VC Internship @ UNICEF Innovation Fund in New York City, NY

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.And we never give up.

For every child, innovate…UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives.

The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.We Do This ByUNICEF’s Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world’s children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs.

  • Connecting youth communities (or more broadly — anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
  • Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach — in a traditionally risk-averse field — to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
  • Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.

The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs – and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively.

The UNICEF Innovation Fund has been designed to finance early stage, open-source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Innovation Fund is to identify “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology – so that UNICEF can both shape markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We invest in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children.

We find these solutions clustered around $100 billion industries in frontier technology spaces, such as: blockchain, UAVs, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, nano-satellites and human dynamics.With $14.4M raised to date, the Innovation Fund is scaling its investment portfolio with the aim of investing in 20 start-ups every year. As the portfolio is scaling, we are looking for an intern that will support the Country Office to identify opportunities for collaboration with the start-up ecosystem and develop a strategy to present the Innovation Fund as an opportunity for start-ups in this context.

How can you make a difference?

What could be a better way to spend your summer than trying to help develop and streamline lifesaving innovations in UNICEF – one of the world’s largest organizations serving children. The UNICEF Internship Programme offers eligible/qualified students the opportunity to acquire direct practical experience in UNICEF’s work under the direct supervision of experienced UNICEF staff.

As a UNICEF Innovation Intern You Will

  • Get to work on a specific project of strategic value to the team. You’ll get to present your ideas and outputs to the team at the end of the summer.
  • Receive dedicated mentorship from a member of multidisciplinary team related to your project and your career and development plans
  • Be part of a dedicated induction programme to UNICEF and UNICEF Innovation
  • Have a fun and inspiring internship experience

Main Responsibilities Will Be

  • Support with ongoing portfolio management of companies across different technical cohorts
  • Provide inputs into quantitative metrics used to track progress and return on investment
  • Identify technical support organisations and companies that could be integrated into technical assistance programme
  • Provide support to development of online learning course on business models for companies developing open source solutions

To qualify as a champion for every child, you will meet the following requirements…

  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or Ph.D. degree programme in the area of finance, entrepreneurship, business administration or related field, or have graduated within the past two years. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Have excellent academic performance as demonstrated by recent university or institution records.
  • Have no immediate relatives (e.g. father, mother, brother, sister) working in any UNICEF office; and
  • Have no other relatives in the line of authority which the intern will report to.
  • Additional consideration will be given for any past experience.
  • Knowledge of accelerator/incubators networks; and needs of companies at different stages of funding
  • Previous experience in venture capital investing, entrepreneurship, business management and administration
  • Experience in building outreach databases in order of need and priority using specific criteria
  • Fluency in English is required.


  • Individuals must fund their own travel and living expenses. A monthly stipend might be considered.
  • Individuals must have proof of medical insurance covering their time at the duty station.
  • Individuals are responsible for arranging any visa or immigration requirements.
  • Individuals are expected to provide their own laptop.

If interested, please apply here.


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