Apply by 17 May: Visa’s Everywhere Initiative comes to Europe; 50k to winning startup

(Editor’s note: This post includes information from a Visa news release.)

Once again, a major transnational corporation is turning to startups for innovations, as well as help with problems big corporations struggle to solve.

San Francisco-based financial services giant Visa is expanding its three-year-old  Everywhere Initiative to Europe, issuing several challenges to start-ups and fintech companies in 19 European markets.

Eligible participants in Europe are invited to submit proposed business solutions aligned to any or all of the following briefs via the Everywhere Initiative website, which went live 19 April:

  • Local Community Challenge: How can digital payment technologies help create products that connect people and enrich local communities?
  • Regional Intercity Challenge: How can startups leverage mobile technologies and connected devices to transform the experience of intercity travel?
  • International Travel Challenge: How can new products and services, based on Visa APIs, deliver a more seamless international travel experience?
  • Global API Challenge: How can startups leverage Visa APIs to augment their products and create seamless international travel experiences? This is an opportunity for startups to re-imagine new travel experiences and solutions, from holiday travelers to business travelers and everyone in between.

Startups will have a chance to win up to 50,000 euros to support a development program with Visa, or through a business partnership with Visa’s financial institution clients.

Start-ups can apply here on the EEI website through 17 May 2017.

Finalists pitch for the prize to a live panel in Copenhagen at Money 20/20, which runs from 26 June through 28 June.

Successful entrants will have the opportunity to access Visa APIs through the Visa Developer Platform, executive mentors, and technologists to help them further develop their ideas.

Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is designed to encourage payment innovation as the financial industry shifts from plastic to digital.

About 1,000 start-ups have taken part in the program, collectively raising $1.7 billion in funding, according to Visa documents and new releases. There have been 60 finalists and 14 winners in the Everywhere Initiative since its inception.

Visa jumped right into the fray in Europe, recruiting several companies for a challenge event ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year.

They include:

Biowatch. The Swiss startup developed technology that uses vein patterns in your arm for biometric transaction security.

Evopark, based in Cologne, uses new technology to help users find spots in parking garages, then pay. Porsche also is an investor.

Wia is a Belfast-based IoT startup that has developed simple technology allowing devices to communicate.

Biowatch was the eventual winner.

Everywhere Initiative is open to startups in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, The UK, Turkey.

All phases of the competition are conducted in English.

Visa’s Europe program is part of the three-year-old Everywhere Initiative, which has expanded from the United States to Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and now China. The expansion includes the opening of the Innovation Center London, where European clients and partners can explore the Visa Developer Platform and collaborate on new ways to pay.

“Having already witnessed success across the Atlantic, we look forward to welcoming submissions from innovative European start-ups looking for funding and fruitful collaborations to help them realize great ideas,” stated Bill Gajda, Visa’s senior vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships stated in a news release.

Find more details about the competition here.


Visa is a global payments technology company based in San Francisco. It connects consumers, businesses, banks and governments in more than 200 countries. Its VisaNet technology is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers.

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