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Call for tech-startups that are led by women

In the context of the Digital4Her event, the European Commission is opening a call for EU startups that are led by women. While the event makes part of the "Women in Digital" initiative, launched by the Commissioner Mariya Gabriel for encouraging a more active role of women in the digital age, this call is specifically addressed to women entrepreneurs that bring new ideas to the tech market.

"Digital4Her" is a one day conference event, aimed to bring together policy-makers, university students, women entrepreneurs, investors and anyone interested in the benefits of gender equality in the digital sector.

We are looking for 10 women led tech-startups, that are currently on a growing phase, to pitch in front of a jury formed by investors and startup programme representatives.

Selection process

The eligibility criteria for the startups are the following:

  • owned or co-owned by a woman
  • registered in an EU country
  • bringing an innovative business related to the digital  (e.g. IoT, fin-tech, HPC, blockchain, AI, cyber-security, e-health)

Eligible startups will be scored based on the following selection criteria:

  • investments and awards received
  • growing phase (market size for their digital product/service and current financial results)
  • plan for scale (new markets planned for expansion, budget forecast)
  • geographical balance (only one startup per country is to be selected)

The top 10 startups will be invited to pitch on 19 June 2018 in Brussels.

Prizes to be awarded

The selected startups will compete for the following prizes:

1 place in the Mind the Bridge Startup School in San Francisco

The school is a 4-week program (3 weeks of hands-on activities in San Francisco plus 1 week in London), operating with worldwide corporate clients interested in startup technology. Startups coming from Kuwait, Bahrain, US and Europe have already been confirmed for participating in the school. This prize will be awarded to the project that will be at the most advanced phase of its growth.

1 week of Soft-Landing Stay in a chosen destination that matches the scaling plans of the startup

Soft-Landing is a project aimed to connect startup ecosystems and facilitate their growth. With 4 partner hubs in Berlin, Paris, Vilnius and Zoetermeer as well as 2 sub-partner hubs in US and India, Soft-Landing gives startups and scaleups the chance to receive 1-week of professional support and 3 weeks of follow-up guidance (optional). The Soft-Landing stays allow the startups explore their possible future markets, get mentorship and business scaling support, and build long-lasting connections.

1 investment sparring session with the Nordic Angel Program

Nordic Angel Program is a consortium of startup investors and business angels from Finland, Denmark, Norway and Estonia. A private online dealroom will be created for the winner in Startup Includer, where they will receive feedback about their growth plans, guidance to access the Nordic market and a potential investment from the region.This prize will be offered to the startup who is curently fundraising for a seed round and has a global potential/ambition.

2 tickets for the PODIM Conference 2019

PODIM is the biggest and most influential startup conference in the European Adriatic & Balkans. It is the only event that annually gathers the most brilliant startup stakeholders from these regions in one place and connects them to the global ecosystem. The conference brings together 800+ brilliant startups, investors and other stakeholders with global minds and leaders. PODIM also serves as an effective platform for investing in the most promising startups of the region, bridging the global and regional startup ecosystems with a massive impact in the European Adriatic & Western Balkans.

2 tickets to the Tech Startup Day 2019

Tech Startup Day is Belgium's leading startup conference that brings all the key players in the Belgian startup ecosystem to the heart of Brussels and enables startups, investors and corporations to connect and launch new ventures. During the last 2 editions this conference also welcomed several delegations from other European countries to exchange best practices.

1 Europass ticket

A ticket to one of the top European innovation and tech startup conferences and events, will be offered. This ticket comes along with a chance to meet investors, mentors, potential clients and other startups. The choice of the event should be based on the needs of the selected startup.

More information about the project and the forthcoming Europass activities can be found here.

1 Global Google for Entrepreneurs Passport and Launchpad Accelerator

Exclusive 1-year access to all Google Campus and 25 Google-supported startup community spaces around the world, including San Francisco, London, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Dublin, Madrid, Paris, and Amsterdam plus Google accelerator programmeLaunchpad  mentorship with additional training and network opportunities. Last year, over 500 startups used the passport to meet new investors, hire talent, and explore new markets.

1 Google Launchpad Mentorship

A 1-year global acceleration programme with dedicated support, featuring virtual and bi-monthly face-to-face Google mentorship from Google’s launchpad programme with training and network opportunities.

Note: For all the prizes, the winners will be required to cover their own travel & accommodation costs.


The application process will be open from 15 May 2018 to 29 May 2018, 11:59 pm CET.

The 10 selected startups will be contacted via e-mail by 31 May 2018. Please note that only the selected startups will be contacted.

Transportation costs  and accommodation costs (with a ceiling of 100 Euros per day) linked to the participation in the event will be covered by the organisers.

Applications were open from 15 to 29 May 2018.

See a list of the 10 selected startups.

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