Michael Gamber (Head of MIC) on who really benefits from the Accelerator Program

Overview

The Head of the Innovation Center in Darmstadt had an interview with n-tv, a German news TV channel, to mark the fourth intake of the Accelerator in Darmstadt, and third in Nairobi.

Publish Date

23 MAR 2017

The Head of the Innovation Center in Darmstadt had an interview with n-tv, a German news TV channel, to mark the fourth intake of the Accelerator in Darmstadt, and third in Nairobi.

They were interested to know about the work we do at the Accelerator, and, in particular, why we do it.

Michael Gamber explained: “On the one hand, we want to find out what the market trends are, the current themes being grappled with that are relevant for our business, and on the other, we want to learn the startup ethos and business culture, so that we as a large corporate – nearly 350 years old – can also become a little more agile. And we also get to know many talents through the program, who might in the future come to work with us at the Innovation Center.”

And why, you may ask, would Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany want to reach out to external players instead of taking advantage of its own innovative potential? Michael Gamber has the answer:

“We can see what kind of new topics are emerging in the market, which perhaps aren’t directly innovation priorities for us at the moment. That makes this outsiders’ view more interesting for us. We also use the agility, the speed of the startups.”

While there are many advantages to tapping into the startup scene for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the startups also benefit from the expertise of their employees through coaching and mentorship (not to mention up to €50.000 and three months of office space at the Innovation Centre in Darmstadt).

The connection between Accelerator startups doesn’t stop when the program ends, however:

“After three months, there’s a Demo Day, where the startups pitch their idea. We invite external investors, but also our own colleagues from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Ventures, so that the startups can introduce their idea and pitch for further funding. We also have a program where the team can collaborate with us long-term – an alumni program – to keep us in the loop with their developments.” So there you have it: The Accelerator Program really is a two-way street.

More information about him, the startup scene and the IC: http://www.startupvalley.news/de/michael-gamber-ueber-die-startup-szene-im-rhein-main-gebiet/

 

 


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