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MasterCard Start Path Extends Application Deadline

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Deadline of registration for the MasterCard Start Path Programme has been extended to Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

A statement by the firm disclosed that additional applications would be received from qualifying late-stage start-ups, marking the perfect opportunity for the fast-growing pool of African fintech talent to benefit from the mentorship and knowledge-sharing that Start Path offers.

This comes as MasterCard announced the latest wave of start-ups joining its global Start Path programme at the Money20/20 Europe in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The initiative is open to fintech and tech start-ups from Africa and across the world who are shaping commerce by rethinking banking and payments and who are well established already, having raised a significant seed or Series A round of investment.

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During the six-month virtual programme, Start Path provides these selected start-ups with the operational support and mentorship they need to develop the next generation of commerce solutions and grow the footprint of their operations.

Start-ups accepted to the programme benefit from the knowledge of a global network of MasterCard experts, access to its customers and partners, and the ability to innovate on top of company’s solutions.

To date, one African start-up has been selected to the programme and has since partnered with MasterCard to introduce a game-changing e-commerce solution for developing markets plagued by cash: NetPlus benefited from knowledge-sharing and mentorship sessions in New York, London and Singapore where NetPlus met with other start-ups and MasterCard customers.

Building on the experience, NetPlus then partnered with MasterCard to develop an e-commerce solution that overcomes the challenge of payments still being made in cash at the point of delivery by allowing customers to pre-authorise the payment when placing their order online – with payment only being released once the customer has confirmed their satisfaction on delivery. This has advantages for both merchants and customers.

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According to organisers of the scheme, focus is being placed on Africa to ensure the continent is well represented, with start-ups from all corners of Africa encouraged to submit their application.

This was echoed by the Vice President of MasterCard Start Path, Amy Neale, who said, “African fintech start-ups are bringing fresh thinking to an increasingly connected commerce industry that relies on enhancing customer choice and experience to survive in the competitive and fast-paced digital age.”

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“The NetPlus and MasterCard collaboration to launch a ground-breaking e-commerce solution proves that there is world-class talent on the continent and that start-ups are contributing significantly to the development of Africa – with programmes like Start Path serving as a springboard to greater growth by enabling these companies to receive exposure they wouldn’t otherwise get,” Neale added.

The programme is open to start-ups who meet the following criteria: solution live in market; established and experienced team; targeting sizeable market opportunity; demonstrable advantage over competitors; and seed or Series A investment recently secured.

Interested start-ups can visit https://www.startpath.com/ for additional information and to submit an application.

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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