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Supernovas – EIT's response to the lack of women in startups

EIT community has launched the Supernovas programme, which is made up of a variety of activities that aim to reduce the gender gap in entrepreneurship and the investment ecosystem.
Supernovas – EIT's response to the lack of women in startups

With only 2% of VC funding going to female-founded teams, and women making up just 13% of venture capital partners, women are undeniably underrepresented in the world of startups. 

While the situation may seem dire, not everyone is sitting on their hands. Notably, the EIT community has launched the Supernovas programme, which is made up of a variety of activities that aim to reduce the gender gap in entrepreneurship and the investment ecosystem. The programme aims to attract women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) and women investors, and to connect them to form synergies and support networks.

The programme was launched in 2022, and has been building out its scope ever since. It is now made up of five projects, each with a specific goal in mind. Women in the entrepreneurship and investment spaces are encouraged to take a look at the projects and join where relevant. The programme can be divided in two by interest, for women in investment, and those in entrepreneurship, each with their specialized projects.

For women in the VC space

In an effort to make the investment industry more accessible to women, EIT has spearheaded a variety of programs. In just two editions of the Supernovas program, over 200 women have received training to become angel investors, to join venture capital funds and to seek further achievements as investors. 

Women Investment Network

The Women Investment Network (WIN) is a place where female investors (both Venture Capital and Business Angels) meet to learn and grow professionally, access investment opportunities in female-led startups and expand their network.

The network is geared towards women who are VC investors, angel investors, or leaders of female-founded startups.

Data Room 

The Supernovas Data Room is made available to participants in the WIN. It is a dedicated platform that collects and analyses updated data on female-led startups supported by EIT.

In Europe, only 30% of all startups and 15% of all deeptech startups are led by women. The Data Room aims to make female-founded startups more visible and accessible to investors and to showcase hightech and deeptech female entrepreneurship.

The Data Room is aimed to support investors interested in sourcing deals and to support work by journalists and editors when reporting on women's entrepreneurship. Currently, the Deal Room has collected data from over 500 female-founded companies and over 1,300 funding rounds associated with them. 


Women2Invest is a training program aimed at supporting women in STEAM in launching their careers in venture investment.

As an industry with a notorious lack of entry-level positions, and even fewer of those going to women, the Women2Invest program not only provides training for women, but also internship and full-time placements with VC funds. In two editions of the Supernovas program, 20 interns have been placed in top European Venture Capital funds. 

“Increasing the presence of investors with STEAM backgrounds is key to bring gender lenses to investment decisions in startups who will shape the future. Likewise, it is essential that women bring the necessary diversity to ensure funded innovations reaching the market cater for the needs of a diverse world.” – EIT spokesperson

The program is aimed at recent STEAM graduates, undergraduates, or PhDs with interest in VC, startup, or corporate investment. EIT also works with venture capital firms that are interested in improving gender balance and diversity in their teams for better decision making.

Venture Capital Academy

Venture Capital Academy offers two different trainings for female venture capital professionals at junior and senior positions, addressing key topics in the investment process, professional development and career aspects.

  • Raising VC Stars: Female interns and analysts in Venture Capital with up to 3 years of experience in the VC industry
  • VC Forward: Female Associates or Principals with 4-10 years of experience in the VC industry

The Academy aims to provide women with continued education in order to equip them with the knowledge and tools to further their careers in the VC industry. The aim is to have more women in investment, as well as to help women take on more senior positions and demonstrate leadership and provide representation to others.

Business Angels Academy 

The Business Angels Academy provides training for new and experienced female business angels. The Academy aims to increase comfort and proficiency in various business angel-specific topics, ranging from dealflow and due diligence to negotiation, diversification, investment, and exits.

As a program aimed at women with any level of experience, all women with a passion for startups, innovation, and investment are welcome to participate.

For women entrepreneurs

Rocket Up

The Rocket Up programme is aimed at supporting women-led technological startups in their expansion across Europe. Participants are provided with support in selecting their European target markets, developing go-to-market strategies, introductions to stakeholders and potential partners, and a pan-European network to be leveraged.

Applications are currently open for the next Rocket Up batch. Women-led, early-stage startups are encouraged to apply until April 5th.

Women Leadership Programme

The Women Leadership Programme, geared towards female researchers and entrepreneurs, aims to support, inspire, and empower female leaders within the EIC and EIT ecosystems. They are open to founders and managers (including CEOs, CTOs, CFOs, COOs, CCOs, etc.), who want to strengthen their personal and professional skills and expand their network, as well as EIC female researchers looking to transition their research into business.

Selected entrepreneurs will receive a set of trainings and access to networking events, as well as business coaching and mentoring opportunities for career development.

Additionally, participants gain access to the Alumni group to maintain contacts and a support network throughout their careers.

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