Merck Accelerator goes global with launch in Africa

Merck launches equity-free accelerator program for digital health in Nairobi

Merck, a leading science and technology company, announces the start of its equity-free accelerator program for digital health startups in Nairobi, Kenya today. With this step, Merck takes the program’s presence to a global level. Currently, the company is also globally kicking off the application period for the second round of its accelerator program in Germany. Both programs are first steps for the accelerator to become a global platform.

The three-month program in Nairobi, Kenya, will support three startups in the field of digital health with working space at the Nairobi Garage, an equity-free funding of 15,000 USD as well as opening the doors to Merck’s global network of experts for ongoing coaching and mentoring.

“With our program in Nairobi and our growing international network, we made a first big step to go truly global with our accelerator. We want to create a platform where the potential to execute ideas is not limited by location”, says Michael Gamber, Head of Merck Innovation Center.

Nairobi is the first Merck Accelerator outside of Germany. “Africa is one of the most promising and dynamic markets for digital health, driven by a vibrant and innovative startup culture. With our Accelerator program, we aim to become part of it”, explains Gamber.

The three-month program in Germany comes with an equity-free funding of 25,000 Euros, regular coachings and office space at the Merck Innovation Center at the headquarters in Darmstadt. Both programs are going to be strongly connected in terms of expertise and knowledge exchange to grow a global Accelerator network.

“Coming from a global company we also want to develop our accelerator program to become a global platform. The execution of an idea should not be limited by the conditions of the location where it was born”, explains Gamber.

Interested founder teams can apply for both of the programs on the website until February 29th, 2016.

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