What Is Start Path?
Whether it is to scale their business or drive profitability, startups are increasingly looking to collaborate with corporates to both tap into their operational expertise and to test new technology. Enter Mastercard’s startup engagement program Start Path Global. This programme is a global effort to support innovative startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions today. Launched in 2014, Start Path’s objective was to help startups to grow their businesses faster than they could by themselves.
Startups that join the program can benefit from the knowledge of a global network of Mastercard experts, access to MasterCard customers and partners, and the ability to innovate on top of Mastercard solutions. Mastercard customers that join the program as partners get connected to the best and brightest startups and gain access to innovations from across the globe.
Start Path is an integral part of Mastercard’s broader startup engagement effort. This effort is one that is focused on partnering with the best startups. In doing so, Mastercard wants to collaborate and create new experiences for its customers, business partners, and the broader financial industry.
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 in nearly 20 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.”
Engaging The Startup Community in Asia Pacific
Start Path has seen success in the Asia Pacific region and is intensifying its search here as a testament to our 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 with 7 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.
There are several new companies based out of Asia Pacific that have recently signed up to join Start Path:
- Airwallex (Australia): Airwallex is a one-stop-shop solution for international payments, providing a quick, easy and cost-effective way for making cross-border payments, empowering our users to tackle global opportunities.
- IMG (China): IMG is a computer vision company that is working on embedding gesture recognition in virtual reality and augmented reality. Its products have different use cases spanning from virtual retail changing rooms to 3D modelling for gaming.
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 and is open to all non-US based startups. The application window to join the next class is open until October 11, 2016. To apply, click here visit:
How to Apply to Start Path Global:
- Submit your application here by 5 pm GMT on Thursday, October 11, 2016.
- Receive email confirmation of your application from the Start Path team.
- For some companies, the Start Path team will contact you for a call to further discuss your application.
- The Start Path team will invite 12 companies to a Pitch Day in Miami on November 30, 2016 and December 1, 2016.
- The Pitch Day is an opportunity not only to pitch for selection into the program, but also to meet with big-brand partners of the program.
- Between 5 and 7 companies will be provided with an offer to join the program.
- The program will kick off with an immersion week in January 2017.
- Three information sessions will be held to walk interested groups through the application process:
- Twitter Chat on Friday September 30th at 9.30am SGT (GMT+8) – Follow @MAStartPath & #StartPathGlobal for a Twitter Q&A and chat with existing startups on the program.
- Webinars on Thursday October 6th at 8.30am GMT and 4.30 pm GMT – To register, please click here