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Ethereum Classic Labs Donates $1 Million to UNICEF Innovation Ventures

Leading post-cable news, media, and entertainment company Cheddar has scooped the news about Ethereum Classic Labs (ECL) donating $1 million to UNICEF Innovation in order to expedite new innovation with Blockchain. In an interview with Terry Culver, CEO of Ethereum Classic Labs, and Cecilia Chapiro, Investment Advisor and Blockchain Manager at UNICEF Ventures, details emerged on the support.

Gulver on why ECL donated to the organisation:

“UNICEF is a premier humanitarian aid organization. They share a commitment to finding ways to use this technology to help people and to improve people’s lives today. And that’s something we really believe in,” stateD Gulver.

CEO Gulver also tweeted about the donation.

Excited to announce our partnership with UNICEF Innovation: Giving $1M to drive blockchain solutions to help people where help is needed most. Thank you @UNCEFInnovate @Cheddar @timsteno @ceciliachapiro @UNICEFUSA @etclabs @DFG_Group @Columbia_biz

— Terry Culver (@realetclassic) January 17, 2020


Chapiro from Unicef framed the donation:

“So I can give you an example. There’s one forcibly displaced person in the world every two seconds so that’s less than what it took me to say this sentence. And there are many challenges that emerge from that. But one challenge is being unconnected so not having access to connectivity. I’m sure that for us in New York means not being able to browse on the Internet. Sure. But for someone in a refugee camp means. Not knowing where their children are after sunset or not getting on emergency flood warning when there’s one coming. “

And on the UNICEF Innovation Fund Chapiro stated:

“So we invest in companies that are developed in emerging countries. So basically all the countries where UNICEF operates. That is developing frontier technology like blockchain especially,  but also drones, A.I., virtual learning. And the important thing is we measure the return of our investments with the technology that is generated so that companies need to be developing open source technologies.”

Gulver replied as to how blockchain technology can better UNICEF:

“One is delivery of aid so you know you can imagine in places where there’s a lack of infrastructure or suffering from a natural disaster trying to deliver aid in those locations is extremely challenging. Blockchain can help track that aid where it is how it’s delivered and how effective it is. The other is identity. So you know you have millions of people displaced. You don’t have accurate records. People have difficulty producing documents to even prove who they are. And so the blockchain is a way to help people keep track of who they are and control their privacy.”

Of the million-dollar donation, seven hundred thirty thousand dollars of that is going to support the startups that leave the accelerator. Two hundred thousand going directly to UNICEF as a donation. 

And ECL plans further investments in the sector. 

“In the new year – actually in a month from now – we’re going to be launching a new call for applications for blockchain solutions. We’re looking forward to one investing in more frontier tech startups that are building digital public goods as well as making new partnerships like the one that we made with the UNICEF innovation fund,” he added.

The Unicef Venture Fund collaborates with innovators on the ground in UNICEF programme countries to build and test new solutions at the pace required to keep up with the rapidly evolving challenges facing children.

The Venture Fund was launched by UNICEF in 2016 – a US$17.9 million investment fund – applying lessons learned over 8+ years, undertaking the complex work of helping to identify and grow innovations for children. The UNICEF Venture Fund makes $50–100K early-stage investments in technologies for children developed by UNICEF country offices or companies in UNICEF programme countries. By providing flexible funding to early-stage innovators, it allows UNICEF to quickly assess, fund and grow open-source technology solutions that show potential to positively impact the lives of vulnerable children. 3

The objective is to identify and pilot promising frontier technologies to develop scalable platforms that UNICEF can use in a range of applications and country settings. The fund seeks to achieve this by identifying clusters or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology – so that UNICEF can shape markets, learn from and provoke these technology sectors to benefit children. Such an investment method allows UNICEF to take small risks within particular technology portfolios, and ensure that even if many of the investments fail, the portfolio is a success.

The Portfolio currently includes 72 investments, including 33 to startup companies in countries where UNICEF is active. The Fund aims to grow its portfolio by 30 investments every year. In 2018, the Fund selected cohorts of companies working on data science and artificial intelligence, blockchain and XR. These cohorts are working on similar underlying technology stacks and are collaborating across individual products to build platforms that can more easily be brought to scale. The Venture Fund collaborates with other investors, donors and partners to co-invest and facilitate pathways to growth and scale.

The mission of Ethereum Classic Labs is to build relevant, accessible, and high-quality technology, and to use that technology to create communities of value in a mature and regulated ecosystem. The ultimate goal is to fulfill the promise of blockchain to improve people’s lives using Ethereum Classic, one of the world’s major public blockchains. The ETC Labs team of experts also fosters partnerships with organizations and institutions in order to address fundamental challenges in developing and deploying this innovative technology. We fulfill the mission through in three way: the ETC Labs Accelerator, which invests in up to 25 blockchain projects annually that contribute to sustaining a robust ecosystem; strategic investments in innovative projects focused on economic and social development; and the Core Team, a team of experts and developers who maintain the Ethereum Classic blockchain and build key applications, solutions, and tools.

Richard Kastelein
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands where he has set down his anchor to raise a family and write. Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015) and director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He has written over 2500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published in Harvard Business Review, Venturebeat, Wired, The Guardian and a number of other publications. Kastelein has an Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute software and Technology. He has over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division. Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology at over 50 events in 30+ cities.
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