Since the launch of VEI in 2015, some of the most promising startups and fintechs from more than 100 countries have participated in the program. Following their participation in the program, these companies have collectively raised more than $16 billion in funding, successfully addressing the biggest challenges faced by early-stage entrepreneurs.
As a vital component of the program, Visa has made its network available to drive inclusive economic growth with the goal of giving everyone, everywhere, access to the global economy. Notably, minority-owned businesses have tripled after the pandemic, introducing new ideas for the fintech space. The 2023 VEI program saw a significant uptick in diverse applicants, with women-led businesses representing nearly half of this year’s entrants.
“This year, VEI has significantly expanded its reach to unique fintech startups around the globe,” said Marie-Elise Droga, SVP and Head of Global and North America Fintech Partnerships, Visa. “At Visa, innovation is at the heart of everything we do, and by supporting the next generation of payments technology providers in their early stages through VEI, we are fulfilling our mission of uplifting everyone, everywhere.”
To date, nearly 15,000 startups have applied to the program, many of which now work with Visa or its clients. The 2023 global finale is preceded by a year-long competition that saw diverse businesses across the world enter their innovative ideas to solve the payment challenges of tomorrow. Visa and its panel of judges have selected five winners from each region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and CEMEA) to move forward to the global final event.
The 2023 VEI Finalists are:
- Jonas Overgaard - Founder & CEO at Anyday
- Saksham Shubham - Business Head - APAC at Decentro
- Chibuzo Opara - Co-founder & CEO at Drugstoc
- Jeff Catalano - Co-founder & CEO at Payment Porte
- Carolina Nucamendi - Co-founder & CEO at Waivr
The competition will be hosted and emceed by Delores Terry, Inclusive Client Partnerships, Visa. Judges will evaluate each finalist based on the quality of their solution and presentation, the opportunities it offers to partner with Visa and clients, and the desirability, uniqueness and feasibility of their production or solution.
This year’s judging panel includes:
- Ayodeji Arikawe - Co-founder at Thrive Agric and global winner of VEI 2022
- Emily Man – Partner at Primary Ventures
- Rodrigo Barros de Paula - Regional Head of Fintech Partnerships for LAC at Visa
- Akshay Chopra - VP, Head of Innovation & Design for CEMEA at Visa
- Ralph Koker - Visa Direct VP & Head of Market Expansion at Visa
- Dan Roesbery - VP, Fintech Business Development at Visa
The 2023 awards include:
- Overall Global Winner: $50,000 USD
- Audience Favorite: $10,000 USD
- Visa Direct: $10,000 USD
Additionally, Marie-Elise Droga will host a fireside chat with Wade Arnold, Co-Founder and CEO, Moov Financial. Moov was the global winner of the 2021 Visa Everywhere Initiative. Since the win, Moov has fast-tracked onboarding to Visa’s global network and leveraged Visa’s security and fraud protection technologies to expand to new markets. In 2023 Moov raised $45M in their Series B round of funding.
Join us on Tuesday, September 19, from 3:40-4:50 pm PST at the Moscone Center to find out which of our finalists will take the top prize. TechCrunch will also livestream the awards ceremony.
Visit our website to learn more about the VEI program.
Visa (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.com.