HQ Program

Join the Accelerator at our Innovation Center in Darmstadt, Germany and accelerate your business.

Our HQ Accelerator Program in Darmstadt

Collaborate with our company globally at our Innovation Center!

We are not classic accelerators. We are collaboration-makers. At the futuristic Innovation Center at our headquarters in Darmstadt, we support you from the very beginning. Get the right connections at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and end up with a visionary partnership. Together we explore the unexplored and welcome your startup as part of our community of curious minds.  

Are you one of the collaboration-ready startups operating in the strategic focus areas we are looking for?

Over the course of three months, we will take your startup on a journey with high partnership potential.

Moreover, selected startups also have the chance to extend their stay in the Accelerator by joining our China Innovation Hub during three weeks.

Take a step towards becoming a multinational business and get connected to our global network!

We are searching for startups in the following fields:

  • Partnership

    We are looking for strong business alliances and want to partner up with promising startups to build sustainable and successful business relationships.

  • Mentoring

    Receive mentoring from members of Senior Management and our global network of over 50,000 experts.

  • Curriculum

    Benefit from tailored coaching sessions and workshops provided by our Innovator Academy.

  • Makerspace

    Use our rapid prototyping facilities with machines and tools to design and print in 3D, lasercut and much more.

    Learn more
  • Events

    Inspirational events will connect your startup across a range of industries.

  • Funding

    Kick off your startup project with up to €50,000 of equity-free financial support and access our investor network.

  • Access the Chinese market

    Selected industry-ready startups will also have the chance to extend their stay by joining our China Innovation Hub Accelerator.

  • Community

    Team up with others facing the same challenges and build lifelong relationships.

How could our partnership look like?

  • First Pilot Projects
  • Customer / Supplier Partnerships
  • Licensing Partnerships
  • Joint Product Developments
  • Joint Ventures
  • Follow-up Investments

Darmstadt: Home to our Innovation Center

Darmstadt is a bustling city in the heart of the Rhine-Main region and home to our headquarters since 1688. It is regarded as one of the most important cities for science and technology in Germany. Darmstadt has several renowned scientific and technological institutions, the European Space Operations Center, and even its own chemical element, Darmstadtium! The city has also been named “Digital City” and “City of the Future” in recognition of its status as Germany's most promising digital location of the future.

Our Innovation Center in Darmstadt

  • 3 Min

    walk to the nearest expert. Your team & our experts are based in one campus to ensure effective support.

  • 12

    teams under one roof, surrounded by our innovation facilitators with access to our projects & events.

  • 7,100

    sqm of innovation space, with prototyping labs, a co-creation space, a recreation area and much more!

Are you ready to access the Chinese market?

At the end of the HQ program, some startups will be selected to participate in the Accelerator extension in China. During 3 weeks, startups will participate in a learning expedition in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Through visiting major ecosystems, they will get guidance to access the Chinese Market, as well as insights on the local regulatory affairs and customers-base. The HQ Accelerator Program is therefore complemented by a tailored program organized by the China Innovation hub team, where they can test their business model and develop localization strategies.

Start your journey in our headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany and take your chance at getting access to the Chinese market.


When & Where

Applications for our next Accelerator program in 2020 at our Innovation Center have closed. Check out the timeline to know what comes next:

  • August 25th: Application submission deadline
  • August 30th: Announcement of the top 50 startups. Be prepared to send a 3-Minute video request and a pitch deck
  • September 9th: Start of 2nd evaluation phase
  • October 18th: Nomination of top 20 startups for Selection Days
  • November 25th - 27th: Selection Days
  • December: Preparation
  • January 14th 2020: Start of Accelerator program

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