MIAMI, April 24, 2018 – Visa (NYSE:V) today announced that Visa’s Everywhere Initiative (VEI) is calling for proposals from startups across Latin America and the Caribbean to engage in one of the most dynamic and collaborative innovation programs worldwide. The global payments technology company is looking for commercially viable solutions that can gain scale by connecting with banks, acquirers and merchants throughout the region. The 2018 program is kicking off from the eMerge Americas conference in Miami, Florida. The challenge: How can tech startups from across Latin America and the Caribbean enhance financial services by transforming payments and commerce in the region?
Eligible startups can begin submitting their applications online today; Visa will be accepting applications until June 15, 2018. Thirty-six semifinalists will be chosen to compete late August through early September in semifinal events in Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City, Santiago (Chile), Sao Paulo; and two finalists will be chosen from each event.
“Cultivating the startup space across the region through global programs like Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is at the forefront of our approach to innovation,” said Allen Cueli, Vice President of Fintech Relations for Visa Latin America and the Caribbean. “Our objective is to expand our collaboration with bank and merchant partners, while strengthening us as a technology company to go to market faster and drive scale. We are looking to identify startups that enhance the ecosystem by helping us reduce cash, eliminate friction and build new payment experiences. We have been working with several of the 2017 participants and are excited to see the collaboration that is surfacing.”
A total of 12 finalists will advance to the finals in Miami for the chance to participate in an immersion program on September 30 - October 3, 2018, and pitch their solutions during FINNOSUMMIT, October 4-5. The winner will receive a $50,000 award, as well as the unique opportunity to collaborate with Visa on the future of payments, gain exposure to venture capitalists and Visa’s ecosystem of partners.
Visa’s Everywhere Initiative 2018 builds on last year’s success in the region
Visa’s Everywhere Initiative launched in Latin America and the Caribbean for the first time in 2017, attracting more than 250 startups from 10 countries. The 2017 winner, a solution by the Argentine-based startup Increase with their first product, IncreaseCard, simplifies and modernizes how retailers control, manage and reconcile their credit card transactions.
“The prize money is, of course, helpful in executing our objectives,” said Sebastian Cadenas, CEO and Founder of Increase. “But the support and guidance from Visa’s mentors, understanding the breadth of Visa’s technology network and the exposure to Visa’s ecosystem is invaluable and not something a startup could otherwise access. We are now working together to explore how we can grow and expand Increase internationally.”
Visa continues to work not only with the program winners, but finalists and semifinalists to bring their solutions to market across different sectors and business areas.
With Colombian VEI finalist Alegra, which produces a management and accounting software for small businesses in Latin America, Visa is working on a business to business project in the Caribbean. “We have participated in many international tech challenges, but the experience we have had with Visa’s Everywhere Initiative has been different. It has opened doors we never even imagined,” said Jorge Soto, CEO of Alegra. “Visa is intensely interested in startups and this makes things move at the speed of a true technology company.”
What’s new in the 2018 edition?
- In addition to fintechs, this year Visa is reaching out to a wider range of tech-driven startups including: Big Data, Loyalty, IoT, Mobile, eCommerce, InsurTech, Fraud, Digital Identity, etc. that can apply their solutions to the financial services industry.
- Visa will also be looking at the entire pool of participants – parallel to semifinalists - for standouts of financial inclusion solutions. There will be a special recognition in this category, and the frontrunner will have the opportunity to participate in FINNOSUMMIT, and pitch during the finals.
- Entrepreneurs can learn more about Visa’s Everywhere Initiative in person through a series of city meetups during the month of May in Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City, Monterrey, San Jose, Santiago (Chile) and Sao Paulo. Learn more about these and other new enhancements to the 2018 program.
The Latin America edition of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is organized in partnership with Finnovista, whose mission is transforming finance for the better and help Visa in the development of the “next big thing” in payments. Since 2015, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative has reached five continents and touched 40 countries, awarding over $1 million and mentorship to more than 130 finalists - from companies looking to push the boundaries of tomorrow to those looking to create quick, real-life payment implementations.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit visa.com/about-visa, visa.com/blog, @VisaNews and @VisaNewsLatam.
Finnovista is an impact organization that empowers Fintech ecosystems in Latin America and Spain through a collaborative Fintech platform that encompasses acceleration and scale programs, conferences, hackathons, research, competitions and a dedicated Fintech co-creation space. At Finnovista, we build bridges between financial institutions and Fintech startups with the vision of transforming finance for a better world at the intersection of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. For more information visit www.finnovista.com where you can find additional details.