Made for scientists, engineers & innovators


together with Merck Accelerator, Clustermarket and the Science Entrepreneur Club

3 Meetups | 1 Pitch Night | Great Prizes

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Merck Accelerator partners up with Clustermarket and the Science Entrepreneur Club to support innovative startups working on novel technologies related to the three Fields of Clean Meat, Bio-sensing & Interfaces and Liquid Biopsy Technologies under the theme of ‘Connect2Innovate’.

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To highlight the importance and to accelerate the newest technologies in these fields, we are hosting three Meetups and a Pitch Night. On the Pitch Night, there is an opportunity to win a cash price and Sigma Aldrich vouchers! The winner will also receive a “Golden Ticket” to the Merck Accelerator Selection Days which are taking place by the end of November. The Selection Days are the last selection step before joining the Merck Accelerator Program at the Merck Innovation Center in Darmstadt in January 2020.

If you are a startup that works within one of the Innovation Fields of Clean Meat, Bio-sensing & Interfaces or Liquid Biopsy Technologies and you are interested in presenting on the Connect2Innovate Pitch Night please contact us.


Meetup 1 London - 24th of July
Meetup 2 Cambridge - 13th of August
Meetup 3 Oxford - 21st of August
Deadline Pitch Night -  31st of August
Pitch Night London - 18th of September

What you can win at the final pitch night:

1st Winner: £4.000 Cash + Sigma Aldrich Voucher + Presentation at Merck Selection Event
2nd Winner: £1.000 Cash + Sigma Aldrich Voucher
3rd Winner: Sigma Aldrich Voucher


The Merck Accelerator

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The global Merck Accelerator program with programs in Merck´s headquarters in Darmstadt and in China, supports startups with the final objective of partnering up with them. Selected companies receive mentoring and in-depth coaching from a network comprised of experts from 66 countries opening up opportunities for startups’ future collaboration with Merck and helping to introduce startups to the contacts they need to close their first deals. Additionally, the startup teams benefit from financial support as well as from work space at the Merck Innovation Center in Darmstadt where they can develop product prototypes and exchange ideas with other startup teams and Merck experts.

Applications for the global Merck Accelerator are now open!

There are different ways to qualify for the program:

  1. Participate in the “Connect2innovate” meetups, pitch on the final event in September and win the “Golden Ticket” to the Merck Selection Days.

  2. Apply directly to the program via the Accelerator website. For application and more information visit - Applications are open until August 25th!

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Meet the Merck Accelerator Team on our Connect2Innovate Meetups

Join us to discuss with experts from Merck Group, local entrepreneurs and academics about the mega trends Clean Meat, Bio-sensing & Interfaces and Liquid Biopsy Technologies. Listen to pitches from local startups that work on ground-breaking technologies and hear from experts what their potential is and when we can expect them to be available on the market.

Meet us on one of our Connect2innovate Meetups and increase your chances of being one of the selected startups for the Pitch Night in September.

The meetups

1) Wednesday 24th of July in London – Pictures
2) Tuesday 13th of August in Cambridge – Pictures
3) Wednesday 21st of August in Oxford – Pictures


The Connect2innovate Pitch Night

Six exciting startups that are currently working in the innovation fields of Clean Meat, Liquid Biopsy Technologies and Bio-sensing & Interfaces are presenting their ground-breaking technologies.

When: Wednesday 18th of September

Where: Central Working, London, White City, London, W12 0BZ

The startups will pitch for the following prices:
1st Winner: £4.000 Cash + Sigma Aldrich Voucher + Golden Ticket to the Merck Accelerator Selection Days
2nd Winner: £1.000 Cash + Sigma Aldrich Voucher
3rd Winner: Sigma Aldrich Voucher

5.30-6.00 Registration
6.00-6.15 Welcome
615-6.30 Keynote
6.30-7.30 Startup "Pitch-Battle”
7.30-9.00 Networking and Startup Exhibition

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The innovation fields


Clean Meat


Clean Meat The population is growing, the climate is changing, and we have reduced land and water for farming activities – that’s why we need to get smarter and more efficient around how we make food.

This field focuses on the biotechnology required to produce genuine meat grown in vitro. This will enable the production of meat that is healthier, more efficiently produced, ethical, and environmentally sustainable.

Aspects of this include:

• Technologies that enable the economically viable, large-scale production of clean meat and seafood, such as animal component-free media, high-yield cell line development, industrial bioreactors or automation platform
• Technologies like tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that enable the next generation of structured meat products, such as edible scaffolds/biomaterials, 3D cell culture processes or 3D printing


Biosensing & Interfaces


This field focuses on the interface between the biological and digital world. We aim to decentralize and democratize the healthcare model and empower patients to better manage their health.

Aspects include:
• Medical treatment tailored and adaptive to patient condition
• Measurement of and response to external stimuli and metabolic reactions
• Outcome- and value-based treatments, in which drugs are only reimbursed when the desired patient outcome is achieved

We are looking for bio-sensing modalities that can be used in a decentralized way, such as… sensors in patches / VOC sensors / ingestible or implantable sensors / sensors for mobile devices. They can also be used in data analytics, or the collected data can be utilized in compliance with regulations, for example. In this context, we are looking to partner with companies who can help make healthcare data tangible and manageable using novel data analytics to extract insights. We are also seeking partners that are active within our therapeutic areas of expertise, such as autoimmune diseases, neurology, fertility, oncology, cardiovascular health, and diabetes.

We are especially interested in collaborating with startups in:
• Disorders/conditions with a high unmet need
• Technologies focusing on analytes that are clinically applicable to a wide range of conditions or conditions with a low genetic determinate
• Technologies focusing on sensor technology, particularly in which combinations of sensors can detect the same analyte in different ways or one sensor can detect many analytes


Liquid biopsy


A liquid biopsy is a simple and non-invasive test to identify various diseases by detecting biomarkers in body fluids. It is a key technology for early disease detection and expanding the delivery of precision medicine to more patients.

This field focuses on technological solutions to overcome unresolved challenges in the liquid biopsy workflow as well as on applications beyond cancer.

Aspects of this include:
• New technologies that help overcome bottlenecks in the liquid biopsy workflow such as the isolation of specific body fluid components or biomarkers
• Liquid biopsies for indications beyond oncology where existing diagnosis or surveillance methods are inadequate and have significant limitations due to their invasiveness

We are interested in collaborating with startups in following fields:
• Digital biomarkers for non-invasive disease monitoring or bioinformatic solutions supporting the post-analytical workflow
• Tools to connect existing devices or workflows
• Solutions to reduce medical and experimental errors across the workflow
• Innovative solutions that optimize sampling logistics and quality assessment
• Methods for the enrichment of relevant molecules