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We have re-examined our deep tech map to determine the percentage of female founders and executives in the deep tech industry. What do they do to help the business thrive? This is so we can get a clearer picture of how many Polish women work in STEM fields. Some of what we found is as follows:

  • Women make up at least 26% of the founding team or C-suite in deep tech. It’s the same number as startups outside of the deep tech industry.
  • Between 2018 and 2023, the percentage of deep tech startups led by women climbed by 50%.
  • Several firms founded by women have successfully secured 78 rounds of funding, totaling €406,6M from venture capitalists, government agencies, and other sources. That’s 33% of all funding raised by CEE deep tech startups over the past decade. Although when we remove ICEYE mega-rounds it drops to around 10%.

In addition to the impressive statistics on those deep tech startups in Poland, it’s important to highlight some of the individual stories behind these groundbreaking companies. As an example, consider those less known examples:

  • Magdalena Jander, a serial entrepreneur who has contributed significantly to the creation of innovative healthcare technologies
  • Solhotait, a firm that’s not only run by women but is also owned entirely by women, demonstrating how a more equitable distribution of power can spur more creativity and growth.
  • Susan Repo, the CFO behind ICEYE, a satellite imaging startup that has raised over $152 million in funding to date.

These pioneering women are just a small sample of the many who have paved the way in the deep tech industry, and their stories are a reminder of the extraordinary ability and perseverance that propels innovation.

Important investment for companies created or led by women:

  1. ICEYE – €129m SERIES D – Feb 2022*
  2. Hero Electrics – €27m SERIES B – Jul 2021*
  3. Napiferyn – €2.5m SEED – Feb 2023
  4. Poltreg – €2.5m GRANT – Jul 2018
  5. Syntoil – €2.5m GRANT – May 2020
  6. Ecopolplast – €2.5m GRANT – Mar 2022
  7. Uvera – €2.5m GRANT – May 2020
  8. Stethome – $2.5m SERIES A – Jul 202
  9. SDS Optics – €2.3m SERIES A – Sep 2021*
  10. Genomtec – €2m GRANT – Jan 2019

*We’ve chosen the largest round in that period for those startups

Some of the ways in which they are contributing are as follows:

  • Creating enterprises: In Poland, several of those startups are making a significant effect in the industry. When it comes to starting businesses, women are more commonly starting Next Gen Healthtech and Advanced Materials startups.
  • Leading scientific discoveries: Scientific discoveries are at the heart of deep tech, and many of them are led by women – 48% of founders are technical.
  • Occupying business C-suite positions: There is no deep tech without business acumen, and the majority of C-suite executives considered push companies in the areas of business development, finance and marketing – a bit over 1 in 2 women in deep tech is responsible for that

These are not part of our data set because maintaining consistency would be impossible, but they deserve recognition anyway:

  • Research and development (R&D) contributions: women lead or participate in a number of labs and subprojects within teams highlighted in our maps. They are present in almost every Scientific Council we have researched. They develop deep tech solutions in fields such as advanced materials, biotechnology, photonics, and electronics and are making important contributions to the field.

In conclusion, the numbers are clear: women in Poland’s deep tech industry are making important contributions. The amazing talent, tenacity, and invention of women in tech are reflected in the fact that one in four deep tech startups in the country is led by a woman founder or CXO, according to recent figures. These women are having a profound effect on the technological landscape, not only in Poland but internationally, by producing innovative medical gadgets, revolutionary materials platforms, and solar technologies.

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About Aper Ventures

The fund supports deeptech and hardware startups that demonstrate proven competitive advantages and significant global potential. Originally, the team has managed founded in 2014 as a 100 million PLN Meta Ventures, investing in more than 20 entities. As of 2019, it makes investments primarily under Aper Ventures with support of network from Aper Angels. The value of its assets under management is around 130 million PLN, of which only since 2019 the fund has invested 50 million PLN. It has three companies in its portfolio: The Batteries, Apeiron Synthesis and Reef Factory.

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