Technical Specialist

United Nations Children's Fund

Stockholm, Sweden

Experience: 5 to 10 Years

Skill Required: IT and ICT

The Venture Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, open-source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Venture Fund is to identify "clusters" or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology - so that UNICEF can both shape markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We invest in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. We find these solutions clustered around $100 billion industries in frontier technology spaces. With $35M (+ 2267 ETH + 8 BTC) raised to date, the Venture Fund is scaling its investment portfolio with the aim of investing in 20 start-ups every year and provides funding to UNICEF-country-office-led projects. The current portfolio of companies consists of several cohorts developing and piloting solutions in virtual and augmented reality, data science and artificial intelligence, blockchain, drones, Internet of Things, and in assistive technology.

The Technical Specialist (Venture Fund) will be responsible for the following:

Providing technical advisory to inform investment strategy and investment decisions:

  • Providing input to defining the investment direction for the fund, from a strategic and technical standpoint
  • Providing inputs to defining concrete calls for proposals in alignment with the defined strategy above. Reviewing incoming proposals to ensure investments are made into high-quality frontier technology solutions.
  • Providing technical review of applications submitted to the Venture Fund, verifying data provided

Providing technical guidance for the UNICEF Venture Fund portfolio management:

  • Inputting into workplan structure and relevant metrics development for new investees, growth investments and Long-Term Agreements
  • Ensuring high quality of open-source software intellectual property (IP) across frontier technology cohorts of solutions in early stage (minimum viable products) and more advanced stage (documentation standards, QA, applicability of software across use cases, etc.)
  • Leading a technical review at key moments of the investment journey of startups to identify and address gaps in the quality of software development and open-source best practices.
  • Strategic oversight of growing a quality, well-documented open-source technology stack that can become digital public goods
  • Developing and updating a system to track and make available for overall portfolio management purposes key relevant metrics and performance, in alignment with existing systems
  • Developing technical assistance tools and processes to streamline support, based on common needs and challenges

Overseeing technical assistance strategy for Venture Fund investees to become Digital Public Goods:

  • Overseeing the work of software developer mentor, open-source technical advisor and any other technical roles, to align the technical mentorship programs to the Digital Public Goods standard
  • Liaising with the Technical Lead on the Digital Public Goods team to facilitate the transfer of knowledge across teams and coordinate the submission and review of DPG submissions.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An Advanced degree in relevant field (Information Technology, Engineering, or related areas)
  • A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • At least 5 years of experience in coding and building technology products
  • Demonstrated leadership, strategy, and management level experience for development of technical platforms
  • Experience engaging at senior levels with stakeholders in the open source, digital public goods and frontier technology space
  • A track record of architecting and prototyping systems rapidly within large open conceptual spaces and across different frontier technology platforms and areas, including blockchain, AI, ML
  • Demonstrated ability to lay out technical vision for product and engineering work end-to-end
  • Capacity to forecast timelines and anticipate challenges
  • Well developed, extensive open-source experience
  • Effective communication skills to collaborate cross-functionally
  • Experience working with, and mentoring technology start-ups is desired
  • Superior project management skills for managing tasks and dependencies
  • Must be able to write and review code as an individual contributor and provide a track record of own open-source development
  • Deep understanding of engineering considerations and tradeoffs for different product and business decisions
  • Demonstrated experience managing teams, and an ability to inspire and mentor teammates
  • Ability to summarize and communicate technical considerations to non-technical people.
  • Experience working in complex, resource poor contexts is a plus.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.