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German pharmaceutical, life sciences and performance materials company The Merck Group has kicked of its African Satellite Programme in Nairobi, Kenya.
In a statement on the company’s accelerator (released via Twitter last week Friday), the company announced that applications for its Nairobi pitch events are now open and will close on 5 May. Applications opened on 15 March.
The African Satellite Programme is aimed at early-stage startups in East, West and Southern Africa that develop innovative solutions in healthcare, life sciences, performance materials and agritech.
The programme will provide selected African startups with an opportunity to collaborate with the German company and offer prizes of $3000 in cash, as well as office space.
Merck’s African Satellite Programme will provide selected startups with an opportunity to collaborate with the German company, office space and $3000 cash prizes
As part of the programme, a series of pitch events and hackathons will be held in collaboration with partners in Nairobi, Lagos and Cape Town.
How it will work
The Merck Accelerator will select the best startups to attend a bootcamp to be held at Nairobi business support organisation Metta between 15 and 18 May.
The bootcamp will culminate in pitch event in which the selected winner will receive a $3000 cash prize and a year-long membership at Metta.
In addition, the winning team will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to Merck’s Innovation Center in Darmstadt, Germany where they will pitch for an opportunity to collaborate with Merck.
Merck is working with Seedpace Lagos to run a challenge that will culminate in a pitch event in September.
The application period for the challenge will run between June and August.
Selected startups will be invited to a pitch event in Lagos, with the winners getting office space at Seedspace Lagos, among other prizes.
In Cape Town, Merck is partnering with Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) to host a challenge in August and a hackathon in September.
The application window for the two events will run from next month (April) to July, with the exact dates yet to be announced.
Selected startups will be invited for a pitch event in Cape Town and the winner will get office space at MEST, in addition to the main challenge prizes ($3000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Merck’s Headquarters in Darmstadt).