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Science and technology healthcare company Merck will be launching an equity-free accelerator programme in Nairobi, Kenya. It will be aimed at startups in the digital healthcare sector.
Those selected will take part in the three-month structured curriculum programme and receive US$15 000 in equity-free funding. Startups will have access to a network of more than 50 000 Merck employees across 66 countries as well as the opportunity to take part in virtual lectures in Germany.
The startups will be housed at the Nairobi Garage co-working space, which is aimed at tech entrepreneurs.
The Merck Accelerator was established in Darmstadt, Germany and Nairobi will be the first destination to not take place in the country.
“Africa is one of the most promising and dynamic digital markets with an innovative startup culture. With our Accelerator program we aim to become part of it,” says head of Merck Innovation Center, Michael Gamber.
The programme doesn’t foresee any an equity investment in the chosen companies, or interference in their operations.
“We have no short-term interest in revenue with our accelerator. First of all we want to develop ideas together with founders. We aim to build long-term partnerships with a benefit for both the startups and Merck as an established company,” adds Gamber.
Those interested in the programme can apply through the Merck website by 29 February.