Apply: $100k Up For Grabs At The UNICEF Funding Opportunity For Climate Startups

Does your startup leverage frontier technology such as drones, blockchain, extended reality (XR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) or novel data science (DS) for climate action, the UNICEF Funding Opportunity for Climate Startups is for you.


Early-stage startups stand a chance to receive $100,000 equity-free investments from the UNICEF Venture Fund.

The finance is targeted at for-profit technology startups that have the potential to address climate change.


If your product is registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries, is a working prototype, has demonstrated results and is (or could be) open-source licensed, then apply.

The Venture Fund is particularly seeking solutions that:

  • Address challenges to accelerate results for children.
  • Are optimized for low-resource environments (e.g., low connectivity, mobile access).
  • Focus on reducing, rather than widening, inequalities.
  • Can deliver in multiple languages, including smaller languages.

The Challenge

Climate change is the greatest threat facing the world’s children and young people.

UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index reveals that 1 billion children (nearly half of the world’s child population) are at ‘extremely high risk’ of the devastating impacts of climate change, with increased exposure to more frequent, intense, and destructive climate hazards including air pollution, water scarcity, heatwaves, vector-borne disease, cyclones, and river and coastal flooding.

Over 850 million of these children are exposed to four or more of these climate stresses, putting their futures in peril, and making it extremely difficult for them to live, play, and thrive.

Moreover, nearly 4 billion children who will be born across the globe over the next three decades will face rising threats to their survival and prosperity.

While global emissions reduction and removal is the only long-term solution to the climate crisis, investing extensively in climate adaptation and resilience measures can provide the most effective solution to reduce children’s overall climate risk and the loss and damage of climate change, and increase the resilience of children and their communities to current and future shocks.

For example, investing in improved access to resilient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and health and nutrition services, can considerably reduce overall climate risk for 415 million and 460 million children, respectively.

To protect children, communities, and the most vulnerable from the worst impacts of the already changing climate, critical services must be adapted, including water, sanitation and hygiene systems, health and education services.

UNICEF’s Venture Fund explores early-stage emerging technologies with the potential to impact children and young people. The Office of Innovation’s portfolio approach focuses its efforts on the most challenging problems UNICEF is trying to solve for and with children and young people, through 9 thematic portfolios.

Through this call for proposals, the organization seeks frontier tech solutions that can address problems across a variety of portfolios including climate change, WASH, youth and humanitarian portfolios. These portfolio areas, among others, prioritize solutions that improve service delivery and policies; empower and actively engage young people; and improve equity in access to essential services for children.

How to apply 

For more information and to apply for the UNICEF Funding Opportunity for Climate Startups, click here before the deadline on Monday, January 9, 2023.


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