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Application FAQ
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

Emerging Tech Grants Program
Application Deadline: February 19

Where can I find all rules and criteria?
The rules and the criteria are outlined on the Reviewr site.

Does the amount of money I've raised impact my eligibility?
Any startup that has raised more than $5M USD from combined sources is not eligible to apply for the Women Who Tech Startup Grants Program.

What types of Emerging Tech startups can apply?
Your startup must fit within one of the following verticals: Agriculture or Food Tech, AI, AR, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, EdTech, Energy or Environmental Tech, FinTech, Future of Work, Hardware, HealthTech, IoT, Machine Learning, Robotics, SaaS, Space Tech, or Mobility or Transportation Tech, VR.

What stage startups can apply?
Your product must be in beta or already launched to the public. The only exception to this rule is for Ag Tech/Food Tech, Robotics, Mobility/Transportation, Space Tech, IoT, or Hardware startups who must either be in prototype phase, in beta, or already launched to the public. You may not apply if you are only in the concept stage.

​Note: A prototype is an initial model built to test your product; it is not just a design or a wireframe.

What if some of my information is confidential?
Please do not include any confidential information in your application if you do not feel comfortable. We will not publicly share any of your application, but it is shared with online jurors as they review your application.

If I applied to a previous Women Startup Challenge, can I apply again?
Prior applicants may apply again. Finalists who were not awarded a grant, and finalists of previous Women Startup Challenges, including the Podcast, are eligible to apply. If you were awarded a grant in a previous Grants Program, you are not eligible to re-apply.

Can nonprofits apply?
Yes, nonprofits may apply as long as you meet all criteria and rules outlined here.

How do you define “woman-led” startup?
You must be a women-led startup, defined as having at least one woman founder or co-founder on the team. 

Note: Women Who Tech uses an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female”, and we welcome transwomen, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who identify as gender-nonconforming, female, and/or woman. People who identify within gender identities associated within the male and/or man spectrums are asked not to apply to uplift space and access for people of genders that are historically oppressed and underfunded.

What if I’m not a technical cofounder, or I don’t have a technical cofounder?
If you don’t have a technical cofounder, please email us at to tell us more about your setup.

My startup is based outside North America. Can I still apply?
Startups based in Africa, Europe, and North America may apply to this particular Grants Program. No other startups are eligible at this time.

What if I know one of the online or in-person jurors?
If you know a juror, or if there is a conflict of interest, please alert the Women Who Tech team ( ASAP. This will not disqualify you, nor will it help to advance your startup. We will assign your online application to a neutral juror who you do not know.

Can I introduce myself to the jury after submitting my application, but prior to the pitch finale?
No. You cannot introduce yourself to the jury while your application is being reviewed, or if you are selected as a finalist. Any communication with jury prior to the Grants Program will disqualify you. If there is a conflict of interest, please alert the Women Who Tech team ASAP at

What are the prizes?
A total of $20,000 USD, equity-free, will be awarded. One startup will receive a $15,000 Innovation Grant and another startup will receive a $5,000 Impact Grant. All of the finalists will receive mentoring and pitch coaching.

After my application is submitted, can I make edits?
You can make edits until application submissions close on February 19, 2021 at 11:59 pm PT.

I already submitted my deck or a video but we closed another round, or something else has shifted, can I send an updated version?
You may only upload or revise your application, deck, and video until February 19, 2021 at 11:59 pm PT. We will not accept any revisions once applications close.

How long does it take to find out if my startup was selected as a finalist?
Finalists will be announced in April 2021.

Will I need to travel anywhere if I'm selected as a finalist?
Since COVID-19, all of Women Who Tech's programming is virtual. You may participate from anywhere as long as you have access to Internet.

Which dates will I need to block off if I am chosen as a finalist?
Please block off the following dates in the event that you are chosen as a finalist. Attendance to each of these is required. Please let us know if there is a conflict as soon as you are selected as a finalist. 

  • April 16: Pitch Coaching
  • April 29: Pitch Coaching
  • Week of May 24 (date TBD): Pitch Finale