MasterCard is to step up its engagement with the international startup community by transforming its Start Path partnership programme into a global forum.
Start Path was launched in Europe at the end of 2013 with an objective to help early stage startups grow their businesses by opening the door to pilot opportunities with MasterCard and its international network of established technology partners and customers.
The innovation fund established by Spanish bank Santander has been one of the early beneficiaries of the programme.
“Working with MasterCard Start Path introduces us to disruptive, early stage companies that may have the answers to overcoming the critical pain points facing global commerce,” says Mariano Belinky, managing partner at Santander InnoVentures. “Businesses graduating from the Start Path programme should all be well prepared, proven, and ready to go to market. These are just the types of ambitious startup businesses we’d like to meet.”
Over the past 18 months Start Path has provided a variety of operational support, partnership, or investment for over 40 commerce related startups , including Nymi, ZenCard, BillHop and Gone.
Applications are now open to all non US-based startups for the autumn intake of of a six-month virtual programme that will be run out of London. Qualifying companies will already have a live product on the market and secured seed or Series A investment.
Up to 18 firms will be invited to pitch their concepts to the MasterCard team in London on 27 and 28 October. From there, a final list of six to eight companies will be chosen for the class beginning in early November.
The next class will also be invited to attend the first Start Path Global Partner Summit where they’ll have the chance to engage with a group of more than 20 companies in banking, retail, and technology including Rakuten, Samsung Card, Tsys, Target, Bank of Montreal, and Santander InnoVentures.