EIT Food, EIT manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility
join forces on SUPERNOVAS to bring more women into
the entrepreneurship ecosystem.


Supernovas is a programme that aspires to promote an ecosystem with more women acting as problem-solvers in high-tech & deep-tech environments, more women entrepreneurs growing and getting funded and more women becoming active and lead investors in innovation, and hence shaping the innovations available in the market.

We want to do this using a transversal approach that focuses on:

  • Awareness-raising
  • Capacity building
  • Connecting present and future women leading the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

It also articulates a support system for women to enter and scale positions in the ecosystem, while at the same time, opening up the scope of roles that need to be more populated with women. All in all, we want to help participants in this programme to gather financial support, provide them with information and education recommendations and create networking opportunities.

Why Supernovas? Unleashing women's potential

SUPERNOVAS proposes activities that seek to unleash the potential of women, in order to break barriers and increase the presence of women in the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. This is important because:

  • Women-led startups amount to 30% at best within EU countries, their presence is lower in deep-tech startups, and it can be considered rare in certain economic sectors, such as some of those covered by partners in this programme.
  • Data shows that only 15% of innovative start-ups are founded or co-founded by women, and a mere 6% have all-women founding teams.
  • Women-led businesses raise less venture capital than their male-only counterparts, including at the vital early-stage investments and the amounts that they raise tend to be lower. Across Europe only around 5% of venture capital goes to mixed teams and only 2% to all-female teams.
  • Women are less likely to be employed as scientists and engineers (41%) and are under-represented among self-employed professionals in science and engineering and ICT occupations (25%).
  • Investors face increasing complexity to pick the ventures that will shape innovation reaching to the market in coming years; sustainability goals, the rise of exponential technologies, and new society needs require broader analysis capabilities and perspectives.
  • There are not many female role models or mentors that can guide young women on navigating and ultimately overcoming the barriers they face in the STEAM sector.

Supernovas Startup-Stairway

The Startup Stairway activity is designed to foster female activity as entrepreneurs by exposing them to startup experience early in their careers. The project aims to identify startups and scaleups from high-tech or deep-tech fields and matching them with young women from STEAM careers. Furthermore, when appropriate, it will co-fund the placement.

How we do it?

We are are offering 60 internships, for young women from science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) careers to support their first (or second) job in a start-up. Sixty participants (a minimum of 50 % from RIS countries or regions) will be selected to undertake an internship, for at least 3 months in high-tech & deep tech start-ups. This will focus in increasing their presence in start-ups deemed as deep tech where women’s presence is lower. 

We offer:

  • To young women from STEAM careers the professional experience to work at start-ups or scale-ups deemed as high & deep-tech.
  • To start-ups / scale-ups a unique environment to select future employees to bring a wider scope to their teams, women with top resumés and academic performance who have a STEAM background.

Who can apply?

  1. Students in STEAM careers:
  • Last year degree students.
  • MSc/PhD students and recent graduates from EIT labelled and non-labelled programmes.
  • Up to 5 years after completing their studies.
  • Genuinely interested in start-ups and entrepreneurship.
  • With European citizenship.

We specially welcome participants:

  • From outside the main entrepreneurial hubs and big cities.
  • Located in RIS countries.
  • From underrepresented minorities. 
  1. Innovative tech start-ups and scale-ups:
  • Seeking new hires for their technical and scientific teams.
  • Committed to improve the gender – balance of their teams.
  • Offering paid internships in STEAM related positions, for at least 3 months.  Co-funding will be offered to those promising start-ups with less financial capacity to recruit.
  • Willing to engage with the programme as Ambassadors.

Rocket Up

Rocket-up is a 3 month programme that supports innovative female-led ventures who wants to internationalize, by providing tailored mentoring and connecting them with leading corporate partners and cities of EIT communities. The goal of the Programme is to successfully support entrepreneurs to entry a new European market with a solid strategy and local validation of the product and service

How we do it?

We scout and identify industry experts that can fulfil the needs of the selected start-ups, with the aim of helping the team access new markets, providing expert advice on the new ecosystem, connections to potential customers and soft-landing resources.

This is done through 3 mechanisms:

  1. An internationalization squad: handpicked local experts that provide tailor-made mentoring sessions.
  2. Organized mission: coordinating a full day of visits and meetings in the target market with potential stakeholders
  3. Group training: online role model speakers and workshops on internationalization topics.


  • Tailored and individual mentoring for a new market entry
  • Organized mission to target city
  • Online group events & connection with other entrepreneurial women
  • Access to the EIT network and financial opportunities
  • Visibility through EIT communication channels

Who can apply?

We welcome all companies that, at the submission stage, identifiy with the following:

  • Start-up in Urban Mobility, Food or Manufacturing
  • Female-led, which means:
    • The CEO is a woman
    • >50% of the founding members are women
    • >50% of the capital is held by a women (before dilution)
  • Product-market-fit
    • The start-up has successfully identified your target customer, launched an operational product and are creating retention.

    Based in EU

    Wanting to internationalize

    • The start-up has the ambition of strong growth; has as next milestone to scale the business across borders.


Women2Invest is an access and training activity aimed at:

  1. Helping women start their careers in venture investment
  2. Giving investors access to a pool of promising women that will add diversity to their investment teams.

Women to Invest in a nutshell

  • Identification and selection of a pool of participants with STEAM degrees and no previous investment education or experience
  • Training: fundamentals of investment through a combination of masterclasses by top-notch practitioners, simulation of investment processes and role play (more detail here). Powered by Diversity VC Iberia.
  • Mentoring and networking with seasoned investment professionals
  • Investment experience: a paid investment internship or job with a Venture Capital fund,  Corporate Venture Capital fund or Corporate Venturing unit.

How we do it?

  • Masterclasses
  • 8 week paid internships
  • Investment panel
  • Finance deep dive
  • Mentoring during internship

Who can apply?

  •  STEAM graduates
  • With initiative, curiosity and a genuine interest in the venture capital industry / investment in startups:
  • All participants must hold an EU passport. We welcome participants from RIS countries and/or outside the main entrepreneurial hubs and big cities

Check all the details here

Which type of investors are we looking for?

  • Venture Capital funds, Corporate Venture Capital funds and Corporate Venturing units:
    • Seeking new hires and committed to improve the gender-balance of their investment teams.
    • Offering paid internships in investment related positions for at least 2 months (as long as funds identify suitable candidates within the pool).
    • Committing to pay at least the minimum wage of their country.
    • Agreeing to allow candidates to combine training and internship (if coinciding).

You can find more details here (T&Cs document).

Interested? Please register your interest here

Mentoring for women leaders

As part of our ongoing efforts in the field, EIT has partnered with the European Innovation Council (EIC) to create synergies between their powerful entrepreneurship communities and enhance the participation of EIT alumni in the EIC Women Leadership Programme. 

The programme offers EIT community women access to a broad network, mentoring, coaching and training opportunities to take their managerial and leadership skills to the next level. Selected participants will be matched with mentor and experts to boost their potencial and expand the opportunities to engage with peers and key stakelholders for their development. 

The services if the programme will be offered jointly by EIC and EIT and are open to women leading startups and research teams.

The team

Ana Alcaine
Entrepreneurship Project ManagerEIT Food South

Blanca Chocarro
Project Manager
Water Scarcity
& Circular Economy
EIT Manufacturing

Natalia Mendez
Cross-KIC Project Manager CLC WestEIT Manufacturing

Celeste Reglá
Business Creation Project OfficerEIT Urban Mobility