Empowering female founders across Europe
Advocating for a more gender-balanced world
Female entrepreneurs are a huge untapped potential of world economy. Still, only less than 3% of VC capital is going to female-founded startups.
Our work and impact
To date, WSC has completed 7 years of program, and cumulatively supported 700+ female founded early-stage startups in 10 countries.
Through our events, we act as a catalyst to build a supportive ecosystem, we empower women with skills, visibility and important connections.
Our signature program
European pitching competition series with a London Final event
European Pitching Competition Roadshow
9 countries, 250+ female-founded startups in 2019
Each year we engage with and help hundreds of female entrepreneurs across Europe. Chapter pitching events in European countries then a London Final event for best startups from each country. Our program is designed in a way to give tangible support to founders tailor-made to early-stage needs: brand exposure, free mentoring sessions with senior professionals from diverse backgrounds/industries inviting investors and media to our local events, so involving all stakeholders. Giving prizes through our sponsors (products and/or services).
The series finishes with a 2-day London Final Event: Final Demo Day and a second day with 1:1 investor meetings and exciting speakers.
All program elements aimed to give female founders access to improve their skills, build corporate connections and network with investors, plus gain brand exposure.
Application process and program
Visit back for the 2020 program or sign up for to get the latest updates!
Find all the local events here: http://www.womenstartupcompetition.com/#events
Application process and Program:
1. Announcing local pitching events/dates
2. Online application
3. Shortlist selection (10-12 teams) by a panel of experts, inviting teams to the pitching event
4. Free mentoring sessions for shortlisted teams with senior professionals from diverse backgrounds
5. Local pitching to a panel of jury, inviting local investors and media (public event, anyone welcome).
6. 2-day London Final event for 1st place winners from each country, Final Pitching announcing "Best female-founded startup" 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, plus a second day with 1:1 investor meetings for all finalists (travel costs are covered by WSC a prize for finalists)
Application rules, categories
Startups with majority of women, from any industries
The pitching competition is not limited to any industries.
One requirement is that the applicant must be a startup led by female CEO or female-founded/co-founded or Women's share 50% of ownership or the team members has to be women (50%<) an equal gender diversity representation (50%-50%) within the entrepreneurial team or must identify as women in a way that’s significant to them.
Second requirement is that the startup should be at least at MVP phase or very close to launch, so something tangible to show.
Our competition is not limited to any industries, however we might have specific sub-categories as part of the competition in collaboration with sponsors or big corporates. In 2019, besides the general pitching roadshow we had a beauty accelerator program in partnership with global beauty company AVON.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are currently redesigning our 2020 activities.
Pls. sign up for our mailing list or visit back later to get the latest updates.
Contributing to social change in local countries
What is Women Startup Competition?
WSC (Women Startup Competition) is the biggest event of its kind in Europe, where the ratio of female-founded startups is below 27%, and women investors represent as low as 7% of the funding scene. We invite gender-diverse startups (min. 50% has to be owned by women) from all over Europe to inspire, educate and unite female entrepreneurs, and to increase the aforementioned ratios.
The aim of Women Startup Competition is to grow the presence of women in business, therefore we provide trainings and opportunities for more and more gender-diverse startups. We wish to grow Women Startup Competition worldwide and resupply the startup ecosystem with fresh projects and creative talent.
Who can apply?
Startups with a majority of females amongst its founders/co-founders may apply, along with female founded startups, or where 50% of the ownership belongs to women, or where at least 50% of the members are women, or where an equal gender diversity representation (50%-50%) can be found within the entrepreneurial team.
What is the application deadline?
Application closes one week before each semifinal.
How are the events built up?
Startups can apply to pitch at one of our semifinal events around Europe. After the maximum 1,5-day long mini Bootcamp, after Our Jury chooses the top-ranked teams from the semifinal winners.
How do you know that you were selected to attend the semifinal?
We will inform you on F6s.com that the system will also send out to your email address. Please check the promotions and spam folders as well.
Is it required to participate in a semifinal before the final event?
Who can pitch at the semifinal and final?
Any female member who can represent the startup properly.
How much time do you have to pitch?
Your presentation consists of a 2 minute-long pitch and a 4 minute Q & A, where you will be asked questions about your project.
Can another team member join the pitcher at the Q & A?
Yes, any member.
In which languages can you pitch?
English is the official language of our events. Therefore we use this language at all of our trainings, mentoring and require the pitches to be presented in English as well.
What should your presentation include?
In most cases, the presentation should include: the problem, the solution, the business model, the method of spreading it in the market, the competitors, your team and what you need for the next step.
Can you check the pitches of the previous years?
From which stage can you enter the competition?
You can register at any stage. The jury will select startups with best ideas and where the team is already established.
Do you need a confirmation before coming to participate in the semifinal and final?
Yes, you will receive an official confirmation and invitation via F6s.com.
What platforms can you use for your pitch deck?
Any platform you prefer (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, ...). Keep in mind that you should send us the presentation in advance, so our mentors can prepare appropriately to help you in making it even better.
What materials should your presentation include?
Any material can be used that may help you in presenting your idea in 2 minutes - presentation, short video, tangible product, etc.
Does the startup need to be established?
No, but it can be an advantage when it comes to investors’ and sponsors’ support.
Is the higher percentage of women members an advantage?
No, our only aim is a balanced gender diversity.
If there will be no semifinal in your country, can you enter another country’s?
Sure, you can choose any semifinal to participate in.
Who will be in the jury?
International and local startup geeks, venture capitalists, angel investors, innovation lab leaders of top companies.
Is there a possibility to watch the pitches in person?
We are looking forward to welcoming anybody in our audience.
What prizes do the winners get?
Our aim is to provide valuable, necessary devices, useful gadgets and services for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd team which can help them in their everyday lives and growing.
In the previous years, the prizes were: a Macbook Air, an Apple iPad, a Chinese investor program, European coworking passes, Timeular time trackers, etc.
Besides these, one other startup receives the so called Crowdfunding prize which is collected by donations.
Last but not least, all our winners and the majority of our finalists received investment after the Demo Day.