Global card payments firm Visa has opened applications for the 2023 edition of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI).
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The global open innovation competition will see startups pitch their innovative solutions to solve tomorrow’s payment and commerce challenges for a chance to win cash prizes.
Last year, ThriveAgric, a Nigerian startup that champions technology to transform the payments landscape for smallholder farmers, was crowned winner of the competition. The startup took home the Global grand prize of $100,000 USD and an additional $20,000 USD Visa Direct prize.
This year, Visa says the competition will see an in-person competition on July 6, the winner of which will progress to the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) finals, which will be live-streamed on July 27 on TechCrunch. The winner of the CEMEA regional final will proceed to the global finale, to be held on September 19 at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.
The VEI Kenya edition will see a total of $40,000 USD in prize money distributed among the different categories. This includes $20,000 USD for the overall winner, $10,000 USD for the audience favorite and a newly introduced $10,000 USD Impact prize, which goes to the organisation whose solution has a positive social impact on the communities it operates in. Examples of social impact include initiatives that boost financial inclusion, promote sustainability, or safeguard the environment.
“The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a platform that empowers fintechs and entrepreneurs to showcase the most ground-breaking, impactful solutions in the world of payments and commerce,” said Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Country Manager for Kenya.
“Through their technology-driven, innovative solutions, fintechs have the potential to offer broad social benefits – particularly when it comes to providing financial services to those who have traditionally been underserved. At Visa, we believe access to the digital economy drives equitable, inclusive growth, and VEI is an important means of supporting the innovators playing a leading role in this space. We intend to work closely with the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy as well as the Central Bank of Kenya during this VEI edition to support the innovation ecosystem in Kenya”. she added.
Since its launch in 2015 VEI has helped over 12,000 startups from across 100 countries, to collectively raise more than $16 Billion USD in funding. Last year, VEI awarded more than $530,000 USD in prize money over the course of the competition, which saw over 4,000 startups participate from five regions.
VEI Kenya edition is seeking innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs who are uplifting communities by solving payment and commerce challenges faced by businesses of all sizes and sectors.
The application deadline for VEI Kenya is May 14th and can be done here