TrueStart and Visa Europe Collab are partnering to mentor start-ups with new payments innovations, helping them take the best out of investment and networking opportunities, reports Finextra.
UK-based TrueStart has been behind some innovative success stories such as The Unseen, a wearable Tech company or Pollen, a social media platform for innovators to to monetize their social influence and global reach.
"While funding is important, mentoring is vital to ensuring any entrepreneurial business can grow,” says TrueStart CEO Baz Saidieh. “Payments is a fundamental part of any retail business. Adding Visa Europe Collab to our list of partners will offer our start-ups access to unrivalled payments expertise that will be invaluable in helping their businesses to grow."
Selected applicants will go through Visa Europe Collab’s 100-day “innovation funnel,” which will run the gamut from initial idea stage to market testing to proof of concept. The most promising completed innovations to emerge from the process will be turned over to Visa business and implemented into services that the company will offer throughout Europe.
Visa Europe’s commitment to innovation in the field of digital payments hasn’t been unnoticed. In May, it launched Visa Europe Collab in London, an international innovation hub that supports startups and entrepreneurs in the development and creation of new technologies in the payments space. According to Nicolas Huss, Visa Europe’s chief executive, quoted in Finextra, 2015 will be a “defining year” for digital payments. The main aim for Huss is the 70 percent of transactions that are still done in cash on the continent, a prime market for disruption.
In addition to TrueStart, Partners in the venture presently include the design agency Seren, Cass Business School, and the accelerator Digital Catapult. And in January, it formally announced a plan to invest an additional 200 million euro into developing its digital payment technology responding to company reports that contactless and digital payments have grown in 2014, especially in Europe.
MasterCard also opened its own NYC Technology Hub last October, which allows the credit card provider to engage engineers and developers, collaborate with customers and put MasterCard at the center of a rich technology talent pool.