The Berlin start-up company, labfolder, which is developing an electronic lab notebook, was selected out of 475 applicants worldwide to participate in the Accelerator programme of the science and technology company Merck in Darmstadt for 3 months.

During the next 3 months, labfolder will benefit from support, coaching and consulting after being chosen for the Merck Group’s global Accelerator.

labfolder GmbH, which was founded in 2013, is developing an electronic lab notebook that will help researchers around the world manage ever-larger and more complex data sets more efficiently, replacing the traditional paper lab notebook.

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. In the field of performance materials, Merck manufactures liquid crystals for screens, as well as laboratory materials.

Together with six other start-ups, labfolder came out on top out of 475 applicants from all over the world. Simon Bungers, cofounder and CEO of labfolder, said: “We are thrilled to be included in the programme. It not only opens doors for us to the research-based pharmaceuticals industry, but also to the world of laboratory materials manufacturers. This combination within the Merck Group is ideal for labfolder.”

He continued: “At Merck, they know how to work in the laboratory, but they also know how to design and sell products for laboratories and what those labs need. We are also open to partnerships with laboratory equipment suppliers — such as with our SmartLAB application — and Merck is a great partner for us.”

“They can help us to make our product more attractive from a laboratory supplier’s point of view and, at the same time, they can test our product directly in Merck’s labs from a laboratory user’s perspective.”

Munya Chivasa, head of the Merck Accelerator programme, explains why Merck chose labfolder out of the multitude of applicants: “The labfolder team, much like Merck, is focused on developing solutions and products to help researchers succeed. We are excited to work with them through the Accelerator programme to explore further developments.”

To ensure that as many as possible of the current 20 employees of labfolder can take advantage of and experience the Accelerator programme, the company will be sending two to three employees at a time from Berlin to spend a certain number of days during the next 3 months in Darmstadt, where part of the Merck Accelerator is located in the Group’s Innovation Center, which was opened in 2015.

The other part of the Accelerator is located in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Merck, one of the oldest pharmaceutical/chemical companies in the world, which was founded in 1668 and employs around 50,000 people, established the Accelerator programme in 2015 at the two locations to support start-ups from various sectors that match Merck’s business areas of focus.

The Darmstadt group works with start-ups in the areas of healthcare, life sciences and performance materials, whereas Nairobi focuses on innovations in digital healthcare.