Payments giant MasterCard has put out a call for startups to apply for the latest iteration of its Start Path programme.
MasterCard StartPath describes itself as a global effort to support innovative early stage startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions.
Since 2014, MasterCard says, Start Path has provided more than 60 startups a variety of operational support, mentorship. The 2016 programme, it adds, has been designed to with the knowledge that the right corporate-startup partnership gives startups an accelerated path to scale innovative solutions.
It’s also looking to intensify its efforts in the Middle East and Africa region this year, where it’s seen success in the past.
In MEA, the programme is currently working closely with startups including Saida, a startup that has developed an app that uses the data on the customers’ smartphones to underwrite loans to them in minutes. The app has just launched in Kenya and has been instrumental in providing over 16 000 loans.
“Startups are actively experimenting with new solutions aimed at transforming the status-quo across a wide variety of industries including financial services, retail, and healthcare” said Stephane Wyper, global lead of MasterCard Start Path. “We can provide critical support through operational expertise and access to a steady pipeline of customers, channels and partners. In just two years, Start Path Global has a strong record of helping startups transform innovations into sustainable business propositions.”
Each quarter, MasterCard Start Path recruits a new class of startups to embark on the six-month virtual program. The program is currently accepting applications for its next class. The application window to join the next class is open until 21 March 2016.
The programme is open to all non-US based startups, with applications available online.