It has been a bustling month! We kicked off Season 4, welcomed the 16 newly selected fintech startups, and the program is running full steam ahead. We are gaining momentum with Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey as our main hubs but also adding one more – Spain!
The Visa Innovation Program is the only fintech startup program – in our part of the world – having this large scale and massive impact on the ecosystem, which was also demonstrated during the long-awaited Borderless Day. Continue reading to learn the insights!
Borderless Day in a nutshell
On June 15, we had the flagship event for the Visa Innovation Program Cohort 4 – the Borderless Day – which brought together the larger fintech community from the three Hubs in Sofia, Athens, and Istanbul. The 16 newly selected fintechs had the chance to meet in person and explore future partnerships or start successful fintech collaborations with Visa’s clients and partners from Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, and some of the leading venture capital funds in Europe.
The first part of the event was dedicated to present the new additions to the Visa Innovation Program family – those 16 companies we mentioned above. You can read more about them here.
Other than that, there were some great insights shared by Eva Ruiz Cendon (Visa), who had the first opening words and shared about the growing value of the program for Visa and the whole fintech ecosystem in the region. Daniel Tomov (Eleven Ventures) took all guests back in time and talked about the journey so far, the progress we have achieved, and what’s yet to come for the program, while Sabina Babayeva (Hackquarters) focused on expansion strategy of the program and the growing (now global!) support system . George Karamanolis (Crowdpolicy) shared more about the innovation community of Greece and the place Visa Innovation Program takes in it.
In the second part of the event, we facilitated a total of 65 meetings for our startups, engaging notable names from the banking, fintech, and investment community – out of which 31 were about cross-border opportunities. The meetings were organized in a speed-dating manner, and explored countless PoC and investment opportunities among the attendees.
The result? Great opportunities for partnerships between Visa and the stratups going forward. Five of the fintechs have already entered into PoC discussions with bank partners, while two of them are having follow-on conversations with investors. The flywheel is even further accelerated with several hot startup to startup collaborations in the pipeline.
Some of the banks and investors who met with our companies
Watch Our Borderless Day
And experience it firsthand!
In the meantime
The mentorship sessions, design sprints, workshops, and strategy sessions with our fintechs are also moving forward in parallel with the intensive meetings with banks, partners, investors, and PoC opportunities.
We welcomed the team of Native Teams in Sofia for a strategy session with the team of Eleven Ventures. Together with Veselina Markova, Daniel Tomov, and Valeri Petrov, they crafted the strategy going forward and outlined potential partnerships as part of the Visa Innovation Program support system.
PrimeDash‘s team also visited Eleven Ventures’s office for a Positioning Design Sprint with Veselina Markova and Rene Tomova. How to state the right positioning statement, on which client segments to focus, and how to improve their sales pitch were only some of the topics on which Catalin Rus and Ioana Rus focused during the session.
Flow is also visiting from Amsterdam at the end of this month for strategy sessions, meetings with potential partners, and knowledge exchange with fintech companies from Eleven’s portfolio.
On another note, we are continuing to work with our alumni companies, as well. We had meetings with the teams of Woli and Finloup, Season 3 participants, with strategy sessions and updates on their investment process as part of the Eleven office hours in Athens.
And to wrap this article up
Starting strong and united, we are looking forward to a great fourth season full of opportunities and successful pilot projects!
So stay tuned…