Visa Everywhere Initiative Global Innovation Program 2021

Visa Everywhere Initiative is an open innovation program that helps startups unlock new opportunities and gives them a global platform to demonstrate their ground-breaking solutions. The program first launched in the U.S. in 2015, and has since expanded to every corner of the world, recruiting startups from over 100 countries. Over the past five years, more than 7,000 startups have participated, and they have collectively raised more than $2.5 billion in funding.

The first step towards getting your startup worldwide attention is to join the Visa Everywhere Initiative network. This is the same network of startups that Visa’s product teams from all over the world access when searching for solutions.

This year, Visa is running a global startup competition and are looking for the brightest startups from around the world. One winner per region will be selected to compete in the global finals. If you’re a startup with great products already in market and gaining traction — and are looking for an extra push from a global, trusted brand like Visa to gain scale — this competition is perfect for you.

Visa Everywhere Initiative Requirements

Visa is looking for products that deliver innovative payment and commerce solutions to consumers and businesses. These include but are not limited to:

Enablers of digital services and digital issuers

  • Blockchain and cryptocurrency
  • Crowdfunding
  • Banking as a service
  • BIN sponsors
  • Issuer / processors
  • Program managers

Digital issuance

  • Blockchain and cryptocurrency
  • Alternative lending
  • Personal financial management
  • Money transfer and remittance
  • Digital banking (aka neobanks)
  • Digital wallets, P2P, and transfers
  • Employee benefits
  • Payables
  • Corporate cards (aka expense management)

Value-add for merchants and/or consumers in regard to finance

  • Data and analytics
  • ID, authentication, and security
  • Insurtech
  • Loyalty
  • Merchant services and tools
  • Process and pay infrastructure
  • Retail technology

Small/medium-sized business recovery

  • Money movement (disbursements, intra-account, P2P, payments)
  • Acceptance (e-commerce, mobile acceptance)
  • Risk management (chargebacks, etc.)
  • Brand management (community building, etc.)

Visa Everywhere Initiative Prizes

Four monetary prizes will be awarded during the global finals event:

  1. Overall Winner: $50,000 USD
  2. Audience Favorite: $25,000 USD
  3. 2nd Place: $15,000 USD
  4. 3rd Place: $10,000 USD

The overall winner,  2nd place-winner, and 3rd place-winner are also eligible to win the Audience Favorite prize.

Benefits of Visa Everywhere Initiative

The winners will get the benefits benefits

  • Validation: Your organization receives recognition from one of the world’s most valuable brands.
  • Exposure: The regional and global finals will be live-streamed on TechCrunch, giving finalists global exposure.
  • Monetary prize: Winners at the global finals receive a monetary prize (no equity taken) that you can invest in your company as you see fit.

How to Apply for Visa Everywhere Initiative

To submit your application, visit the application page.

Visa will select the top 5 finalists for the 5 regions listed below.

    • North America (This region has one of its five spots reserved for a minority-founded startup.)
    • CEMEA (This region has one of its five spots reserved for an Ethiopian startup. It will be awarding additional monetary prizes—including $15k for the overall regional winner and $10k for the audience favorite.)
    • Europe
    • Asia Pacific
    • Latin America (This region will award $5k to their winner.)

Each region will then have a winner that will move forward to the global finals event.

Application Timeline

Latin America:

  • Applications close: April 2nd
  • Finals event: on June 23rd (live-streamed on TechCrunch)

CEMEA:

  • Ethiopia:
    • Applications close: April 9th
    • Finals event: May 10th
  • Rest of CEMEA:
    • Applications close: May 7th
    • Finals event: June 8th (live-streamed on TechCrunch)

North America Finals:

  • Applications close: May 14th
  • Finals event: June 22nd (live-streamed on TechCrunch)

Asia Pacific:

  • Applications close: June 4th
  • Finals event: July 6th

Europe:

  • Applications close: June 18th
  • Finals event: July 19th

Global Finals:

  • Event: September 14th

For more information about the program, visit the Official Webpage of the Visa Everywhere Initiative Global Innovation Program 2021.

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About Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Co-founder & Publisher of AfricaX. He is interested in: Technology | Media | Startup | Business | Education. Emmanuel currently lives in Calgary, Canada with his family.

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