Bayer HealthCare starts its own accelerator – and it’s better than you expected
Bayer HealthCare appears to be the first pharmaceutical company to have started its own accelerator. The company that made €18.924 million in turnover in 2013 “understands that innovation and healthcare cannot only be driven by the industry but also needs creativity,” said Christian Ullrich, Head of Marketing & Sales IT at Bayer HealthCare yesterday.
Bayer has partnered with universities and smaller companies before and last year started Grants4Apps, a crowdsourcing initiative. This year, it was turned into an accelerator.
Altogether it received around 70 applications. A jury of experts selected five from all over Europe to participate in the 3.5 month long program. Each startup receives €50,000 as financial support, meets mentors every other week, and get free office space at the Bayer HealthCare HQ in Berlin.
The pharmaceutical company, however, does not take more than 10% equity in return.
Compared to other healthcare accelerators, Bayer provides around twice as much financial support. Most others give $25,000 for about 6% of equity.
While you might expect the accelerator to be a small side project for a long existing company such as Bayer, that’s not the impression we got yesterday.