Women TechEU 2024 – 2026 – an “in-depth” summary

Women TechEU 2024 – 2026 – an “in-depth” summary

After a year-long hiatus, Women TechEU is back!

During 2021 and 2022, the Women TechEU programme provided grants, mentoring and coaching, and dedicated networking opportunities to 184 promising female-led, deep-tech startups in Europe, including:


  • FeJuice (RS) – creating the first natural, scientifically proven, and side-effect free formula for anaemia treatment and prevention.
  • Teleatherapy (IE) – developing a therapeutic software that delivers remote speech therapy to individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
  • EcoSteer (IT) – offering a Data Ownership Platform to turn privacy laws from an obstacle to an opportunity.
  • Emoj (IT) – building proprietary motion capture algorithms to monitor worker ergonomics.
  • Kids Speech Labs (IE) – developing a remote tool for automated speech and language assessments of children and personalised interventions.

During these years, the Women TechEU programme was managed by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). The programme has now been reorganised as a cascade funding project and, throughout the years 2024 to 2026, it is now managed by an excellent consortium led by EIT Manufacturing and with participation from EIT Food, EIT Health, EIT Climate-KIC, Sploro, AwakenHub, AcrossLimits, EBAN, Finance Innovation, WA4STEAM, and AFAEMME.


The new Women TechEU programme will support leading deep-tech, female-led start-ups through the following two mechanisms:


1) A €75k fixed lump sum grant

Startups are free to decide which activities are required to accelerate the development, growth, and sustainability of the business. Examples include:


  • Business model upgrade
  • Update and consolidation of business plan and growth strategy
  • Business model validation
  • Update of financial plan
  • Certification
  • IP strategy and freedom to operate
  • Commercial plan
  • Market analysis
  • Customer validation and technical/clinical assessment
  • Finding partners and investors

2) A Programme of Services

Applicants can choose from the following business development services, that will be delivered over a period of 6 months:


  • Women mentors
  • Investor outreach and pitch preparation
  • Investor and Export Readiness Check
  • Soft Skills Training
  • Sales Strategy & Execution
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Corporate Access

In addition, applicants will gain access to the EIC Business Acceleration Services.


With a total of €12mn of grant funding available, Women TechEU expects to support 160 companies. The funding will be distributed equally across 4 calls, whereby each call will support 40 companies. Applications for the first call are now open until 20 May 2024, 17:00 (CEST) and can be submitted via the Sploro platform. The application consists of the following:


1) An online application form containing legal and contact information; questions covering the project’s impact, excellence, and implementation; an ethics self-assessment; and a declaration of honour.

2) A 3-minute video pitch.

3) An investor pitch deck.

4) CVs of the woman founder or co-founder and core team.


Two independent, external expert evaluators will assess the application; one with a technical background, and one with a commercial business background. The application will be evaluated based on the three criteria: impact, excellence, and implementation. Women TechEU will furthermore implement a selection criteria for participants that prioritise green, digital, and social transitions, and will support accepted applicants in defining a social innovation strategy. The Women TechEU project will also target less advanced innovation territories (widening areas).


Application evaluation results are expected to be communicated on 5 July 2024 and, if successful, projects are expected to commence on 16 September 2024 and last 6 months until 15 March 2025.


Importantly, before applying, applicants should make sure they are eligible as the programme has strict entry requirements. They are:


1) The applicant must be a female founder or co-founder of an early-stage, deep-tech start-up and hold a top management position (CEO, CTO or equivalent) in the company. At the time of submission, the women within the company must jointly own at least 25% of the shares.

2) The company must be registered and established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country for at least 6 months and a maximum of 8 years at the time of the submission date.

3) Have raised <€1M in equity funding and must be considered an SME (according to the EU definition).

4) Is deep-tech innovation, i.e. it aims to provide concrete solutions to societal problems by finding its source in a deep interaction with the most recent scientific and technological advances.

5) Have yet to reach a high fidelity MVP.

6) The activities have not been funded by another EU programme nor has the company previously received Women TechEU funding or similar.


Contact us to learn more about the Women TechEU programme.

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