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ETC Labs commits $1 million to blockchain-focused startups and solutions in UNICEF Innovation partnership

Aislinn Keely

Ethereum Classic Labs (ETC Labs) is partnering with the UNICEF Innovation Fund by allocating $1 million to support initiatives. In a statement today, ETC Labs announced it would apportion $750k to global startup graduates of the UNICEF Innovation Fund and give $250k directly to the Fund. 

ETC Labs also said it plans to support a cohort of blockchain companies found through the UNICEF fund. The Ethereum Classic development firm plans to provide mentorship and training to startups interested in building products on Ethereum Classic. 

James Wo, the founder of ETC Labs, said in a statement that the future of blockchain technology is dependent on use cases with social and economic impact. ETC Labs CEO Terry Culver said the organization still looks to the "promise of blockchain" as a way to create social impact and improve quality of life, with the UNICEF collaboration stemming from a shared vision.

For its part, UNICEF is continuing to look for places where distributed ledgers can create more efficiency in its work and partnerships, according to Chris Fabian, co-lead of UNICEF Ventures. Indeed, UNICEF has been exploring both blockchain and cryptocurrency, launching a Cryptocurrency Fund last October that can receive, hold and disburse Ethereum and Bitcoin donations.

As of now, ETC Labs said it will make "follow-on" investments in three additional companies identified for their impact on emerging markets: OS City, a Latin American company using cloud computing, blockchain and artificial intelligence to improve government services; the Bangladesh-based W3 Engineers, which aims to bring Internet and cell network coverage to emerging markets using open-source blockchain technology; and Prescrypto, a Mexican-based healthcare app which helps securely send clinical data and prescription information.