We are pleased to announce our partnership with Merck KGaA at Frontiers Health 2016!

The Merck KGaA’s activities in digital health will be presented in a talk on November 18th. Merck KGaA runs different projects with a global focus to encourage innovation in their corporation. In Darmstadt, there is the Innovation Center, which hosts monthly events where startups and corporates can exchange ideas and experiences. The center is also home to a co-working space, which is used by Merck KGaA employees and startups for their projects. In addition, Merck KGaA has an accelerator with programs located in Nairobi and Darmstadt.

About the Accelerator Program

The Merck KGaA Accelerator Program supports young companies in their seed-phase with a focus on the fields of healthcare, life science or performance materials. For the program in Nairobi, there is a special focus on projects in the field of digital health. The first step is the selection of digital business models, from the above fields, into the program. For the program in Darmstadt, chosen firms receive office space at the Innovation Center. Those in Nairobi have the opportunity to use office spaces in Nairobi Metta. Besides workspaces, startups in both programs receive mentoring and coaching, on a regular basis, from a pool consisting of more than 50,000 experts from 66 countries. Furthermore, the teams get financial support of up to € 50,000. At the end of the program, the startups that have a globally minded business or global issue focus have the chance to be selected to further develop their business idea in Silicon Valley.

16 startups have already participated in the accelerator program. Some of them are working on digital solutions to fight against life-threatening issues of the world. Matibabu, for example, is a startup from Uganda that tackles the issue of malaria. The team developed a light-sensor which can be connected to a smartphone and enables a malaria diagnosis within 60 second, all without drawing any blood. Another innovative startup is VeriPAD. Coming from New York, this company has created a digital solution to detect whether a medicine is counterfeit or not.

The application period for the next round of the accelerator started just a few weeks ago. Startups from anywhere in the world, working in the field of healthcare, life science, performance materials or digital health, are welcome to apply. Interested startups should apply soon, as the application period ends on December 19, 2016. Startups can find more information on the website: https://accelerator.merckgroup.com/

To foster even more innovation spirit, Merck KGaA, in cooperation with the Business Technology Department, has organized the Cross Border Hackathon. This event will take place on December 2 and 3, 2016. Throughout the 24-hour competition, teams of 3-6 individuals will create, develop and pitch innovative business models or products to a highly esteemed panel consisting of local and international judges. The Hackathon provides a great opportunity to work as part of a diverse team, with members from various educational backgrounds. It’s a platform for people to get up to date on current business trends as well as to network and meet potential employers.

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