Eight entrepreneurs competing in the latest reality competition series on TLC, Girl Starter, were faced with a new challenge in the show’s second episode, sponsored by Visa. Their task: Dream up a new way to pay.
The winners of the Girl Starter Visa Everywhere Initiative Challenge, which aired on May 5, were creative entrepreneurs Tiffany Carvalho and Olli Payne. The idea that won over the judges involved a Visa-branded mat that shoppers would simply step on and then activate voice recognition (by speaking into a clothespin nicknamed “V”) to process the transaction. No scanning items or removing a phone or card to pay; simply put, customers would never have to lift a finger to pay. “We at Visa focus on driving value through innovation. And that’s exactly how these young female entrepreneurs are thinking,” said judge Alison Rezai, Visa’s VP of global technology and innovation marketing.
For the win, Visa treated Carvalho and Payne to a two-day trip to San Francisco, where they scored a private tour of Visa’s One Market Innovation Center and a workshop with Visa’s VP of Global New Product Design and Development (a.k.a. human-centered design expert) Amy Dawson to refine their winning idea and gain insight from real consumer input.
But it wasn’t all work and no play. Before heading back home, Carvalho and Payne took in San Francisco’s most iconic sights on a cruise around the San Francisco Bay.
“I see so much in these young women,” said Girl Starter Co-founder Dani Davis. “They are so smart and capable and really what they need is for others to acknowledge it. They don’t need us to hold their hand. They just want the acknowledgement that they belong at the table. And that’s what Girl Starter is doing.” Watch the full video of the inspiring duo and their trip here.