The Accelerator program is aimed at young companies in the healthcare, life science, performance materials, and IT sectors. The program will run for three months, in which at least three selected start-ups will receive strategic and operational advice, as well as financial support of € 25,000 in the form of a silent participation. The program does not foresee an equity interest in the companies receiving funding, nor influence over their operational and strategic management. The first three start-ups are supposed to move into the newly built, modular Innovation Center in Darmstadt, from September 14, 2015, on.
In addition to providing financial and infrastructure assistance, Merck will offer to coach the start-ups also supported by mentors and enable them to participate in several trainings. At the end of the three months, the companies will be part of Merck's start-up network.
"Building up an alumni network is one of the long-term goals," said Michael Gamber, who heads Merck's Innovation Center. "We want to provide a home for our start-ups, also beyond the Accelerator program, and continue to collaborate closely with them."
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Merck is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials. The company has six businesses - Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Allergopharma, Biosimilars, Merck Millipore and Performance Materials - and generated total revenues of around € 11.3 billion in 2014. Around 39,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of customers, and to help meet global challenges. Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company - since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70% interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company operates as EMD Serono, EMD Millipore and EMD Performance Materials.