Women Who Tech, one of the largest nonprofit organizations that funds and showcases women-led ventures, has opened the call for applications for the European-leg of its flagship Women Startup Challenge. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, the Office of the Mayor of Paris, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, 10 early-stage women-led startups with a focus on healthtech will be selected to compete for a $50,000 grant, equity-free, on October 7th at Paris City Hall, Hôtel de Ville.
The esteemed jury will be comprised of investors and global health leaders such as: Elena Fernandez-Kleinlein, Interim Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS EMEA, Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris, Eamonn Carey, Managing Director of Techstars London.
By 2040, the world will spend $25 trillion annually on healthcare – a 150% increase since 2014, according to the World Economic Forum. In an effort to accelerate healthtech innovation, the Women Startup Challenge Europe HealthTech aims to foster a culture and economy that increases funding for women founders who are developing solutions to the biggest health challenges.
Women Who Tech will deploy capital, resources, and mentoring to women-led healthtech startups that are working to improve lives and champion greater healthcare access by disrupting consumer health and wellness, grow the medical tech ecosystem, and bring innovative health solutions to people across the globe.
“Only 9.7% percent of investor funding goes to women-led healthtech startups. Put simply, progress for funding women-led startups is moving at a glacial pace. We need to change this narrative for good,” said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech. “Innovations that are literally saving lives are being left underfunded and we are on a mission to change the ratio.”
“We need investors to start funding more women-led healthtech startups. We can’t continue to solve healthcare problems around the world without engaging diverse backgrounds and experiences,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and a member of the Advisory Board for Women Who Tech.
“At Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, we deeply believe in the strength of community and diversity to empower innovation all over the world. 26% of JLABS companies have a woman lead, compared to less than 1% in life sciences industry. But there is more progress needed, especially in the areas of investment and fundraising. Therefore, supporting this challenge is an excellent way to move the needle in the right direction,” said Elena Fernandez-Kleinlein, Interim Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS EMEA.
Eligible startups in Europe and the US must have at least one woman founder or co-founder, and must have a presence in Europe. Criteria and submission details can be found at Women Startup Challenge Europe HealthTech 2019. Applications close August 1, 2019.