THE YCEO: Visa To Support Startups In Africa With $100 000 - THE YCEO

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THE YCEO: Visa To Support Startups In Africa With $100 000

Visa is bringing the Everywhere Initiative,  to the region of Sub Saharan Africa. The program is meant to support innovative startups that can offer business solutions that fit into Visa’s ecosystem of products and services. The winners of the competition will walk away with $50 000 funding that they can use to grow their innovation.

What is the Visa Everywhere Initiative?
The Everywhere Initiative by Visa is aimed at supporting businesses that can solve business challenges, influence the roadmap for Visa products, offer better support systems for Visa users and help Visa to become more innovative. Visa’s Senior Director for Digital Solutions(in Sub-Saharan Africa) Geraldine Mitchley had this to say about bringing the support program to Africa:

With over a hundred million dollars invested over the past ten years alone, the region’s Fintech industry is on the brink of a transformative breakthrough, and we believe the time is ripe to bring together its brightest minds and work on the next big idea in payments technology.  With a clear goal of enabling cashless economies and financial inclusion, Visa is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in its payments landscape

From the 23rd of March until 17 May 2018, Visa will accept *applications from startups that have business solutions that apply to any of the following briefs:

How can your startup leverage Visa Developer APIs to either:  Enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally OR Provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery?
How can your company use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer-centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments?
How can your startup leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system?
Visa will accept a winner from each of these categories and these will each get $25 000 in funding. They will then select an overall winner who will get an additional $25 000.

Apart from the $50 000 in funding for the winners, there will also be access to Visa services and products, expert mentorship and support from Visa along with exposure to key clients and partners of Visa. Obviously, startups will be keen to make these connections and at times these connections could be more valuable than the funding available. In this case, $50 000 is a pretty great amount that will enable startups to venture into much more ambitious projects.

To date, the competition has had over 2000 startups participate from across the globe. The startup scene in Africa has been generally going through some exciting times of late. We recently covered the HiiL Justice Innovation program which supports startups innovating in the justice sector. The government also introduced the Innovation Drive, a revolving fund that will support ‘innovators’ in the ICT field. For startups at least, there might be light at the end of the tunnel…

*Startups can only begin sending their applications for Visa’s Everywhere Initiative on the 23rd of March at this link(which will become functional on the 23rd):

http://visa.com.za/everywhereInitiative

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