Visa and Girl Starter Team Up to Empower Female-Led Startups

The third annual kick-off of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative in Austin aims to solve business challenges and give a greater voice to female entrepreneurs and developers
Mar 8, 2017 2:50 PM ET

Today, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is announcing the third annual Everywhere Initiative with a focus on female entrepreneurship and a sponsorship of Girl Starter, a technology company that provides platforms to amplify girls in entrepreneurship and business leadership. Visa helps to shine a light on women in technology, both by inviting women entrepreneurs to participate in Visa’s Everywhere Initiative and by sponsoring an upcoming episode of the new TLC network series, “Girl Starter.”

“The sponsorship of Girl Starter continues to move the needle on our commitment to empowering women in the workplace,” said 
Lynne Biggar, chief marketing officer, Visa. “At the same time, it allows us to bring even more start-up-led innovation into the fold at Visa, ultimately creating better business solutions for all of our clients and partners.”

“At Girl Starter we believe in supporting young women who have an entrepreneurial spirit and are fostering change in the world around us,” said 
Jeannine Shao-Collins, CEO and co-founder of Girl Starter. “We’re thrilled to be working with Visa, an established brand that is not only innovating the future of payments but also the future of the workforce by promoting universal acceptance of everyone, everywhere.”

Visa’s Everywhere Initiative Kick-off Event in Austin

The kick-off of Visa’s third annual Everywhere Initiative in North America celebrates female entrepreneurship with a live pitch competition in Austin. Five women-led start-ups will pitch ideas that leverage Visa APIs to help merchants grow their businesses. The event will be held on Saturday, March 11 in Austin at Visa’s Everywhere Lounge. The start-ups include BeautyLynkCNoteLoop & TieSoko, and Traveling Spoon.

The live competition will be judged by Visa executives, cast members of the upcoming TLC network series, “Girl Starter” and 
Ingrid Vanderveldt, chairman and CEO of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 (EBW2020). All participants will receive an annual membership to the EBW2020 One Club, and the winner will receive $25,000 and the opportunity to run a pilot program with Visa.

North America Everywhere Initiative

Concurrently, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative in North America will begin accepting submissions on Saturday, March 11, 2017. Start-ups are invited to submit their solutions to help uncover the “next big thing” in payments as the industry shifts from plastic to digital and new entrants join traditional payments stakeholders. The challenges include:

  • How can your company use connected devices to facilitate simpler, more seamless and powerful commerce experiences for consumers?
  • How can Visa APIs augment your company’s product or service offerings and ultimately drive more meaningful commerce or finance related experiences for customers?
  • How can you harness Visa capabilities and other third party services to create transformative commerce experiences at sporting events, transportation hubs or other venues where people congregate?

“Visa is committed to partnering with startups and other non-traditional stakeholders to create the future of payments together, leveraging Visa APIs from the Visa Developer Center,” said Shiv Singh, senior vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships, Visa. “This year, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is doubling down on female entrepreneurship in an effort to cultivate new relationships and celebrate great ideas from emerging talent in the startup community.”

Visa’s Everywhere Initiative first launched in the U.S. in 2015 and quickly expanded into a global program with nearly 1,000 participating start-ups, which have collectively raised $1.7 billion in funding, with 60 finalists and 14 winners selected. For more information, please visit:

About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit and @VisaNews.