However, to be considered for the VR/AR-focused cohort, they ask you to submit your application by September 17, 11:59pm EDT.

For more information, visit UNICEF Innovation Fund.