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27/01/2023 - 16:13

Apply now for the UI-AWE innovation accelerator for women 

Apply now for the UI-AWE innovation accelerator for women  - Available at University of Iceland

-    This year taking place for the third time 
-    Introductory presentation on 31 January, 12.30 pm as part of the UI Career Days programme

The University of Iceland organises the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) innovation accelerator in partnership with the American Embassy. Applications are being accepted as of today. Both individuals and teams can take part in the programme and the application deadline is 9 February.  

The goal is to support women to develop their companies and business ideas, increase female representation in the Icelandic entrepreneurial and innovation sector, and help women to build networks. The innovation accelerator has been extremely popular and has helped participants to make incredible progress getting their business ideas off the ground. 

The AWE programme is offered by the US government in over 50 countries across the world, but Iceland is the first Nordic country to take part. The Association of Women Business Leaders and the Women Of Multicultural Ethnicity Network (W.O.M.E.N.) are also involved in organising the AWE programme. The mentors guiding participants through the programme are Fida Abu Libdeh, CEO and co-founder of GeoSilica, and Sandra Mjöll Jónsdóttir Buch, Director of the UI Science Institute. Other experts within and outside the University are also involved in teaching and supporting participants. 

The programme is open to women of any age and 20 business ideas, from teams or individuals, will be selected to take part. Women of foreign origin and women living outside the capital area are particularly encouraged to apply. Travel grants will be available for participants living outside the capital area, but the programme will be partially online. 

Applicants should ideally have a clear business idea that will be developed over the course of the programme, or have recently founded a company that would benefit from the support. This innovation accelerator is an ideal opportunity for new entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and make them a reality. Further information can be found on the AWE website, 

Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, says it is wonderful to be able to hold the innovation accelerator for the third time, working together with the American Embassy and government. It has been incredible to see how participants' projects have grown and blossomed. These women have won grants and equity capital and continued to develop their business ideas or carved out a place for themselves on a new stage. The University of Iceland prioritises innovation in everything we do and we are incredibly proud of this project and our partnerships with the American Embassy, the Association of Women Business Leaders and the Women Of Multicultural Ethnicity Network." 

Carrin F. Patman, United States Ambassador to Iceland, says “we are very happy that we can continue our successful collaboration with the University of Iceland on the AWE accelerator for a third year.  It is truly an outstanding program!  Our alumnae have launched successful businesses in a range of fields, including the tech sector, biotech, agriculture, healthcare, the fashion industry, tourism, real estate, the service industry, and so much more.  The AWE program provides female entrepreneurs with an opportunity to receive training, mentorship, access new networks, and learn skills necessary to start and grow successful businesses — if you are a woman with a small business or a great business idea, please consider applying!”

An introductory presentation on the UI-AWE innovation accelerator will be held in Fenjamýri in Gróska, Tuesday 31 January from 12.30 pm to 1 pm. It will also be possible to watch the presentation on Zoom afterwards on The presentation is part of the Career Days event at the University.