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 EuropeWomen 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.

Deep Tech

Deep  tech  is  technology  that  is  based  on  cutting-edge  scientific  advances  and  discoveries , and  characterised  by  the need  to  stay  at  the  technological  forefront  by  constant  interaction  with  new  ideas and results from the lab. Deep tech is distinct from ‘high tech’ which tends to refer only to Research & Development intensity.

Funding opportunities

The call for proposals is open.

The deadline for submissions is 17:00 (CET) on 10 November 2021.

Who can apply

Women TechEU targets highly innovative start-ups founded, or co-founded, by women holding a top management position (CEO, CTO or equivalent) in the company at the time of submission. The company must be registered and established in an EU Member State or a Horizon Europe Associated Country for at least six months at the time of the submission.

Association agreements are currently under negotiation with a number of third countries. Until these have been signed, the transitional arrangement set out in the General Annexes to the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021-2022 is applicable with  regard  to  the  following  countries  and  legal  entities  established in  these  countries, with which association negotiations are being processed or where  association is imminent.

Applicants established in Horizon 2020 associated countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe are treated as entities established in an associated country, provided that the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of the signature of the grant agreement.

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 EuropeSearch for available translations of the preceding link Associated Country for at least six month at the time of the submission,
  • Hold a top management position (CEO, CTO or equivalent) in the company.

For more information, please contact by filling in the form below.