By Mark Kawalya
The 2023 Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) is currently open for applications in Uganda. VEI is an international innovation competition that gives fintech startups an opportunity to pitch innovative solutions that will revolutionize the commerce and payments industries.
Winners of the competition will not only get a monetary prize but will also gain access to Visa’s partner network in fields like banking, venture capital, merchants, and government players. Another added benefit is receiving recognition from one of the world’s most reputable financial services companies.
By leveraging technology-driven solutions, fintechs have the power to offer broad social benefits to the masses, especially through bridging the financial services gap between communities that are traditionally underserved.
Salma Ingabire, Uganda’s Visa Country Manager, said that the finals for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA) will be held on July 27, and the event will be livestreamed on TechCrunch, an online portal that publishes tech and startup news.
The winning startup at CEMEA will proceed to the global finale, which will be held at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco on September 19.
“This year, Visa’s VEI CEMEA is set to introduce an award in the risk and security domain – Fintechs Innovating in Risk Excellence, or ‘FIIRE’, Award. “Through this Special Edition, Visa, in partnership with Emirates NBD, is scouting for global Fintech players across fraud management, cybersecurity, and credit risk, among others.
“Following a joint review by Visa and Emirates NBD representatives, the winning fintech will receive a $25,000 prize and an opportunity to work with Emirates NBD, a leading bank in the region,” Ingabire said.
VEI has enabled startups from more than 100 countries to raise more than USD$16 billion in collective funding, along with developing a network of almost 12,000 startups from different parts of the world.
VEI awarded more than USD $530,000 in prize money over the course of the competition last year, with participation from more than 4,000 startups from five regions. ThriveAgric from Nigeria was the winner of the VEI Global grand prize of USD$100,000 during VEI 2022. The startup also won the USD$20,000 Visa Direct Prize.