SDG-focused African startups invited to apply for Merck programme

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Africa-based startups applying innovative tech to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are invited to apply for a new programme run by Merck and Make-IT in Africa.

The Joint Startup Programme, a collaboration between Merck Accelerator and tech entrepreneurship initiative Make-IT in Africa, is aimed at startups working towards the SDGs by applying cutting edge technologies to solve real-life problems in areas such as healthcare, life sciences and performance materials.

It is looking for innovative and ambitious startups with a sustainable business model in different areas, such as digital patient management solutions, savings groups, rapid diagnostic tests, digital health education solutions, and community self-service enablement solutions.

Applications are open until July 17, with the programme beginning with a five-day bootcamp for 20 startups in Nairobi, Kenya in August, where participants will ideate and develop business cases for collaboration with Merck.

Selected companies will also have the opportunity to exhibit at the South Africa Innovation Summit in Cape Town later in the year, as well as at the MEDICA conference in Dusseldorf, Germany. A fully paid trip to the Merck Innovation Centre in Darmstadt is also on offer for selected startups.

Companies will also be offered a Make-IT Fellowship, giving them access to investor meetups, business opportunities, and potential exposure measures.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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