Merck unveils 2017 Darmstadt and Nairobi accelerator startups

Merck KGaA has revealed a therapeutic game for children with cancer and an AI medicines authentication platform are among the latest healthcare innovator start-up ideas chosen for its German and Nairobi branches of the Global Merck Accelerator programme.

Designed to foster the brightest digital health ideas, the Global Merck Accelerator offers participants financial support and mentoring.

This year, the scheme had the highest number of applicants to date, reporting an increase in applications of 82% compared to the last round from over 70 different countries.

Making up the German roster are:

  • ATR Elements – a Munich-based developer of a faster infrared spectroscopy blood test platform
  • Ectica Technologies – a Swiss developer of a line of pre-clinical hydrogel-based products
  • INURU GmbH – Berlin-based developer of an ink for regular printers that lets them print OLEDs
  • TOMMI – an interactive therapeutic game for children in cancer care and their caregivers, developed at the 2016 Merck for Health Hackathon in Rome.

Startups selected for the Nairobi programme are:

  • Peach Health Technologies – developer of a cloud-based electronic medical records systems for hospitals in developing countries (created through the Merck Health & Innovation Hackathon in Accra, Ghana)
  • RxAll – a US-based developer of an AI platform designed to let pharmacies authenticate medicines in Africa
  • Secure Data Kit – a programme for data management of global health supply chains.

Michael Gamber, Head of the Innovation Center in Darmstadt commented: “We were impressed by the high number of good-quality applications we received for the fourth round of our programme in Darmstadt and the third round in Nairobi, and are happy to see the worldwide proliferation of promising startups in our three main fields – healthcare, life science and performance materials. The increasing demand for capital support for startups in the health sector is also reflected in our Accelerator applications.”

Those selected will have access to work space at the Merck Innovation Center and the Nairobi Metta in Darmstadt and Nairobi respectively, mentoring and coaching from a pool of over 50,000 experts from 66 countries, and financial support of up to €50,000.

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