Merck Accelerator to Grow Health-tech Startups

A new specialized small-business accelerator will help dozens of Alberta’s entrepreneurs create new products, new businesses and new jobs in Alberta’s thriving Life Sciences sector.

Chirifi Guindo, President of Merck Canada, Christy Holtby, VP University Hospital Foundation and Deron Bilous, Alberta Minister of Economic Development and Trade at BIO 2017.

The TEC Edmonton Merck Accelerator is the first major project to come out of the Alberta Merck Innovation (AMI) in Health Fund, which Economic Development and Trade minister Deron Bilous launched during a trade mission to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s annual conference in San Diego this summer.

“Alberta’s health innovators are making our province proud – attracting international attention and investment. World-renowned life-sciences experts want to help our researchers and entrepreneurs create new products and businesses based on Alberta discoveries. That means healthier lives for people around the world – and new jobs and a more diversified economy here at home.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

“Merck is excited to continue its work with Alberta’s most promising researchers and entrepreneurs as it works towards establishing the AMI in Health Fund in an effort to advance long-term health outcomes, quality of life and economic prosperity for Albertans. This potential collaboration between industry, philanthropists and the public sector would elevate the province’s life-sciences industry to new heights and allow us to more effectively respond to promising new discoveries.”

Chirfi Guindo, president and managing director, Merck Canada Inc.

The new accelerator, which will provide business mentorship and commercialization services to Alberta’s health technology entrepreneurs, will be based at TEC Edmonton.

In addition to helping Alberta-based companies grow, the accelerator is also expected to entice health technology startups from outside of the province to relocate to Alberta to access the expertise available at the accelerator.

The AMI in Health Fund is supporting the new accelerator as its first major project.  Future projects from the $3.7 million fund will connect Alberta’s innovation leaders to the commercial expertise of Merck. Their support will turn Alberta based research into new products and businesses, while helping Albertans live healthier lives and creating new jobs.