MasterCard, a technology company in the global payments industry, has announced that applications for the 2016 Start Path, a global effort to support innovative early stage startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions today, are currently being accepted.
The MasterCard Start Path programme, which is run virtually for six months, is aimed at helping early stage startups partnering with each startup to grow their businesses faster than they could by themselves.
From the numerous applications received, 20 startups will be invited to a Pitch Day in Toronto on May 11 and 12, 2016. The Pitch Day is an opportunity not only to pitch for selection into the program, but also to meet with big-brand partners of the program.
After Pitch Day, eight startups will be selected to join the programme, which will kick off with an immersion week in June 2016 in a yet-to-be-announced location.
The selected startups will benefit from the knowledge of a global network of MasterCard experts, access to MasterCard customers and partners, and the ability to innovate on top of MasterCard solutions.
“Startups are actively experimenting with new solutions aimed at transforming the status-quo across a wide variety of industries including financial services, retail, and healthcare,” said Stephane Wyper, global lead of MasterCard Start Path.
He added, “We can provide critical support through operational expertise and access to a steady pipeline of customers, channels and partners. In just two years, Start Path Global has a strong record of helping startups transform innovations into sustainable business propositions.”
Startups across the globe are invited to apply for the programme. Applications will close on March 21, 2016.
Since 2014, Start Path has provided more than 60 startups a variety of operational support, mentorship, and investment to develop the next generation of commerce solutions.
The programme has been particularly successful in Africa. The programme is currently working closely with startups including Saida, a startup that has developed an app that uses the data on the customers’ smartphones to underwrite loans to them in minutes.
The app has just launched in Kenya and has been instrumental in providing over 16,000 loans.
Due to these success stories, the 2016 MasterCard Start Path programme is intensifying its search for startups in Africa as a continuing reminder of the innovative potential of local startups in the region.