A new EU scheme supporting deep-tech start-ups led by women was launched by the European Commission under the new Horizon Europe innovation ecosystems programme, reinforced by the European Innovation Council (EICs).
Data shows that only 15% of innovative start-ups are founded or co-founded by women therefore Women TechEU addresses this innovation gender gap by supporting women-led deep tech start-ups at the early, riskiest stage.
The scheme will offer financial support up to 50 women-led startups with grants of €75 000 and first-class coaching and mentoring through the EIC’s Women Leadership Programme. Applicants must have founded or co-founded an early-stage deep tech startup, and hold a top management position (CEO, CTO or equivalent) in the company. The company must be registered and established in an EU Member State or Associated Country for at least six months at the time of the submission. The call for proposals closes at 17:00 (Brussels time, CET) on 10 November 2021.
The opportunities created by novel technologies and disruptive innovations promise to deliver the fair and sustainable recovery Europe needs. However, if half the population is overlooked as a source of innovation and creative talent, Europe could miss out on these opportunities.
European deep tech companies are now valued at a combined €700 billion however, women remain largely underrepresented across this industry and often face the additional hurdle of gender bias and stereotypes, particularly prevalent in sectors like technology.
Promoting women in leadership and close the gender gap not only in technology and innovation but in all spheres of life is one of the major priorities of the European Commission.
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