The EU celebrated International Women’s day 2021 with a brand new
initiative to support women in deep tech. We think it's great and want
to share it with as many people as possible.
The ‘Women TechEU’ programme will assist female leaders working in deep
tech in growing their businesses into future industry leaders. It's
funded under a Horizon Europe work programme and matches first class
mentors with female CEOs and founders. Participants will also be
provided with expert advice and targeted funding to bring their
businesses to the next level. Mentors will be recruited through the
European Innovation Council’s (EIC) Women Leadership
As a tech founder, I welcome this new
and encourage others to get involved. Deep tech accounts for over a
quarter of Europe’s startup ecosystem, generating over €700 billion
revenue annually, and women are grossly underrepresented (European
Women are overlooked because of stereotypes and gender bias in an
industry where it is difficult to get started. This is further
compounded by the fact that funding can be difficult for any deep tech
start-up to get, as we have longer R&D cycles, and it takes more time to
If all that wasn't challenging enough, the global pandemic has also led
to further setbacks for female-led startups. Last year it was reported
that 90.8% of all capital raised in the EU went to all male teams, and
this is up from 90.3% in 2019 (Atomico,
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It's a grim picture and what's needed is solid leadership with
proactive initiatives that really support women in tech. The EIC has
made great strides in this respect. Their latest funding accelerator
call had 25% of
for the second stage of their evaluation process generated from
women-led companies. This was a staggering jump from 7% to 34% and
equated to an overall increase in the female-led companies to a total of
15 (Segler Consulting,
It's a great example of how to deliver on equality with a lasting
impact. The next EIC Accelerator is currently recruiting innovative SMEs
and they are particularly interested in hearing from female-led SMEs.
For further information, check out the EIC website
The ‘Women TechEU’ pilot scheme will launch on the 23-24 of June at the
European and Innovation Days online
event. The scheme will
support a first cohort of up to 50 promising deep tech start-ups from
across the EU. The
Commission is looking for experienced entrepreneurs, investors,
innovators, or senior managers, both male and female, who are motivated
to make a lasting impact on the role of women in innovation and tech.
The time commitment on the mentors' side is expected to be a minimum of
2 hours per month, and they will be invited to participate in networking
events with other mentors and mentees.
are on a rolling basis and more info can be found
Mentoring programmes like this are critical as they enhance skills,
build confidence and create networks for all involved. A great
initiative, one well worth getting involved in.
Report on Diversity and Inclusion: 'The State of European Tech Report
Report on European Deep Tech: '2021: The Year of Deep
by European Startups.
Report on Women in the EIC Accelerator: 'Why It’s Great to be a Female
Entrepreneur in the EU (EIC
by Segler Consulting.
Photo credit: Claudio Centonze, European Union