Sunita Grote, Ventures Team Lead at UNICEF and Women In Tech Judge, Explains What She’s Looking for From Entrants


Hey Sunita, tell us about yourself

 I lead UNICEF’s Ventures team with the Office of Innovation and co-founded its Venture Fund which provides seed funding in fiat and crypto – the first in the UN system. UNICEF Ventures explores how emerging frontier technology can accelerate results for the most marginalized children. I also steer UNICEF’s co-leadership of the Digital Public Goods Alliance, a network of partners who collectively contribute to the development and use of open-source digital public goods.

At UNICEF Ventures, we not only want to test innovations that can change children’s lives for the better, but we show how technology can be designed and used in a more equitable and open way, to shape how others build and invest. We support solutions that meet the needs of and are built by diverse communities.

We showcase and invest in problem solvers who are women and those in emerging and developing markets. These groups only receive a small fraction of VC funding and we aim to make investment flows more balanced. We build and finance technology solutions that are universally accessible as public goods and still backed by sustainable business models.


UNICEF’s Office of Innovation logo


What are you looking for from this year’s Women in Tech and Startup entrants?


I will be looking for teams that recognize and can build for complexity and a diverse set of situations and needs. We have seen over the last few years that we may be confronted with new challenges at any point. If businesses want to survive and grow, they need to be able to recognize change, be agile enough to respond to it and have a product and model from the start that take into account the needs of diverse users and contexts. A team that allows for diverse backgrounds and perspectives is a very important part of that.

What advice would you give to entrants wanting to stand out from the crowd?

Make sure that you are very clear about the problem you are tackling and how your solution is the best one to solve it. That clarity and strong fit between problem and solution will give you focus and a clear vision to aim for.