MasterCard announced launch of Start Path in Europe (already existing in the US), which is an accelerator program dedicated to helping European start-ups get to scale. All details here. I really liked the quote that followed:
“The future of commerce will be shaped both by traditional players and by startups that are already experimenting with the next generation of solutions. We are giving these startups direct access to our extensive knowledge and experience, to help them uncover new ideas, and ultimately create better experiences for consumers, merchants and other partners.”
Will be shaped? It’s being shaped already. This quote also makes MasterCard sound like they have the leverage, like they are in the position of power, and don’t really (desperately) need to tap into innovation and agility of the startups (asap). Perhaps, but something tells me that fintech Zuckerbergs of the future do not need or will not want this help, especially if it comes with caveats such as them owing something to MasterCard.
Like T Rexes towering above the savannah, ‘traditional players’ still have the clout, the assets and the market share, but little they know that the future is behind the savvy, agile, small sized players who think differently, are guided by different values and will outsmart rather than outwin the traditionalists. Heck, they are already stealing one market niche after another from the traditionalists’ domain.
Having taken that off my chest, of course there are startups who will benefit from the resources and the PR that comes from association with a big name. Startups can apply for the program via the online platform here. MasterCard will select as many as 8 companies from across Europe to participate in the 12-month hybrid onsite and virtual program set to start at the end of July.