Deadline: 31 October 2019
Do you have a project with the potential to solve hunger? If yes, then apply to the WFP Innovation Accelerator and receive up to 100,000 USD in equity-free funding, mentorship from industry experts and access to the world’s largest humanitarian organisation.
Now in its sixth year, the Challenge is WFP’s global innovation competition, awarding funding, recognition and support to WFP employees, start-ups, and entrepreneurs revolutionizing how the problem of global hunger is addressed.
The 2019 Innovation Challenge is inviting innovators from around the world to submit out-of-the-box proposals to end hunger. The WFP Innovation Accelerator identifies, nurtures and scales bold solutions to hunger globally. WFP support innovators and external start-ups and companies through financial support, access to a network of experts and a global field reach.
Since launching in 2016, the WFP Innovation Accelerator has supported more than 50 bold solutions to disrupt hunger, eight of which are now scaling up in multiple countries around the globe.
Among the projects scaling up is H2Grow, a low-tech hydroponic solution enabling vulnerable people to grow food in harsh environments across eight countries, using no soil and 90 percent less water than traditional agriculture.
Searching for Scalable Solutions
This year’s campaign challenges employees to innovate scalable solutions to fight hunger in three priority areas: the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, emergency response, and supply chain. A fourth “wildcard” category welcomes bright ideas to transform the lives of the people WFP serves from any topic area.
Winning teams will be invited to the Accelerator’s February 2020 Innovation Bootcamp in Munich, Germany, and may also be eligible for US$ 100,000 in funding, hands-on support, and access to a global network of external experts.
The Challenge is specifically seeking projects that recognize the importance and necessity of gender equality in achieving Zero Hunger, as well as projects that are led by women and have diverse teams. Promoting gender equality in WFP’s work enables food security and nutrition for all.
- Funding: Apply to receive up to $100,000 in equity-free funding, with further funding dependent upon progress and measurable achievement of critical targets.
- Access to WFP Operations: Successful teams will work with WFP units on the ground to further develop and refine their solutions.
- Hands-On Support: You will have the chance to work with technical and industry mentors who will provide guidance and accelerate your progress.
- Networking: Teams will be able to tap into and leverage WFP strong network of public, private, and government partners to accelerate implementation.
- If applicants are a start-up…
- Their start-up must be incorporated at the time of application. It can be for profit or not-for-profit.
- Their innovation must at least be at the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage. Proof-of-concept and initial traction is preferred.
- Their solution should be financially viable.
- Their proposal must show how working with WFP will serve applicants long-term strategy.
- If applicants are a WFP employee…
- Their team must have evidence of Country Office support and management buy-in.
- Everybody working at WFP is encouraged to apply, regardless of applicants contract type or function.
- They accept project applications from WFP employees who are collaborating with NGOs, government or private sectors.
- Innovation Bootcamp: At the Bootcamp in Munich, Germany, selected teams deep dive field-level challenges, ideate solutions and refine project plans. WFP introduces participants to cutting-edge innovation techniques, such as human-centred design and lean start-up, to create viable business models and use cases for WFP and its beneficiaries.
- Pitch Night: The week-long Bootcamp culminates with Pitch Night – an opportunity for teams to share their solutions with an audience of investors and industry leaders who can help them bring to scale.
- Sprint Programme: The best teams are selected to participate in a 3- to 6-month Sprint Programme, where they receive up to USD 100,000 in funding, field access and hands-on support so that they can test the solution’s impact and scalability for WFP. To support implementation, the Accelerator helps teams connect with a global network of mentors, including the private sector and non-profit experts, donors and WFP Country Offices.
Applications submitted to the WFP Innovation Accelerator are assessed according to a standard set of criteria, and are reviewed by both WFP and external experts. Please note that they prioritize projects that are designed alongside their core users—vulnerable communities—and that show initial traction and market validation to ensure impact and maximize cost effectiveness. They are looking for innovations that meet the following expectations:
- Impact for the people they serve and potential to reach Zero Hunger
- Feasibility, including time to deliver impact, technology maturity, and user traction
- Level of innovation
- Financial sustainability with a clear business case that does not rely on WFP funding
- Team strength, experience, and commitment
How to Apply
Applicants can apply online via given website.
For more information, please visit https://innovation.wfp.org/apply