Merck Be Well Challenge 2016 — Bringing the Outside In

How a new initiative, inspired by ‘Shark Tank,’ sought out startups and early-stage companies to connect with Merck.

In early 2016, Merck IT established the Health Innovation Technology Scouts (HITS), comprised of five Merck IT scouts.

Their mission? To recruit and vet nearly four hundred start-up technology companies from around the world to participate in the first ever Merck Be Well Challenge 2016.

Inspired by the television show “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs present their breakthrough business concepts to a panel of business executives and investors, the Merck Be Well Challenge 2016, sought out potential partners with various startups.

After vetting entries from over four hundred international companies, the HITS selected eight finalists to participate in the final round of the Challenge, held in November in Basking Ridge, NJ: Health2Sync, mySugr, dacadoo, MyndyouMedAngel, Belong, Miroculus, and Emerald DermaCompare.

Each finalist pitched their products, services, and health solutions to an esteemed panel of judges, comprised of Adam H. Schechter, executive vice president of Merck and the president of Merck Global Human Health, Tony Alvarez, president of the Primary Care Customer Business Line and Customer Strategy and senior vice president, Global Human Health, Phyllis Post, vice president, Global Human Health, IT, and Professor N. Venkat Venkatraman, professor in management at Boston University Questrom School of Business.

By the end, four companies — dacadoo,  Miroculus, Health2Sync, and Emerald Medical Applications  — were selected as the winners. All four will now have to undergo a due diligence process that will determine the potential feasibility of the potential partnerships.