Deep tech accounts for over a quarter of Europe’s start-up ecosystem, with European deep tech companies now valued at a combined €700 billion and counting. Yet women remain largely underrepresented across this industry.
Founded on innovation in engineering and advances in science, deep tech start-ups tend to have longer R&D cycles, and often take more time and capital to build than other start-ups. Most could fail in their first years if they do not receive the right support and investment early on. Women in deep tech often face the additional hurdle of gender bias and stereotypes, particularly prevalent in sectors like technology.
Funded under the European Innovation Ecosystems work programme of Horizon Europe, Women TechEU is a brand new initiative of the European Union. The scheme offers first-class coaching and mentoring to female founders, as well as targeted funding to help take their business to the next level. Women TechEU offers:
- Financial support to the company as an individual grant of EUR 75 000 to support the initial steps in the innovation process, and the growth of the company,
- Mentoring and coaching provided by the EIC Business Acceleration Services (BAS), under the new “Women Leadership Programme”, which include dedicated networking and pitching events,
- The possibility to participate in dedicated activities organised by InvestEU and Enterprise Europe Network.
The pilot scheme launched on 13 July supports a first cohort of up to 50 promising women-led start-ups, starting from 2022.
The call for proposals is open. The deadline for submissions is 17:00 (CET) on 10 November 2021.
Who can apply
To apply, you must:
- Be a woman,
- Be a founder or co-founder of an early stage deep tech start-up, registered and established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country (Moldova included) for at least six month at the time of the submission,
- Hold a top management position (CEO, CTO or equivalent) in the company.