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€37M raised by Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp alumni

7th March 2024

This International Women’s Day we are celebrating the work of our Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp alumni whose innovative health start-ups have collectively raised €37M in funds since 2021.

Statistically speaking, female entrepreneurs find it more difficult to raise money, and when they do, their start-ups have a lower cap value, even though female-led and mixed-gender teams outperform compared to their all-male start-up counterparts.[1]

The challenges women-led start-ups face

The fourth, and most recent, edition of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and SISTA barometer on gender parity for start-up creation and funding concluded that women are still under represented in start-ups and the situation deteriorates along their journey.

  • < 1 in 4 start-ups created includes a woman as founder
  • < 20% of the money raised goes to a founding team that includes a woman
  • The average amount raised by women-only teams compared to men-only teams is 4 x lower
  • Only 2 women-only start-ups raised over €50M compared to 215 male-led start-ups

Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

EIT Health’s Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (WEB) is an online programme for women-led and co-led start-ups that provides intensive training, mentoring, and networking opportunities, helping them to grow and become investment-ready.

A key element of the Bootcamp is access to a mentor network, a multi-disciplinary team of experts and inspirational entrepreneurs, drawn from the Women Entrepreneurship Health alumni, EIT Health Mentoring and Coaching Network, and EIT Health Partner’s network and team, to help participants frame their ambition to support rapid growth.

The Bootcamp’s main aim is to improve the quality of start-ups by focusing on increased diversity because:

  • Start-ups with diversity in founding teams perform better.
  • Women bring a different perspective and insight to companies, which is critical for their success.
  • Women create products differently, thinking about target customers differently.
  • Women solve problems differently which creates a more robust outcome.

However, the programme is not only about inclusion, but also about strengthening competitive advantages in start-ups. By helping hone participants’ business strategy and connecting them with the right experts, the programme helps women-led start-ups attract investment more easily.

Success stories

2021 WEB alumni, Maria Postigo, is COO and Co-Founder of SpotLab, a start-up bringing to market a fully integrated mobile platform which uses AI to digitalise and analyse images and other medical data for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of patients. The start-up’s expertise is focused on haematological and infectious diseases, with international partnerships such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations and GlaxoSmithKlein, and deployments in Europe, LATAM and Africa. Of her time on the Bootcamp, Maria said: “It’s been an exceptional Bootcamp. With key lessons to deepen our understanding of the health sector, and to empower our tools as entrepreneurs. An occasion to expand personal and professional networks at the international level. With brilliant entrepreneurs, and relevant mentors and stakeholders within the health-tech sector.”

Apply to Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2024

Applications for the 2024 Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp close on 25 March 2024. We’re looking for committed, driven and ambitious early-stage start-ups that are:

  • Women-led or co-founded, with a woman in the C-suite management team; male co-founders are highly encouraged to participate.
  • Focused on any medical technology, such as medical devices, digital health, and biotechnology services – excluding therapeutics.
  • Greater than TRL 4 or equivalent.
  • Be incorporated and registered in a Horizon Europe country.

If you want to skyrocket your women-led or co-led healthcare start-up to new heights, start your application now.

Learn more about the Women Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.

[1] Women are under-represented in the European Startup Ecosystem (no date) BCG Global. Available at: https://www.bcg.com/press/13june2023-women-are-under-represented-in-the-european-startup-ecosystem (Accessed: 07 March 2024).

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