09 Jun 2016   |   News

Merck opens new digital health accelerator round

Three-month start-up support programme looking for a new crop of companies in Germany and Kenya


German pharmaceutical giant Merck this week began inviting applicants for the next round of its talent-spotting accelerator programme in Darmstadt, Germany, and Nairobi, Kenya.

Alongside a cheque for €50,000, winning teams will receive mentoring and access to Merck’s lab facilities in Darmstadt. Teams can also go on a month-long visit to Silicon Valley in the US.

Both the Darmstadt and Nairobi programmes will start in September and end in December. The application period will run through July 25, via Merck’s website.  

The pharmaceutical company has run several accelerator rounds in the past, with alumni of the Darmstadt programme including start-ups such as Apoly, Sulfotools and Contagt.

The companies Flare, Totohealth and Miti Health are currently participating in the Nairobi programme, which is younger.

Merck’s accelerator is part of a growing trend for pharma firms to look for digital health companies to support and potentially form partnerships with. Bayer launched a similar programme last year called Grants4Apps.

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