Visa Europe Collab and The Accelerator Network startup competition opens for entries

Source: Visa Europe

Visa Europe Collab, Visa Europe’s international innovation hub, today opens the call for entries for a new competition, developed in partnership with The Accelerator Network, for advanced stage startups and entrepreneurs.

The competition is designed to find ideas for innovative payments products and services that will change the way people pay, with three innovation categories, each designed to solve a problem that will make the payments process easier for consumers:

1. Digital Me: My problem is I get sick and tired of re-keying my data for everyone I engage with. How can each of us keep our data private to us, under our care (or that of a trusted party that we designate either as a central store or federation of smaller stores as suits me) and allow access to it only when we want to?
2. Data Me: Imagine that I have my personal data details in my personal store (or stores); the problem I have is that I need to share it when I'm buying goods or signing up to services but I want to do this with control. How you could package and push my personal data from my personal data store to sites with whom you need to register/"transact"?
3. Group Payments: More and more frequently we group together to buy something; be it a holiday a present for granny or a leaving present for Annie from Customer Service. The problem is that it's a pain! Can you devise the means to take the pain away?

Applicants are encouraged to submit their entries via The Accelerator Network website, which also includes a full outline for each category, before the deadline on Friday 31st July.

“The Accelerator Network is an established and well-respected organisation delivering programmes including the Accelerator Academy for ambitious entrepreneurs, so they were the ideal partner for this competition,” says Niamh de Niese, Director of Innovation Delivery at Visa Europe Collab. “We’re working together to find the entrepreneurs and start-ups that can help us address the challenges and opportunities that exist around the three categories of Digital Me; Data Me; and Group Payments - categories with huge scope and potential to shape the future of the payments landscape.”

The six shortlisted ideas and an overall winner will be revealed at a live judging event in September at the Visa Europe Collab Tel Aviv hub. Winners will be selected by The Accelerator Network and Visa Europe Collab from a list of finalists to be announced in August. A separate Audience Choice prize will also be awarded to the finalist that receives the most votes from attendees on the night.

“London is one of the most exciting cities in Europe for financial technology innovation and we’re seeing more and more fintech entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas coming through our doors,” says Ian Merricks, Chair, The Accelerator Network. “Offering these businesses the chance to work with Visa Europe Collab with the team’s wealth of industry experience, and the company’s connections with more than 3,000 European member banks and financial organisations, will be invaluable in helping them scale their businesses.”

Entry guidelines
• Entries must fall under one of the three innovation categories and will be judged based on level of innovation, proof of concept, and evidence of commercial interest. The full entry criteria can be found on The Accelerator Network website.

• Visa Europe Collab will deliver a Proof of Concept for the winning idea, with full access to the Collab partners and The Accelerator Network to support its development. The 100-day process takes ideas from initial scoping and qualification, through market testing and design, to Proof of Concept and live testing within three months. Completed Proofs of Concept will be handed back into the main body of the Visa business where they’ll be incubated further with a view to potentially rolling them out to Visa member banks, retailers and consumers across Europe
• Six finalists will receive access to Visa Europe Collab’s partners to help develop and evolve their ideas. Representatives from each finalist will be invited out to the final judging in Tel Aviv. (Two people per finalist for a two night stay in Tel Aviv.)
• An “audience favourite” will also be voted for on the judging night out of the final six. The selected entrant will have the opportunity to enter the Visa Europe Collab qualification process, with the potential to go through to Proof of Concept development.

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