UNICEF has launched the 2021 cohort of the UNICEF Startup Lab, a co-creation space and accelerator that focuses on engaging young startups in the development of innovative, open source, market-driven products and solutions that help address complex problems impacting the well-being of children and young people especially the most vulnerable groups.
More than two hundred young startups had sent applications for the position. However, only twenty two promising social impact startups were selected to participate in a six month business and product development program.
The UNICEF Startup Lab, founded by UNICEF Ghana Country and supported by Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is located at UNICEF’s offices in Accra-Ghana.
Each of the startups selected are market impactful and have products and services that if brought to scale can positively influence and accelerate results for children, young people and communities. The UNICEF team aims at working and providing the support that will enable these startups represent Ghana worldwide and eventually lead to a global impact.
The qualified startups will gain access to UNICEF’s wide network of technical experts who are going to assist these startups extend their social impact and enhance their products, some of which focus on the most complex development challenges.
The selected startups will also benefit from both group and individual mentoring as well as capacity building sessions that will enable these startups scale and grow their business to compete globally.
MEST Africa, the program’s main implementing partner is going to conduct the training and curriculum. Additional support will come from technology hubs and an international team of experts with extensive experience working in the startup ecosystem and building impact-driven business across Africa.
During the 6 month program, the startups will benefit from further development opportunities through UNICEF’s global innovation and entrepreneurship support mechanisms. This includes the UNICEF Venture fund and engagement in initiatives such as the Digital Public Goods Alliance.
Among the twenty two startups that will participate in the 2021 cohort of UNICEF Startup Lab include:
Africa Goodnest– e-commerce platform that helps find and buys quality products crafted by Local African talent and entrepreneurs.
AppCyclers-waste management company that provides online waste
education, collection, recycling and upcycling solutions.
Asa Nwura: waste management company promoting digitization of a circular economy of municipal solid waste with use of an incentive-based approach.
Bace Technologies: digital identity software company enabling businesses to optimize their identity management platforms and KYC process using technologies such as facial recognition and AI.
BISA: healthcare platform providing access to medical advice and healthcare information to the general public via mobile devices.
COLIBA: waste management company leveraging mobile and SMS technology to make recycling services accessible to all.
DEXT: technology-driven educational company developing, manufacturing and deploying solutions for the effective learning of STEM, including the award-winning ‘Science Set’.
Digital Health Access: health education and consultation platform connecting users to a network of health professionals, service providers and impact-driven healthcare interventions.
Campus: SaaS education technology solution using AI to connect teachers and students, and to identify learners’ strengths and weaknesses.
Geohebeth Lines: social enterprise using social entrepreneurship, advocacy and local resources to create an environmentally sustainable livelihood for the rural youth.
LEAP: healthcare e-learning platform providing certified educational programs from globally recognized universities and institutions to hundreds of students looking for highly demanded job-ready skills.
Massira: female-centered support community providing sexual, reproductive and mental health services, committed to connecting, educating and empowering women.
Mochcare: health tech startup working on digitizing the maternal & child health record book.
Naa Sika: electronic micro bank and savings platform that helps users save any amount for their future, built using intuitive tech.
Premier Waste Service: waste management company providing low-cost plastic waste collection, recycling and recovery infrastructure.
Scribble Works: educational publishing house developing tech-enabled solutions for schools, including tools based on Google Forms.
Snoocode: geolocalization company with its own digital addressing system allowing the receiver to navigate to an exact location using any standard map on their mobile phone.
Talents in Africa: edu-tech company with a platform using test tools to help youth assess their skill levels, provide resources to upskill for roles they seek and then match them to job opportunities.
Trimester Save: financial inclusion company developing tech-enabled hybrid health & finance solution focused on women in the reproductive ages, to empower all mothers.
Trotro Diaries: community platform of commuters and travelers sharing their daily commuting or travelling experiences, also used to disseminate public service information and messaging.
Wings to Fly: rural poverty alleviation company utilizing local raw materials and agricultural waste to produce standard soaps and household chemicals, employing marginalized rural women.
Wired tutor: edu-tech Company developing a platform that connects students, tutors and institutions for the purpose of learning through the web and a mobile application.