The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched the WFP Innovation Challenge 2021 to scout, support and scale bold solutions that can end global hunger, achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal (2).
With the understanding that some food systems can easily be disrupted by climate shocks, socioeconomic inequalities, civil/political unrest not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic, innovators- startups, companies, individuals and WFP employees are invited to apply for this year’s edition of WFP Innovation Challenge.
WFP Innovation Challenge
Launched in 2015, this year’s WFP Innovation Challenge is on the lookout for disruptive innovations that can fight hunger, provide access to safe and nutritious food and advance equitable livelihoods for all.
The WFP Innovation Challenge 2021 aims to deploy game-changing ideas to build stronger, more sustainable food systems addressing hunger, and in preparation for the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit.
The initiative is leveraging transformation in digital innovation, including artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, and mobile technology—and new business models to redefine the ways of serving vulnerable communities worldwide.
Selected finalists will receive funding, technical support, and access to WFP’s global operations.
Benefits of participation
Selected teams will be invited to participate in a fully virtual WFP Innovation Bootcamp on 30 August – 3 September 2021. They stand to receive:
- Up to $100,000 in equity-free funding, with further funding dependent upon progress and measurable achievement of key targets;
- Access to WFP operations to help them further develop and refine their solutions;
- Hands-on support from technical and industry mentors who will guide and help accelerate their progress;
- Networking opportunity.
To qualify as a startup, you must meet the criteria below:
- Your start-up must be incorporated either as a profit or not-for-profit enterprise at the time of application.
- Your innovation must have reached the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage. Proof-of-concept and initial traction are preferred.
- Your solution should be financially viable.
- Your proposal must show how working with WFP will serve your long-term strategy.
To qualify as a WFP employee
- Your team must have evidence of Country Office support and management buy-in.
- You can apply regardless of your contract type or function.
Note that project applications will be accepted from WFP employees who are collaborating with NGOs, government, or private sectors.
Applications submitted to the WFP Innovation Accelerator are evaluated based on a standard set of criteria and are reviewed by both WFP and external experts. Innovations must meet the following expectations:
- Impact on the people in vulnerable communities and potential to reach Zero Hunger target;
- Feasibility, including time to deliver impact, technology maturity, and user traction;
- Scale of innovation;
- Financial sustainability with a clear business case that does not rely on WFP funding;
- Team strength, experience, and commitment to the project.
Projects that are designed with vulnerable communities in mind and that show initial traction and market validation to ensure impact and maximize cost-effectiveness will be prioritized.
Click here to apply.
Applications can be submitted until Monday, May 31, 2021, at 11:59 pm (CEST). For further information click here.
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