Registrations are now open for the third edition of the Innovators for Children program, welcoming innovative projects and solutions, dedicated to raising the quality of life for Romanian children. The accelerator is an initiative launched in 2019 by Impact Hub Bucharest. For this year’s edition, Impact Hub Basel and the Botnar Foundation will be supporting startup projects, while Vodafone Romania Foundation joins the program, offering EUR 72,000 to support the participation of the NGO sector.
The program is structured in 2 main stages. For the first 3 months, participants will focus on building and validating a business model while benefiting from training sessions, mentoring, consulting and feedback meetings. Following a selection process, they will then enter the second stage in which the selected solutions will be developed and will have access to financial support options of at least EUR 50,000. Out of this budget, the Vodafone Romania Foundation will offer EUR 30,000 in form of micro-grants to non-governmental organizations.
Who is the accelerator for?
The 2021 edition of Innovators for Children is looking for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs who are developing solutions, using technology, for the benefit of children’s physical and emotional health, education, food and nutrition, safety, children’s rights in the digital age and other fields which can contribute to a better life for children and adolescents aged 0 to 18. NGOs and tech startups from all over the country that have an idea, are in the prototype stage or have, for a maximum of 1 year, a commercially available solution on the market at the end of the registration period can enroll in the program. Scalable technological solutions are especially sought. Projects can be registered until April 30th by filling in the forms on the www.innovatorsforchildren.org website. One can participate based on the confirmation received from the organizers, free of charge.
Between 10 and 15 teams will be selected and will benefit from sessions that will address the social impact of projects, marketing strategy and commercial proposal, financial sustainability and tactics to attract partners or investors and will participate in a networking conference with the most important actors in the field. The team of mentors, who have also been involved in previous editions of the program:
- Adina Crețu – Project Manager, Startarium
- Adelina Dondorici – Co-founder, Parenting ADS
- Diana Certan –Executive Director, Concordia Humanitarian Organization
- Ionuț Pătrăhău – Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer, SeedBlink
- Sabina Antoci – Senior Program Manager, Vodafone Romania Foundation.
The projects selected after the grand final in September (between 3 and 5 projects) will enter a stage of development of solutions that will last 6 months and will benefit from a promotion campaign at the end of the program, in March 2022.
For its past two editions, the program selected 23 solutions to the final, among which 9 received a total of EUR 201,000 in funding. In addition, two of the participating startups, Kinderpedia and Brio, also attracted private investments of over EUR 740,000 in total.
Impact Hub Bucharest is the dynamic space where professionals and entrepreneurs work to develop business projects and initiatives. Impact Hub Bucharest is the first co-working space in Romania, since its start in 2012, with a community of approximately 2,000 members in 2 central locations in Bucharest, while globally the organization is present in over 100 locations in over 50 countries. The mission of Impact Hub Bucharest is to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem by offering startup accelerator program and direct funding, as well as the largest entrepreneurship education online platform.
Botnar Foundation is a Swiss foundation, founded in 2003, with the aim of improving the health and well-being of children and young people in developing urban areas across the world. To reach this goal, Botnar Foundation acts as a catalyst, connecting various partners and investing in artificial intelligence and digital innovation solutions.
Impact Hub Basel supports social entrepreneurs and sustainable innovation. The organization aims to promote the interaction between members and different stakeholders through various resources such as events, the co-working space, incubation, ideation and acceleration program. This way, it wishes to create a collaborative ecosystem where innovation and change are encouraged, where access to quality resources, inspiration and information is easy and where communication and connecting with different people with diverse skills is facilitated.
The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian non-governmental charitable organisation, established in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the company’s business. Over more than 20 years of activity, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,168 programs run by 745 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. The projects had over 3 million beneficiaries – children, young people, elderly, physically, socially or economically disadvantaged people. So far, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has invested 31 million euros in projects run by non-profit partner organisations.