Fintech rockstars wanted for Visa Everywhere Initiative 2021 competition

It’s easier than ever for startups in the payments industry to compete for $100,000 in prizes

Virtual Visa Everywhere Initiative stage environment, livestreamed by by TechCrunch

Daniel Yu started a company that helps thousands of East African merchants manage their supply chains and secure financing using mobile devices. Jona Doda pioneered a way to automate U.K.-based transactions to reduce physical interaction during COVID-19. Tracey Klein has created a secure mobile eWallet that makes buying gift cards and supporting small businesses easy and secure.

These are just a few of the recent winners of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), a global competition looking for startups solving the payments and commerce challenges of tomorrow. Our 2021 edition is our most expansive yet, offering a one-stop experience to register your information and learn about upcoming opportunities and competitions in your region.

Recognizing fintechs as a force for innovation is core to our business, and supporting companies across the globe who are building solutions that power seamless money movement everywhere is a top priority for Visa. Are you a startup with great products already in market and gaining traction? Are you looking for an extra push from a global, trusted brand to gain scale? This competition could be perfect for you.

Here’s how it works. Startups pitch their ideas in regional competitions to a panel of expert judges from across the payments industry, and the winners of each competition are invited to compete on a global stage for a combined $100,000 in total prize money and to tell their company stories. We’ll track global progress with a bracket that will be updated and hosted on our Visa Everywhere Initiative global landing page.

Global program for everyone, everywhere

Since its launch in 2015, startups on six continents and more than 100 countries have collectively raised more than $2.5 billion in funding through the Visa Everywhere Initiative. Visa and TechCrunch will promote and host live-streamed and virtual events in North America, CEMEA and Latin America.

Visa is committed to supporting startups and businesses started by everyone, everywhere. That’s why we recently partnered with Daylight, the first digital bank in the U.S. specifically designed for and by the LGBTQ+ community. We are working to digitally enable 50 million small businesses to power recovery in communities around the globe and earmark a quarter million dollars in grants to women-owned businesses with a special focus on black women-owned businesses.

The Visa Everywhere Initiative keeps this momentum with a special call for payments innovators of all races/ethnicities, ages, genders and sexual orientations. To help reach a diverse range of entrepreneurs, we have built a new partnership with StartOut, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the number, diversity and impact of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.

We are proud to expand Visa Everywhere Initiative’s reach in partnership with StartOut, who will amplify the program to their members and in their resources in North America. Our plan is to create the most inclusive and diverse cadre of competitors in the six-year history of the Visa Everywhere Initiative.

Who should apply for the Visa Everywhere Initiative?

We are looking for creative minds who are solving the payments and commerce challenges faced by businesses of all sizes and sectors, including but not limited to:

Enabler of Digital Services and Digital Issuers

  • Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
  • Crowdfunding
  • Banking as a Services
  • BIN Sponsors
  • Issuer / Processors
  • Program Managers

Digital Issuance

  • Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
  • Alternative Lending
  • Personal Financial Management
  • Money Transfer & Remittance
  • Digital Banking (aka Neo Banks)
  • Digital Wallets, P2P &Transfers
  • Employee Benefits
  • Payables
  • Corporate Cards (aka expense management)

Value -Add for Merchants and/or Consumers when it comes to Finance

  • Data & Analytics
  • ID, Authentication & Security
  • InsurTech
  • Loyalty
  • Merchant Services & Tools
  • Process & Pay Infrastructure
  • Retail Technology
  • Other

Small/Medium -Sized Business Recovery

  • Money Movement (disbursements, Intra-account, p2pvendor, payments)
  • Acceptance (e-commerce, mobile acceptance)
  • Risk Management (chargebacks, etc.)
  • Brand Management (Community building, etc.)
  • Other


Four monetary prizes will be awarded during the global finals event:

  • Overall Winner: $50,000 USD   
  • Audience Favorite: $25,000 USD
  • 2nd Place: $15,000 USD
  • 3rd Place: $10,000 USD

The overall winner, 2nd place-winner, and 3rd place-winner are also eligible to win the Audience Favorite prize. Visa does not ask for any equity from Visa Everywhere Initiative competitors as part of this competition.

Let’s get your startup on the world stage

The first step towards getting your startup worldwide attention is to register through the global website to start the application process, access resources, note important deadlines and learn more.

Apply now to join our network of fintechs and startups

Visa Everywhere Initiative regional competitions and timeline



  • Applications close: April 9th
  • Finals event: May 10th

Rest of CEMEA:

  • Applications close: May 7th
  • Finals event: June 8th (live-streamed on TechCrunch)

North America Finals:

  • Applications close: May 14th
  • Finals event: June 22 (live-streamed on TechCrunch)


  • Applications close:  June 18
  • Finals event:  July 19

Asia Pacific:

  • Applications close: June 4th
  • Finals event: July 6th          

Latin America:       

  • Applications close:  April 2
  • Finals event: on June 23 (live-streamed on TechCrunch)

Global Finals:

  • September 14 Apply now
Tag: Payment technology Tag: Digital commerce Tag: Payment trends Tag: Financial Inclusion

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