Meet the fourth cohort of fintech startups in the Visa Innovation Program
The entrepreneurs will benefit from fast tracked access to new markets and client base, a global network of peers and investors, and tech infrastructure.
Sofia, Athens, Istanbul, 2022, 16 fintechs are joining the fourth cohort of the Visa Innovation Program – Visa’s partnership platform for fintech startups and entrepreneurs, active in Europe. The Visa Innovation Program engages early stage startup companies and Visa’s global network of partners including neobanks, banks, merchants, governments, and other high-profile organisations to spur innovation within the financial and payment industry. The Program is run in partnership with Eleven Ventures, early stage venture capital fund (Bulgaria), Crowdpolicy, open innovation integrator (Greece), and Hackquarters, accelerator (Turkey).
Diverse teams with scalable solutions
More than 219 companies from 28 countries have applied for this year’s challenges:
Unlocking new payment flows
Designing next-gen payments experience
Building smarter cities
The selected teams have demonstrated deep knowledge of the fintech domain and scalable business models that could define new use cases and customer behaviours within the finance industry. During the Selection Day:
Mariaelena Vernezou, Senior Account Manager, Client Engagement (SE, Athens) said “We started the Program back in 2018 and today with more than 700 applications, 50 alumni companies, 150M euros of capital raised, a unicorn, 45 successful POCs, pilots and commercial deals, the Visa Innovation Program has proven its worth. The Program is gaining momentum with Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey as its main hubs but adding also Spain and more to follow. This translates into even more opportunities for startups, wider market access, larger pool of mentors and resources, and a bigger community of like-minded people.”
Sebastien Geldner, Regional Head of Business Development at Visa Central and Eastern Europe, shared “This is an initiative that is pretty unique at Visa, globally. Having said that, we can be really happy and proud that we can originate this program out of Bulgaria and we have this opportunity to meet with all of you today. For Season 4, we have received over 200 applications from potential candidate fintech companies from over 50 countries from Europe, which is a great achievement of the Program.”
The Selection Day in numbers
Knowledge sharing and new business opportunities
Starting as of April 2022, the selected startups will enter the tailored Program curriculum, with custom made design sprints and workshops, aiming at propelling their growth. The teams will collaborate with a large pool of mentors and advisors from Visa and Visa’s network in the area of payments, open banking, crypto and blockchain, security, and sustainability to gather industry insights and level up their value propositions. They will be also presented to a network of proof-of-concept partners – banks, merchants, and other high profile organisations – to test and validate their propositions and reach faster the commercialization stage.
The 16 fintechs joining Season 4
And the final participants to enter Season 4 of the Visa Innovation Program are… Drum roll, please!
What's coming next?
After the kick-off event, the journey continues with discovery sessions for the startups and our partners, in order to match them for high-profile partnerships, workshops that are going to be commonly arranged, as well as, events to be attended locally and regionally.
The upcoming event is Borderless Day when the fintechs will have the chance to meet potential clients, partners, banks, investors and talk in private sessions.
Last but not least, Demo Day – the greatest event of the Visa Innovation Program where all the startups and partners are gathered to showcase their progress throughout the Program.
About the Visa Innovation Program
The Visa Innovation Program is a collaborative platform for emerging fintech companies and Visa and its vast network of global clients and partners. The Program leverages resources such as design thinking, fintech know-how, mentorship, market access, and a network of fintech experts. It’s organised in partnership with Visa and Eleven Ventures (Bulgaria), Crowdpolicy (Greece) and Hackquarters (Turkey).
Started back in 2018, the Visa Innovation Program attracted close to 700 applicants from EMEA, Asia, US and LATAM. Over the last four years, more than 60 fintech companies have participated in the Program. They managed to raise collectively more than EUR 250M in funding and close 45 PoCs (proof of concept), pilots and commercial deals as part of the Program.