Visa is proud to be a part of the buzz from Austin this year by kicking off our third annual Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) with a live startup pitch competition.
In celebration of Women's History Month, the standing-room-only event focused on empowering female entrepreneurship. Five female-led startups shared ideas on how they would use Visa APIs to grow their businesses.
- BeautyLynk discussed using Visa Direct and Visa Checkout to help beauty professionals get more real time payments.
- CNote pitched a Visa debit card and using the Visa API to unlock opportunities locally for millennials.
- Corporate gifting merchant Loop and Tie envisioned using Visa Checkout for easier customer payments and Visa Direct for paying suppliers.
- Jewelry merchant Shop Soko sought to integrate the Visa Checkout API into their payment processes.
- Traveling Spoon, a service for traveling foodies, pitched using Visa Direct to push funds in real-time to hosts.
The judges for the live pitch included Jeannine Shao-Collins, CEO and co-founder of Girl Starter and Ingrid Vanderveldt, chairman and CEO of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 (EBW2020). They were joined by three leaders from Visa: Sam Shrauger (SVP of Digital Products), Shiv Singh (SVP, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships) and Ilkay Can (Head of Client Engagement for Visa Developer). After a lively debate in the deliberation room, the judges announced the winner of the competition: Sara Rodell, CEO of Loop and Tie.
Watch an interview with Sarah Rodell, who took home a $25,000 prize and the opportunity to run a pilot program with Visa.
The live pitch event kicked off the broader VEI program, which offers technology entrepreneurs the chance to compete for up to $50,000. This year, the competition features three different questions about real-world business problems in the commerce landscape. Five finalists are selected for each question and will pitch live on stage at the Visa Payments Forum in Orlando, Florida at the beginning of May.