Open Call & Programme Plan

Open Call &
Programme Plan


1. Open Calls

08.01.24-08.03.24 – for applicants
22.01.24-22.02.24 – for evaluators

2. Evaluation of the applications

February – May 2024

Before entering the acceleration program, the applicants will go through a 3-step evaluation process:

3. Selected Startups

4. Acceleration Programme

May – October 2024

Programme Description:

What is the Opportunity?

This unique EmpoWomen Accelerator offers a 6-month programme of dedicated intensive support to the selected group of women deep tech entrepreneurs, with a view to enabling them to significantly boost their business growth and increase their potential to access investment.

The EmpoWomen Accelerator Programme is delivered by two leading European players:

  • StartUp Wise Guys (SWG), one of the top 5 accelerators according to European top tier VCs (as ranked by Sifted in December 2022) that focuses on entrepreneurs in underserved markets and fast tracks their growth, and  
  • Business Angels Europe (BAE), mobilising the investment potential of national angel investment communities from East to West of Europe, bringing access to investment from the most experienced  European angel groups to back growth-potential entrepreneurs from start up to scale up.     

What does the EmpoWomen Accelerator Programme offer?

The EmpoWomen Accelerator programme has two 3-month phases:

Accelerator Phase 1: Months 1-3: Building and Growing Your DeepTech Business 

Delivered by StartUp Wise Guys (SWG) , enables the selected cohort of Women entrepreneurs to experience an intensive programme, focused on addressing key growth challenges in building their business and tailored to their personal goals. Support will be delivered through a programme of online webinar sessions and pre-recorded materials, delivered by experts in business, industry and deep technologies. This will be accompanied by access to one on one expert mentoring sessions offered throughout the programme. 

Through a series of weekly modules, participants will work through key business growth areas including:  

Your core Business Purpose and Values 

  • Refining your mission, vision, and culture 
  • Identifying  the key steps for growth journey 
  • Establishing your own personal goals and KPIs 

Product Execution and Sales

  • Establishing your Product Market fit 
  • Ensuring an effective commercialisation and sales strategy 

Technology Product development and effective planning

  • Ensuring the deep tech product or service is unique and innovative and addresses the needs of your customers and market customers.
  • How to build a defensible competitive position in the market

Focus and Execution: 

  • How to stay on top of the game and push your business to the next level
  • How to be resilient and address the next crisis.

Sales and Team Basics

  • Sales, marketing, and branding; 
  • Sales funnel: who and how to reach out
  • Building your team and skill set
  • Developing your leadership skills 

Developing your Funding Strategy and understanding your options

  • Preparing your business to engage with investors
  • Identifying your investment needs and options 
  • Understanding the basic legal and commercial aspects of fundraising  

 One-on-One Mentoring

Each participant will also have direct access to monthly individual mentoring sessions throughout the 6-month Accelerator programme. This will be provided by individual experts who will be matched to the entrepreneurs and tailored to the technology and sector focus and will enable the women entrepreneurs to focus on their own business goals and identified challenges and needs. The mentors will be those who understand the challenges of successfully building, growing, and funding a tech business. 

Reviewing your Progress: At the end of Phase 1 of the Accelerator programme, there will be a Progress Review Day, where women entrepreneurs will have an in-depth review of their progress in achieving their business objectives (KPIs). This will be carried out by SWG, together with BAE and provide valuable feedback and key insights for the next phase of the Acceleration programme. 

Phase 2: Months 4-6: Ensuring your Deep Tech Business is Ready for Investment 

This second phase of the Accelerator programme enables the cohort of women entrepreneurs to gain an in-depth understanding of the whole investment process, addressing any challenges and barriers for women entrepreneurs when seeking investment and looking at the specific requirements for attracting investment for a Deep tech business and relevant to their specific sector or market, combined with direct engagement with investors. 

This will be provided by Business Angels Europe, delivered by experienced Angel and early stage investors in deep tech and relevant industry sectors. This phase of the programme also offers opportunities for direct engagement with experienced investors in Deep tech and the BAE Club of Leading Angel Investment groups across Europe, including the potential to showcase at relevant investor events. The three-month programme, delivered in weekly online webinar sessions will cover the following:

Developing your Funding Strategy and Creating an attractive Deep Tech Investment proposal 

These sessions will be designed to enable women deep tech entrepreneurs to understand the critical aspects of creating their funding strategy, identify when and why they need funding, the different sources available, and how to strategize their approach to secure investment. 

  • Understanding the Investment Market and equity supply chain -what finance is right for your business
  • What are Business Angels, angel syndicates and their added value
  • Identifying your funding strategy from Angel to Scale-up
  • How to use Convertible Loans and ASAs and SAFE
  • What Investors are looking for in a Deep tech business and how to develop an attractive investment proposal to address the needs of investors. 
  • Your Toolkit to Attract Investors

Making a Winning Pitch, effective Negotiations and the Due Diligence process 

These sessions will be aimed at mastering the art of pitching and understanding the intricacies of business valuation, due diligence and negotiation with investors 

  • Mastering the art of pitching and understanding what investors look for 
  • How to effectively engage with investors after the pitch
  • Preparing for Due Diligence ; scope and purpose and how to respond to investors needs 
  • Understanding how to value your business – art or science?
  • How to negotiate and understand what investors require.

Closing the Deal, Navigating the legal process; Getting the most from your investors post-deal

These sessions are designed to take the entrepreneurs through the challenges of finalizing the deal, understanding the legal processes and documents and ensuring that they are well-positioned to make the most of their investors post-deal.

  • Understanding the key elements of the Term Sheet and finalizing the deal
  • Legal processes – understanding the core documents 
  • Understanding the Cap table Closing the deal
  • What can go wrong and when to walk away
  • Making the most of your investors post investment and gaining added value

5. Final Demo Day Presentation

November 2024

The Finale to the Accelerator Programme will be a Demo Day at which the cohort of Women entrepreneurs will each present their business to an audience of invited investors with deep tech expertise and experience from across relevant industries and sectors. 

The Pitch presentations offer the opportunity for attracting investor interest and gaining direct feedback, one one-on-one interactions with investors and establishing the potential for further follow-up meetings.



1. Open Call

December 2024

2. Evaluation of the applications

February – March 2025

3. Acceleration programme

April – September 2025

4. Final Demo Day Presentation

October 2025