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MasterCard begins search for startups in Nigeria




As part of efforts targeted at helping technology Startups gain global recognition, MasterCard has called for applications into its 2016 startup engagement program tagged, Start Path Global.

Start Path is 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 blockchain to artificial intelligence and chatbots.

Over the last two years, Start Path has worked with over 90 companies across 24 countries. MasterCard is currently running active pilots with or has directly invested in nearly 20 per cent 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 Vice President and Area Head West Africa, Omoke Adebanjo, adding “We believe every startup is unique and that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to working together and with Nigeria becoming known as Africa’s Silicone Valley we are positioned to see great startups come out of this effort. 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.”

MasterCard informed that Start Path is intensifying its search in Nigeria because of the vibrant Startup community. The objective of the program is stay close to innovations that are coming out of Nigeria 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 Africa has been maturing steadily and the region has been churning out some interesting ideas and significant success stories.
“In Africa, the program is working with startups creating practical, affordable innovations that help people gain access to financial tools such as loans, plan for their futures, build wealth and lead better lives. Saida, NFrnds and Dopay are all working with Start Path to identify growth areas, partnership possibilities and integration plans within and beyond MasterCard,” it stated.

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, which opens October 11.

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