Contxto – Four early-stage Latin American drone startups recently tapped into the UNICEF Innovation Fund to develop their technology while earning some substantial seed funding.
From this group of six, Bioverse Labs from Brazil, Dronfies Labs from Uruguay, qAira from Peru and Rentadrone from Chile will participate in this 12-month program pushing for unfiltered innovation. What all of these ventures have in common is open-source emergent technology designed to address societal issues.
Being an international humanitarian and development agency, it makes sense why UNICEF wants to aid entrepreneurs in solving global challenges. To achieve this, the entity will also furnish up to US$100,000 worth of collective seed funding from the Innovation Fund.
On top of funding, they will also receive access to valuable testing grounds from across the world. Moreover, participants will receive technical assistance to scale their technology, as well as plenty of networking with industry experts.
From UNICEF’s perspective, it is already facilitating a drone program with overarching societal benefits. These include monitoring humanitarian supply chains, delivery of relief items, heightened connectivity, in addition to aerial videography to better prepare and respond to natural disasters.
Here is the Latin American lineup for the UNICEF Innovation Fund program:
Bioverse Labs (Brazil)
Determined to protect the vulnerable Amazon rainforest from further degradation, this venture has created a drone system meant for conservation and real-time species monitoring. Due to their imagery and machine learning abilities, the drones can effectively identify and map tree strands. In turn, this allows partners to better protect special resources.
Dronfies Labs (Uruguay)
If and when emergency strikes, Dronfies Labs may have the solution. What the startup is currently developing involves intelligent flights and traffic management systems, all of which will be operable with low connectivity in case of inclement conditions. From this, partners can retrieve real-time data showcasing airspace management and better coordination.
Air quality control is this startup’s model of apparatus. qAira is quite techy and so has created an algorithm that can translate the air quality to data that can support environmental protection. The company achieves this by mounting sensors onto its machinery.
Automated machine learning, thermal energy, and multispectral imagery allow Rentadrone to detect pests and crop diseases. Besides this, it can also classify and organize issues with damaged Solar Power Plants. All in all, this Chilean venture heightens energy efficiency, on top of promoting alternative energy sources.
The other two include Cloudline Africa from South Africa and Prokura Innovations from Nepal.