The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Youth Innovation Factory (YIF) is a multi-month venture builder implemented by SocialTech Lab. YIF is geared towards accelerating the development and launch of tech-based innovations realised by young people in Cyprus (18-35 years) by offering a chance to be awarded €25,000 through seed-funding.

UNDP believes that a large part of building a sustainable future starts from bolstering the skills, learning capability and ideas of young minds. Youth can transform mere ideas into impactful and innovative realities with the right environment, resources and support – this is what YIF aims to do! 
Going beyond traditional incubators and accelerators, YIF takes on a more practical approach. The dynamic platform will build synergies between local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), private sector and Technical Committees with young, ambitious tech innovators. The vision of YIF is to create an ecosystem where passionate young minds come together to address real-world challenges faced by local communities and any other relevant stakeholder. By sourcing challenges from those working on the ground, YIF will empower youth to build innovative, tech-based solutions with elements of gamification, web/mobile, AR/VR, AI, and more.

The two themes of this cohort will be ENVIRONMENT and SOCIAL COHESION. Below are some example sub-themes ideas that can be focused on – the teams are not limited to and can go beyond the given examples.

• Biodiversity (conservation/protection) 
• Water Management
• Waste Management (circular economy)
• Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness
• Carbon Management
• Green/ Alternative Energy
• Climate Action
• Marine Conservation
• Air Quality

Social Cohesion 
• Intangible/ tangible Cultural Heritage (Protection and preservation)
• Peacebuilding (confidence-building measures, Peace-tech solutions)
• Strengthening civil society 
• integration of refugees and migrants 
• Governance – cyber-security 
• Economy
• Civic engagement

The innovators can make use of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while forming their tech-based solutions.

YIF 2023 will guide selected teams on a 3-month journey from ideation to MVP (Minimum Viable Product). The experience will be an opportunity for young tech-talents to connect with diverse stakeholders in the field. These interactions will help enrich ideas, refine strategies, and inspire the innovators to introduce out-of-the-box solutions to tackle island-wide challenges under the two themes (Environment and Social Cohesion).  

Preliminary schedule of activities.

Selected participants will enter the Factory, validate their ideas, build their MVPs, craft impactful stories, and lay the foundation for sustainable change, all while developing their personal potential with hands-on training and mentorship. Throughout this 3-month programme, the teams will complete certain tasks and deliverables. At the end of the programme, the teams that have successfully completed the programme and all its deliverables will pitch their solutions to a high-level jury panel and have the chance to be awarded €25,000 as seed-funding!

For more information please have a look at our FAQs section.