Germany’s Merck to Mentor Scheme Start-ups

05.08.2015 -

German pharmaceuticals and chemicals group Merck KGaA has launched a program to encourage international start-ups in its business fields of healthcare, life sciences and performance materials to apply for funding of innovative ideas.

The Accelerator scheme, which runs for three months – applications can be submitted until Aug. 14 via the initiative’s website – is aimed at young companies in the three Merck fields as well as IT.

Three selected start-ups will receive strategic and operational advice in addition to financial support of €25,000 offered in the form of a silent participation.

Merck said the program does not foresee an equity investment, nor does it influence the start-up’s operational and strategic management. The first selected will be invited to move into the company’s newly built modular innovation center in Darmstadt from Sept. 14.

Along with providing financial and infrastructure assistance, Merck plans to coach the start-ups, provide mentors for their development and enable them to participate in several training sessions. At the end of the three-month period, the companies will become part of the company’s start-up network.

“Building an alumni network is one of the three long-term goals,” said Michael Gamber, head of Merck’s Innovation Center. The company wants to provide a home for start-ups and continue collaborating with them, he said.