Merck e-health accelerator graduates, call for next cohort

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Global science and technology firm Merck is to host a Demo Day for the graduates of the first cohort of its e-health accelerator, and applications open for the second edition of the programme.

Disrupt Africa reported in January Merck launched its equity-free e-health accelerator programme in Nairobi, – the programme already successfully established in Germany – aiming to foster the growth of Kenya’s high potential, early-stage e-health startups.

The three-month Merck Accelerator Africa programme saw three startups in the field of digital health given US$15,000 in funding – with no equity taken in return -, and provided with coaching, mentoring, access to Merck’s global networks, as well as working space at the Nairobi Garage.

A Demo Day for the three graduating startups will be held on July 1, with 30 to 40 potential investors and partners to be invited to join the audience.

The three graduates – Totohealth, Miti Health and Flare – will pitch their refined businesses at the Demo Day, and will present their funding asks, as all three startups are seeking additional investment.

“The first intake of the Merck Accelerator Africa has been great. Especially the mentoring of internal Merck experts as well as expert coaching in addition to the themed workshops we provided were a huge support for our participants,” said Karina Fassbender, innovation facilitator at Merck Accelerator Africa.

“With our support the participants achieved to develop their first working product, implement a financial sustainable business model, and redefine their brand and reposition themselves.”

Merck has also opened applications for the second cohort of the accelerator programme, set to kick off in September.

The company said it is in particular looking for startups with solutions that support care, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment in the areas of oncology, fertility, and diabetes; startups in the wearables, sensors, and photonics space;  healthtech startups with integrated fintech innovations; and big data analytics startups.

Applications are available here.

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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