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September 28, 2022

Visa Innovation Program expands into more markets in Southeast Europe, including Romania

Early and later stage fintech startups can apply to join the third cohort and explore partnerships with Visa and its global network

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) announced on Friday  that the Visa Innovation Program, Visa’s collaborative partnership platform in Visa’s Southeast Europe region for fintech startups, banks and experienced entrepreneurs, now expands into more markets, including Romania, to reach a more diversified pool of fintech talent.

The move will allow the upcoming third cohort of participating companies alongside the alumni, to benefit from access to a greater pool of resources, peer network, mentorship capacity and business opportunities.

The application window for the third cohort of the Visa Innovation Program is open until 15th of April. Startups with established teams and live products or solutions on empowering SMEs, unlocking new payment flows, designing next-gen payments experience or building smarter cities can apply at visainnovationprogram.com.


Larger Scale and Access to More Resources


The Visa Innovation Program provides early-stage startups (pre-seed, seed and Series A) with an accelerated program to test, validate, co-create and launch innovative product propositions in collaboration with Visa and its global partners network, significantly shortening the go-to-market cycle. First launched in 2018, the Program has attracted more than 300 applicants to date and recruited more than 30 companies in Proof of Concept and pilot testing or market access activities, leveraging customer centricity and the design thinking methodology.

The project provides access to financial institutions and other partners from Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. With this regional expansion, the Program now opens up to a broader community of fintechs in Southeast Europe and offers participating banks, non-banking financial institutions and merchants in the three countries with access to the latest innovation in the fintech space across the region. At the same time, it provides startups with first hand know-how, access to solid tech resources and mentorship to execute paid pilots with the Program partners in Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.

Visa Innovation Program is implemented by Eleven in Bulgaria, one of Bulgaria’s leading accelerators and early-stage venture capital funds, Crowdpolicy in Greece and Hackquarters in Turkey.


Elevating the Visa Innovation Program to the Next Level with More Regional Reach


“At Visa we see partnerships with fintech companies as being key to encouraging innovation that benefits consumers, businesses and clients. The Visa Innovation Program opens the door to access our global network, trusted brand and cutting-edge technology to help them achieve their goals, as they bring new ideas and ways of thinking to the table. Expanding the Program’s reach to fintechs in Romania will enable us to tap into a more diverse pool of companies, while providing these companies with greater opportunities for collaboration with Visa’s business partners outside of their respective markets of origin. We look forward to seeing Romanian fintechs in the third cohort of the Program and hope their innovation will continue to deliver the next generation of payments solutions”, said Elena Ungureanu, Visa Country Manager for Romania.

“As the Program expands and matures, the access to opportunities for the participating startups unfolds giving them endless possibilities to learn fast, test-as-they-go and validate ideas with unparalleled speed, to grow their business and scale faster. Moreover, the program enhances the collaboration among all industry players, resulting in better products and services and higher value for customers.”, said Daniel Tomov, Managing Partner at Eleven Ventures.



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