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Know How to Improve Electronic Payments? Enter to Win $10,000!

September 18, 2013

If you’re a startup in the financial technology space, and think you can innovate electronic payments, especially for use by poor people, here’s your chance to shine!

The Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be awarding a $10,000 grant to a start-up company that can describe and demonstrate an innovative electronic payments technology product or service targeted to underserved individuals or communities. 

 I love this type of open challenge–my deep belief is that the 'ideas are out there' and we need to reach out and engage entrepreneurs.

I love this type of open challenge–my deep belief is that the “ideas are out there” and we need to reach out and engage entrepreneurs.

It’s been two weeks since I started at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as deputy director in charge of payments in the Financial Services for the Poor initiative. Prior to joining, I was co-founder of Innotribe, SWIFT’s initiative to enable collaborative innovation in the financial industry. Innotribe holds this same type of challenge, so you can understand why it has attracted my attention.

The initiative is called the Payments Next Zone (PNZ of course–I have noticed so far that the foundation loves acronyms as much as the previous companies I worked for.)  Applications and details can be found hereThe deadline has been extended, so you have until October 2 to submit your ideas.

The PNZ will be held during ETA’s Strategic Leadership Forum, October 15-17 in Scottsdale, AZ.  The 90-minute showcase will culminate with a judging panel presenting the E-Pay Innovation Award–a check for $10,000–to the company with the product that has the potential to make a profound impact on underserved individuals or communities.

Do you have the passion and perseverance to pitch your startup? We're looking for innovation, clarity of vision, and market opportunity that will increase access to financial services for underserved people worldwide. 

Stay tuned for more news from the Financial Services for the Poor initiative at the foundation.

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