The Innovation Challenge, hosted by UNDP and the Slovak Ministry of Finance, is accepting solutions to the effects of the pandemic in the following issue areas: new digital services and voice, low touch economies, wellbeing.
The BOOST acceleration program will support the implementation and scaling of these solutions across the Europe and Central Asia region. 15 applicants will be selected to join the BOOST acceleration program and up to five will be selected for funding. Winners will receive up to $15,000 to prototype and implement solutions. Solutions should be applied in more than one country and enhance regional collaboration in addressing the crisis.
It is an intensive six-month online acceleration program designed to prepare organizations and businesses to roll out their digital solutions. This will include both workshops and individual mentoring sessions taught by experienced business, med-tech, social-tech, digital technologies, and impact professionals. BOOST will support a wide range of solutions and organizations under one umbrella program.
The selected organizations will pass a needs assessment prior to the program launch, and will receive a personalized plan to follow specific tracks. The BOOST acceleration program for the Innovation Challenge consists of four online components:
- Sensemaking Workshops (mandatory)
BOOST will kick-off with a sensemaking workshop that will support organizations in navigating a world of rapidly increasing complexity through strategic and transformative innovation. It will utilize tools and frameworks that will seek to address the effects of the pandemic through establishing strategic relevance of activities, ensuring program coherence, generating network effects and accelerating portfolio impact.
- Digital Transformation and Tech Track (mandatory)
The Digital Transformation and Tech Track consists of a personalized journey through a series of workshops and mentorship guidance, helping applicants to define, assess and manage their digital strategy while rethinking their business models. The track helps applicants establish a framework and assess their current approach to digital technology while building a consensus on how a digital strategy can transform their impact.
- Business and Impact Tracks (optional)
A deep dive into the social, environmental and economic dimensions of impact, this track is intended to help applicants map and use the theory of change and impact value chain. From value proposition to design thinking, the business training aims to provide the teams with a validated tool to define, clarify, and understand the value of innovation efforts, giving teams the confidence required to commit fully to the objective. Workshops will go through how teams should position themselves for success and explore the many concepts necessary for making intelligent, strategic decisions while validating the viability of a new idea.
- Digital Crowdfunding Academy (optional)
BOOST offers access to the UNDP Europe and Central Asia Digital Crowdfunding Academy for CSOs, which will enhance the capacities of CSOs to diversify their funding resources and adapt their business models. The online training program empowers and builds organizational capacity with new knowledge and skills necessary to prepare and run a successful crowdfunding campaign.
- The applicant must be a registered entity in Europe and Central Asia, or in a consortium with an entity in the region.
- The project must be implemented in the Europe and Central Asia region.
- The project must have a regional dimension.
Type of Applicants
- Private sector, including social enterprises, civil society organizations, and academia.
- Scalability: Solutions that are scalable across countries.
- Viability: Where necessary, the applicant is required to engage partners to ensure viability in the local context.
- Management: The applicant must demonstrate it has an adequate team in place and will have the capacity to implement the solution in 3–6 months
- Potential for impact: Solutions that can improve the livelihoods of the most vulnerable groups.
- Innovation: Solutions that use cutting-edge technologies, social and digital innovation tools and that transform current business models with digitalization
- Effectiveness: Solutions that demonstrate how they will tackle one of the issues areas impacted by Covid-19.
For more information, visit https://boostimpact.org/innovation-challenge-fund/