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.
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.
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.
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