On April 10th our annual Startup Day took place in our Innovation Center in Darmstadt. As promised, it was much more than the graduation ceremony of the current startups participating in our Accelerator program. It was also a session full of inspiring keynotes with The Pitch Doctor, startup pitches, panel discussions, networking opportunities and surprises!
The event, that was moderated by Dan Ram, renowned entrepreneur, speaker, artist and coach, welcomed around 200 innovators among which we found startups, curious minds, our employees, investors and key innovation and startup-ecosystem players.
After a lively panel discussion with key players of the innovation ecosystem with representatives of Station Frankfurt, Creathor Ventures, TU Darmstadt, Startup Guide Frankfurt and Tech Quartier, live from the Silicon Valley we were connected to Isabel de Paoli, our Chief Strategy Officer, Michael Gamber, Head of the Innovation Center, Jasper Bos, Head of M Ventures and Tobias Weitzel, Associate Director at Group Strategy & Transformation! Moreover, during the event, it was also revealed which startups will, for the very first time, extend their stay in our Accelerator in Shanghai! These startups are: Mevia, iXensor and Pear Diagnostics. Of course, we wish them all the best on their journey of getting access to the Chinese Market!
Besides that, during the "Business Angel session", our employees had the chance to vote which collaboration ideas and projects between startups and our company were the most promising. The startup Micro X Labs was the winner, collecting the highest number of votes! The prize? A paid trip for the team to RISE conference in Hong Kong, the largest tech conference in Asia.
We want to congratulate all of the teams that participated in this year´s program!
It was a pleasure for us and we are really proud of you. But most importantly, this is not a goodbye to our startups. The collaborations between our company and the Accelerator startups will keep on going!
Last but not least, if you would like to become a startup of the Merck KGaA Darmstadt, Germany.Accelerator, stay tuned! The application phase for our next Accelerator Program will start in June.