Whether it is to scale their business or drive profitability, startups are increasingly looking to collaborate with corporates toboth tap intotheir operational expertise and to test new technology. Mastercard’s startup engagement program Start Path Global works with startups to drive new businesses forward and is launching a call for application for its 2016 year-end class.
Start Pathis an integral part of Mastercard’s broader startup engagement effort that is focused on partnering with the best startups to collaborate and create new experiences for its customers, business partners, and the broader financial industry.
Start Path was established in early 2014 as a way for Mastercard to work directly with global startups building innovative solutions covering everything from block chain to artificial intelligence and chatbots. Over the last two years, Start Path has worked with over 90 companies across 24 countries. Notably Mastercard is currently running active pilots with or has directly invested innearly20 percent of the companies.
“In 2014 we wanted to look beyond Mastercard and support innovation that was being developed by new and upcoming, early-stage companies” said Stephane Wyper, Global Lead Mastercard Start Path “We believe every startup is unique and that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to working together. We have put in place different mechanisms including pilots with Mastercard business lines, access to our APIs, and connectivity to our customer base and partner networks.”
Start Path has seen success in the Asia Pacific region and is intensifying its search here as a testament to its vibrant startup community. The objective of the program is stay close to innovations that are coming out of the region and to drive success for the early-stage companies that are working on next-generation commerce technologies. The six-month, virtual program will help startups from the region tackle business problems and introduce them to new opportunities around the globe.
The startup community in Asia Pacific has been growing at an unprecedented rate and the region has been churning out some major success stories. Start Path is currently working with7 startups that have presence in Asia Pacific. The team has selected Singapore as a hub to host its “Immersion Week,” which is designed to provide exposure to its current class to the city’s vibrant entrepreneurial community and engage with local thought leaders and partners.
Razorpay, an online payment gateway in India has received investment from Mastercard through the Start Path program. ViSenze, Moneytree and Kasisto are all working with Start Path to identify growth areas, partnership possibilities and integration plans within and beyond Mastercard.