It’s not easy for startups to just come along and start working with a major brand, much less a Fortune 500 and a global leader in its space. Especially if all the startup has is little more than an idea, no matter how good it might be.
Visa is changing that with The Everywhere Initiative, which kicked off at SXSW in March, when Visa selected video startup, Reelio, for a $30K pilot program.
That was just for starters. Visa now has three new Everywhere Initiatives underway and they are literally giving away $150k without taking an equity, and here’s where you come in:
The Everywhere Initiative is a program to source innovative solutions for three marketing challenges from tech startups. The prize: Visa, in partnership with innovation platform and marketplace KITE, is awarding up to a $50K pilot program for each challenge, for a total of up to $150K.
Instead of going to the big agencies as usual, Visa is giving entrepreneurs an opportunity to show their stuff and break through in a big way with a full support of the VISA team, with access to not only mentorship, but to consumer insights and data, too.
Applications are due by April 30. You can apply here.
“One of the big challenges when I was at a startup was getting your foot in the door and working with these big brands, and specifically making sure you’re getting the attention of the team that would actually implement what you’re doing,” said Gedioen Aloula, VP, Head of US Consumer Marketing at Visa, who was formerly with socialmedia.com, which was acquired by Living Social.
The idea behind The Everywhere Initiative is to break down barriers with breakthrough ideas – and sometimes, the best way to reach an audience is by taking a bold new approach:
The 3 Everywhere Initiative Challenges:
- Drive Digital Commerce – Get people to try a new way to buy
Is your expertise in expertise in content amplification, eCommerce/mCommerce, or social shopping? 88% of e-commerce transactions are started but never completed. Visa Checkout is a new product that makes it easier for consumers to pay online from the card they know and trust, and lower the rate of cart abandonment. What would you do to raise awareness for this product and drive Visa users to discover an easier way to check out? Think you have a winning idea for this? Propel your startup with $50k and submit your application here.
- 2. Inspire Millennials – Help them reach their financial goals
Calling all experts in personal finance, P2P payments, user generated content and messaging, and the quantified self: 44% of US Millennials aspire to be financially accomplished. What is financial accomplishment? To Millenials, it means being financially secure; being able to buy a home; and be able to better manage their personal finances. The only thing that’s stopping them is fear. This challenge will allow entrepreneurs to implement plans to help Millenials break down the economic barriers and break through their fears to pursue their dreams. Can your startup facilitate this? Apply here.
- Reward Members – Prove that loyalty has its rewards
Calling all experts in insights, reward & perks, customer service and the sharing economy: the Visa Signature is a card that truly does more. Exclusive travel and shopping benefits, high-touch customer service, points, miles and cash back are just the beginning. And people need to know about it, so what would your startup do to inform cardholders about the benefits they may be missing, and let them know that it is truly easier to get around everywhere with a Visa? You can apply here.
These three challenges will allow you chance to secure $50K in funding and establish a partnership with a leading brand, without giving up any equity, all while retaining your intellectual property.
Need even more inspiration?
You’ll get mentorship from top Visa executives: winning startups have the opportunity to meet and strategize with Visa Senior Vice President & Global Head of Digital & Marketing Transformation Shiv Singh, as well as other Visa executives for mentorship. And that’s the kind of access you just can’t buy.
Startups also get the chance to test and scale their product or service with a global brand. Visa can literally put you on the map: wherever you want to be, Visa can help you get there.
If your pilot program is successful, your startup will have an opportunity for follow-on revenue through ongoing contracts with Visa. And Visa mean business.
“The Everywhere Initiative is Visa opening up to the startup community to help us solve our most critical and most important marketing problems,” said Singh. “While there have been a lot of startup competitions in the past, this is probably one of the first ones where we’re sharing insight into our consumers, information on our brand, and we’re sharing our very specific marketing challenges.”
“We are a serious business, we have serious things to do, and we’re hoping the startup community can help us.”
And what entrepreneur ever backs away from a challenge?
Or three. Check out this video which explains more:
Apply by April 30; all finalists will be notified by May 15th.
This could change the trajectory of your startup, giving you the opportunity to work with a world-class brand while getting $50K in the bank, risk free.
What do you have to lose?
“Ordinary people can consistently do extraordinary things—if they have the freedom and motivation to do so,” said Visa founder Dee Hock.
It’s time for your startup to do something extraordinary together with Visa.
You can apply here.