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Nigerian startup LifeBank, one of 10 startups, picked for 2018 Merck’s German accelerator

by Felix Omondi
merck accelerator lifebank

The Darmstadt, Germany based Merck Accelerator has selected its 2018 cohort of global startups that will take part in its sixth round of three months acceleration program. A Nigerian-based startup LifeBank is among this cohort of startups that will receive mentorship and in-depth coaching from Merck’s global network of companies.

Merck Accelerator pride itself in pairing the startups in its acceleration program with a global network of more than 50,000 experts drawn from 66 countries around the world. The startup will also get funding of up to $61,000 and access to a free workspace with an environment in which they can further develop their prototypes and exchange ideas with other startups, professionals, and Merck experts at the space.

We are delighted to be here welcoming the 10 startups to Darmstadt. Being connected to the startups ecosystem is an essential part of developing collaborative projects with our colleagues from the business sectors, whilst also exploring our innovation fields such as bio-sensing and interfaces – from the startup perspective,” said Michael Gamber, the head of Merck Innovation Center.

This year we received well over 400 applications. With such a high volume of excellent applications from the startup teams, it was difficult to narrow down our selection, but we now have a great group of teams joining us.”

About LifeBank, the Nigerian startup in Merck Accelerator program

LifeBank seeks to provide a solution to the chronic problem of medical supplies shortage, especially in public hospitals in Africa. The startup aims to do so by collating inventory information from thousands of medical suppliers using both mobile and web apps.

LifeBank will be going up against other startups from Switzerland, Germany, Chile, and the U.S.A among others.

Merck Accelerator Satellite Program in Africa

Merck has also launched a separate hackathons program for Africa – the Accelerator Satellite Program – that will involve startups across the continent in a series of pitches. The program will be co-hosted with partners in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya.

The inaugural Accelerator Satellite Program will happen in Nairobi, where Merck will partner with Metta, and the most promising early-stage startups will be invited for the three-day bootcamp. The bootcamp will culminate in a pitch competition, where the best startup will walk home with a cash price of $3,000 and a one-year free membership at Metta and an all-expenses-paid trip to Merck’s Innovation Center in Darmstadt to pitch before a global audience.

Application to the Accelerator Satellite Program is open until May 5th, 2018. To apply, click this link.

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