Navigator Consulting is pleased to share the completion of the first Women TechEU pilot funding scheme. Launched under the European Innovation Ecosystems programme of Horizon Europe, the Women TechEU scheme provides grants of € 75,000 for innovation and growth to female-led start-ups.
In addition, the scheme provides support through the European Innovation Council’s Women Leadership Programme as well as networking support.
An international Call for Proposals resulted in the selection of 50 women-led companies in 15 countries. Of these, 40 companies are based in the EU Member States, with the remainder from the Horizon Europe widening countries.
The companies proposed for funding have developed cutting-edge and disruptive innovations, across a range of areas, from early cancer diagnosis and treatments, all the way to reducing the negative impact of methane emissions. They address sustainable development goals (SDGs), like tackling climate change, reducing food waste, as well as widening access to education and empowering women.
The Call background and objectives included:
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. However, women remain largely underrepresented in deep tech.
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.
For every woman that does not have the opportunity to launch and lead a tech company, Europe loses out not only on talent and diversity, but also can also result in missed opportunities for economic growth.
The new Women TechEU programme addresses this innovation gender gap by supporting women-led deep tech start-ups at the early, riskiest stage of companies. With this scheme the EU seeks to help increase the number of women-led start-ups and create a fairer and more prosperous European deep-tech ecosystem.
The Commission is planning a second call for the Women TechEU programme in 2022. The budget will be increased to €10 million, which will fund roughly 130 companies (up from 50 this year). The call will be launched in 2022.
For further information, please contact us.