How Bayer Can Help Tech Startups and How It Could Hurt Them

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Accelerators are a big part of the tech startup scene. So it was just a matter of time before the healthcare industry got in on them too, right? VentureBeat reports that Bayer HealthCare is the first pharmaceutical company to start its own accelerator. Last year, Bayer began its Grants4Apps program as a crowdsourcing initiative, and this year turned the program into an accelerator. It received seventy applications, and selected five startups that will each participate in a three-and-a-half-month program and receive about $65,000 in funding. VentureBeat notes that while many healthcare accelerators five about $25,000 for approximately 6 percent of equity, Bayer gives about twice as much financial support for no more than 10 percent of equity.

At a kick-off event this week, Bayer’s senior vice president Reinhard Franzen told the audience that Bayer itself was a startup 150 years ago, and that the company is serious about participating in innovation by supporting startups. The startups will present at a Demo Day in early December. Until then, it will likely remain unclear if there will be another edition of Grants4Apps.

What is an accelerator? 

Briefly, an accelerator is a program of funding, mentorship, and resources offered for a finite amount of time to help startups to scale and succeed. Startups apply to accelerators to gain access to experienced entrepreneurs and investors, early funding, and even office space for a short amount of time, and the accelerator gets a small amount of equity in exchange. So it’s in both parties’ interest for the startup to become a successful company.