Merck Accelerator Nairobi Satellite Program

Get your startup to the next level

Are you an early stage start-up based in East Africa? Are you working at the cutting edge of innovation and would like to run a collaboration project with Merck to solve real-life problems? Is your startup innovation related to healthcare, life sciences, and our innovation focus areas?

If you have answered yes to any of the questions above. Then we are looking for you! In partnership with Mettā, Nairobi, Merck Accelerator’s satellite program in Nairobi is your gateway to quickly explore and validate the potential for co-creating and collaborating with Merck. Apply to get a chance to work on a collaboration project with existing Merck’s innovation projects.



From prescription medicines to treat conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and infertility to over-the-counter products developed to help protect every member of your family: our goal is to make a difference to millions of people around the world.

Life Science

Providing scientists and engineers with best-in-class lab materials, technologies and services, we are dedicated to making research and biotech production simpler, faster and safer.

Performance Materials

Developing specialty chemicals for particularly demanding applications, we provide groundbreaking liquid crystals as well as OLED materials for displays and lighting, effect pigments for coatings and color cosmetics, as well as high-tech materials for the production of integrated circuits.


Healthcare Access Solutions

Born out of the Merck innovation spirit for healthier people worldwide, currently, a pilot consisting of 5 Points of Care facilities at high standards of quality are being set up in Kenya. The platform concept will provide for medication (Dx/OTC) and nurse services enhanced through mobile and digital health solutions.

To augment the digital access solution services, we are looking for innovative and ambitious startups with a sustainable business model idea in the following areas: delivery of healthcare, financing therapies, healthcare connected logistics, community self-service enablement and affordable, faster diagnosis.

Biosensing and Interfaces

We are looking at generating novel insights and building new business models around the integration of electronics and biology. This will enable us to develop groundbreaking medical treatment solutions, based on a unique mix of sensor data retrieval, machine learning, and curation expertise.

Precision Farming

We are looking at creating combinations of materials, analytics, and services that will help create a new kind of farming that is no longer dependent on the blanket application of agrochemicals to fields to feed an expanding global population in a more sustainable and ethical way.


We are looking for startups that fulfill the following criteria:

  • Early stage startups with no more than 4 years in existence
  • Startups in the fields of Healthcare, Life Sciences, Performance Materials and other search fields such as Biosensing and Interfaces, and Precision Farming. More info at the bottom of this page
  • Startups with at least 2 co-founders
  • Founders that are available on May 15-18 to attend the bootcamp in Naiorbi, Kenya, if selected


For startups based in East Africa, our Nairobi Applications are open from March 15 to May 5, 2018.

Apply now!


This your gateway to quickly explore and validate the potential for co-creating and collaborating with Merck. In addition, we have a few perks for the winner:

  • Bootcamp: Opportunity for a 4-day mentorship and coaching bootcamp powered by Mettā, Nairobi
  • Prize: Receive a $3,000 no-strings-attached cash prize
  • Corporate Collaboration: A fully paid trip to Merck Innovation Center at our HQs to pitch for a collaboration project with Merck
  • Mettā membership:  Free Membership for up to 12 months at Mettā, Nairobi.
  • TrainToInnovate: Access to Merck Innovator Academy TrainToInnovate— an interactive innovation platform to develop innovator skills and share experiences
  • Community: Connect with a rich community of founders and innovators in your region going through the same challenges, as you exchange ideas and build lifetime connections.


May 5, 2018
Program dates May 15 - May 18, 2018
Organizer Merck Accelerator
Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, United Republic of, Uganda, Zambia
Biotechnology and medical research, Healthcare, Healthcare providers and services, Medical equipment and supplies, Pharmaceuticals