For us, 2018 marks an exciting anniversary – we are celebrating the 350th year of our commitment to curiosity. That’s not all: we’re looking forward to new challenges, new formats, and a new approach to our Accelerator program. In addition, our new Innovation Center at our headquarters in Darmstadt will open this year, allowing us to accommodate up to 12 startup teams from March onwards. Along with the opening of the new Innovation Center, we will continue to focus on expanding our Accelerator program in order to drive innovation forward…
2018 has a lot in store for us – continue reading to find out what’s going on at the Innovation Center. More information about the new startup teams and events will be shared on our blog soon.
Our Accelerator 2018 – Building a Global Network
For our upcoming startup teams, 2018 brings many changes. Our Accelerator will take place at our headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, and will also be focused on expanding across a global startup network with our Satellites Program in Africa. Our aim is to set up a diverse startup network across Africa and thereby open up new collaboration channels within the continent – this in turn will increase connections between African startups, key stakeholders, and our global headquarters. To facilitate this, we will be hosting pitch events in Nairobi, Lagos, and Cape Town, where startups can apply to solve challenges based on a variety of topics. Selected startup teams will then be invited for a Pitch Day in one of these three cities and the best of these startups will then have the opportunity to collaborate with us at our headquarters. At our satellite locations across Africa, we will be working with various partners: these include Mettā (part of the Nest Group) in Nairobi, MEST in Cape Town, and Seedspace in Lagos. To round off the year, startups and participants from our challenges around the world will be invited to the Innovation Summit in November 2018, which will take place at our Headquarters in Darmstadt. More information about upcoming events will be shared on our website. Our objective is to establish strong relationships with startups working on solutions in the fields of healthcare, life science, performance materials, and other related fields. We are also looking for potential opportunities for collaboration with startups operating in other innovation fields, such as bio sensing and interfaces, agtech, and many more fields that are not necessarily related to our core business area. Today, after 3 years of running the Accelerator program and almost 2000 applications from teams all over the world, we can look back on a successful journey and say that we have learned a great deal. All in all, we have supported 30 startups so far who have won a total of 14 awards since completing the program.
Our New Innovation Center – connect and drive innovation further
Spanning 7,100 square meters, our new Innovation Center will offer much more space for ideas to grow into viable new businesses. This extra space will allow us to almost triple the number of startups joining the Innovation Center in the next Accelerator intake as up to 12 teams will now benefit from our support. Moreover, the space will facilitate networking between startups and our employees, promoting even greater collaboration between them than ever before. We want to maximize opportunities for further collaboration beyond the duration of the Accelerator program so that startups can benefit from a long-term relationship with us. This will be fostered through a creative working environment with a culture of openness and exchange between employees, startups, visionaries, and companies from around the world and across industries. The new Innovation Center will also promote internal collaboration through its own ideation initiatives. All activities and programs will be supported by the Innovator Academy to help strengthen innovative skills, enhance culture, and establish a strategic direction for our innovations.