Healthcare firm Organon and Flat6Labs have partnered to launch the Femtech Accelerator Programme, aimed at helping female-founded digital health startups across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) succeed by providing support to build products, test market fit and improve business models.
Organon is a global healthcare company formed through a spinoff from Merck, known as MSD, outside of the United States and Canada, to focus on improving the health of women throughout their lives.
Meanwhile, Flat6Labs, launched in 2011 and headquartered in Cairo, is the MENA region’s leading seed and early-stage venture capital firm. The two companies have joined forces to launch the Femtech Accelerator Programme, with the partnership signed in the Expo 2020, USA Pavilion, marking the launch of Organon in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.
Ten companies will be invited to join the two-month intensive programme following a selection process, and receive support in turning their idea into a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and securing venture funding.
Flat6labs will provide business and technical training and access to their local and regional partner networks. Participating startups will be connected to businesses, local and international experts, and access big data and new opportunities. Organon, meanwhile, will mentor participants, connect them with global industry experts, and provide access to their entire business network, including internal teams and external partners.
“As a new regional healthcare entity with a commitment to advancing the health of women in this region, we are very excited to launch this programme supporting female entrepreneurs. We know that investing in women has far-reaching benefits, reaping dividends for families, local and national communities, and economies. We will continue to listen to women’s needs to better understand the gaps and identify the right solutions for a better and healthier every day for her,” said Susanne Fiedler, chief commercial officer of Organon.
Dina El-Shenoufy, chief investment officer at Flat6labs, said the current startup landscape and the healthcare industry were male-dominated spaces.
“If we are to achieve greater gender equity, while supporting economic development across MENA, we need to do more to support female entrepreneurs and advance women’s healthcare. Our newly launched femtech accelerator will meet this need and that of greater digital innovation in the healthcare space while demonstrating the importance of cross-industry collaboration to further the goals of female economic empowerment,” she said.