The Merck Make-IT Africa Startup Program 2019

Are you a startup working towards the SDG’s and are based in Africa? Are you working at the cutting edge of innovation to solve real-life problems? Is your start-up innovation related to Healthcare, Life Sciences, Performance Materials, and Merck’s innovation focus areas?

If you have answered yes to any of the questions above. Then the Merck Make-IT Africa startup program is perfect for you!

About Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 52,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live.

Merck Make-IT Africa

About Make-IT in Africa

Make-IT in Africa promotes digital innovation in Africa for sustainable and inclusive development. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements this project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of BMZ’s Digital Africa Initiative. In close collaboration with more than 30 corporate and financing partners, social enterprises, hubs and networks, ‘Make-IT in Africa’ supports an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs – to enable better access to finance, markets and skills.

Merck Make-IT Africa Startup Program

The Merck Make-IT Africa Startup Program is a collaboration between Merck Accelerator with Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative. This startup program is the perfect gateway for startups to quickly explore and validate the potential for co-creating and working in the health sector.

Focus Areas

  • Digital Solutions in the Healthcare Sector
  • Bio-Sensing and Interfaces
  • Liquid Biopsy Technologies
Merck Make-IT Africa


As ealier stated, this is your gateway to quickly explore and validate the potential for co-creating and working in partnership with Merck and profit from the broad network of Make-IT in Africa. In addition, the program has a few perks for the best start-ups:

  • Business Case Development:
    • Fully paid boot camp in Nairobi for top 20 start-ups (5 per each region) to ideate and develop business cases for collaboration with Merck
    • Continuous business support, technical support and online mentoring and coaching
    • Scale-Up Diagnostics and Design for Scale Training
  • Ecosystem Learning Journey:
    • Spotlight and exhibition at the South Africa Innovation Summit in Cape Town for 4 finalists
    • Spotlight and Demo Day at Merck in South Africa for 4 finalists
    • Spotlight and exhibition at MEDICA conference in Dusseldorf for 4 finalists
  • Corporate Collaboration: A fully paid trip to Merck Innovation Center at the HQs to pitch for a collaboration project with Merck for 4 finalists
  • Connect and Community: Three meetups in each focus region will be conducted to 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.
  • Access to Make-IT Fellowship:
    • Investor meetups
    • Business opportunities
    • Potential exposure measures
Merck Make-IT Africa


The Merck Make-IT Africa startup program is for startups that fulfill the following criteria:

  • Registered in an African country and operative for at least a year
  • A business model with a focus on the SDG’s and a solution in the fields of Healthcare, Life Sciences, Performance Materials and other search fields such as Biosensing and Interfaces, and Liquid Biopsy
  • Start-ups with at least 2 cofounders
  • The team supports gender equality and diversity
  • Applicants must be fluent in English

How to Apply

Interested applicants for the startup program are encouraged to follow the link below to start the application;

Click here to Apply


Application PhaseJune 21 – July 17 2019
Selection interviewsJuly 11 – July 18 2019
Nairobi: BootcampAugust 5 – August 10 2019
South Africa: Innovation SummitSeptember 09 – September 13 2019
Germany: Medica and Selection DaysNovember 18 – November 27 2019

Deadline: 17 July, 2019


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.