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Story 01 July 2024

Open Call – EIC Women Leadership Programme (6th cohort): Elevating women leadership


In partnership with the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) and as part of the EIC Business Acceleration Services, the European Innovation Council (EIC) is pleased to announce the launch of the 6th cohort of the EIC Women Leadership Programme (EIC WLP). Building on the success from the previous editions, this cohort, running from September to November 2024, will offer EIC and EIT women leaders the tools and support to enhance their leadership and entrepreneurship skills. 

The EIC WLP supports, inspires, and empowers women innovators. This cohort will provide the selected leaders with a set of training and networking events, as well as business coaching and mentoring opportunities for career and business development. 


If you would like to boost up your leadership and entrepreneurial skills, apply until 5 August 2024, EOD! 

Got your attention?  


Key components of the programme  

  1. Training Sessions: deep diving into a variety of leadership and entrepreneurial topics  

  1. Networking Events: expanding your contacts into the business world  

  1. Coaching Scheme: addressing your business challenges  

  1. Mentoring Scheme: unlocking your personal career development  

Before applying, please check the timeline of the EIC WLP activities below to ensure your availability.  


Timeline of events 

1 July 2024  

Open Call for Applications 

5 August 2024 (EOD) 

Application deadline  

5 September 2024   

Confirmation of participation      

18 September 2024 

Introductory workshop, online 

24-25 September 2024 

Kick-off days in person in Turin, Italy* 

Optional: Attend the Italian Tech Week from 25-27 September. While this event is organized independently, we highly encourage you to seize this opportunity. Admission to the conference is free. 

September - November 2024 

Training sessions and networking activities, online 

*Please kindly note that the EIC or EIT will not cover your travel & logistic expenses to attend the in-person event.  


Eligibility criteria  

The 6th cohort of the EIC Women Leadership Programme is dedicated exclusively to leaders who are in a founding team and/or chief positions (CEOs or other C-suite managers) of companies, established at least 2 years before the call deadline, and awarded or supported under the following EIC or EIT schemes: 

  • SME Instrument Phase I and Phase II,  

  • EIC Transition, 

  • EIC Pathfinder,  

  • EIC Accelerator, 

  • Seal of Excellence under Horizon Europe,  

  • Women TechEU and  

  • EIT Programmes (all KICs). 

We are looking forward to welcoming you into our community of women innovators and providing you with the programme services taking your business career into the next level. 


Need help? 

If you have any questions, please contact us through the EIC Community’s contact page by choosing the 'EIC Women Leadership Programme' category, or visit our ​​Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).


What our alumni say about the programme? 

Megi Mejdrechova, CTO and Co-founder of Robotwin, reported:   

Developing a startup involves numerous challenges beyond technical skills.The programme has been instrumental in honing my leadership and people management skills. The individual coaching sessions were particularly beneficial, allowing me to reflect deeply on the training topics. This programme isn't just about acquiring skills; it's about gaining confidence and realizing that you're not alone on this journey. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to enhance their leadership capabilities.

Nastassia Knödlseder, a postdoctoral researcher at the University Pompeu Fabra, shares a similar sentiment. 

The training sessions, especially on time management and leadership styles, have been eye-opening. Understanding how to guide my team effectively and get the best out of everyone has been invaluable. Connecting with other innovators facing similar challenges has reinforced the importance of this programme. It's a must for anyone wanting to bridge the gap between academia and leadership. 


Additional Information about the EIC Women Leadership Programme 

Involvement of women in advanced technology sectors is crucial not only for equitable representation but also to fully harness Europe’s capabilities in science and business. The EIC Business Acceleration Services (BAS) amplify the impact of EIC investments. With the EIC Women Leadership Program, the EIC aims to level the playing field in scalable businesses and mindsets by unlocking potential and breaking down barriers to success. Established as a pilot in 2021, the WLP has so far provided skills enhancement and networking support to 5 cohorts of more than 200 women researchers and entrepreneurs from the EIC Community and beyond. Besides dedicated trainings, the programme features individual coaching, mentoring and pitching activities as well as different outreach initiatives to raise awareness and showcase women researchers and entrepreneurs as role models.  

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interest of knowledge sharing and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission, or any other organisation.

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