The highly awaited eighth edition of the Merck Accelerator programme has ended with Nigerian cutting edge anti-counterfeiting startup Chekkit among the 12 startups from around the world selected for intensive coaching and funding.
The 12 new startups were selected in this eighth edition after 503 applications were received from 65 countries. It is newsworthy that African startup Chekkit includes the 12 new startups selected from around the world.
The Merck Accelerator which was established by the German health care company Merck Group was born out of the need to give selected startups the opportunity to access 3 months of funding and coaching from experts within the Merck Group. The selected startups then receive €50,000 in financial support plus the likelihood of being selected for the Merck China Innovation Hub in Shanghai for the continuation of the Merck Accelerator.
Chekkit is specifically an anti-counterfeiting, consumer feedback analytics, and an asset tracking tool. It gives out tamper-proof unique ID labels, either as QR codes or numeric codes. For supply chain and consumer feedback tracking, the codes need to be placed on packaged food items and beverage products.
The journey of the startup started after the co-founders Dare Odumade and Jide Asare met in Ghana. The major aim of the startup as you already know is to reduce products counterfeiting in Africa. “We are also actively looking to commence licensing of the Chekkit platform for enhancing excise tax-stamp systems in Ghana and NAFDAC’s serialisation policies in Nigeria through our interconnected anti-counterfeiting technology – enabling you and I report counterfeits while empowering producers to comply with government policies and greatly increase their ROI, a win-win situation for all,” said Dare Odumade.
Chekkit is operational now in Nigeria and Ghana but hopes to expand to other African countries and Asia in the nearest future. They believe that with the use of etherium backed blockchain tools and other cutting edge technology, they will be able to proffer solutions to a lot of industries, thereby upholding the integrity and durability of products.