International company Merck has officially launched an e-health accelerator in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi. The company said the accelerator’ program is equity-free and will foster the growth of early-stage e-health startups that have demonstrated high potentials.

According to Merck, the accelerator program will support three startups in the field of digital health with working space at the Nairobi Garage, equity-free funding of US$15,000 and links to Merck’s global network of experts for ongoing coaching and mentoring..

Both the Kenyan and German programmes are going to be strongly connected in terms of expertise and knowledge exchange as Merck looks to grow a global accelerator network.

“With our programme in Nairobi and our growing international network, we made a first big step to go truly global with our accelerator. We want to create a platform where the potential to execute ideas is not limited by location,” said Michael Gamber, head of the Merck Innovation Centre.

“Africa is one of the most promising and dynamic markets for digital health, driven by a vibrant and innovative startup culture. With our accelerator programme, we aim to become part of it.”

“Merck is committed to supporting healthy families, healthy communities and healthy economies in Africa,” said Karl-Ludwig Kley, chairman of the executive board and chief executive officer (CEO) of Merck.