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Visa targets start-ups in Tel Aviv accelerator launch

Demand for fintech innovation sees Israeli hub bolster London efforts.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Visa is broadening its innovation scheme as it opens a start-up centre in Tel Aviv, Israel, following the launch of a similar outfit in London earlier this year.

Under the plans Visa Europe will take at least 20 ideas through its 100-day innovation programme, with the most commercially viable payment ideas being handed back to Visa to be brought to market.

David Page, co-creator and innovation partner at Visa Europe Collab, said: "Israel is known as the ‘start-up nation’ and its entrepreneurs are turning their creativity to the fintech arena.

"Four Israeli companies – Zooz, Prontoly, Payitsimple and MyCheck – have already entered the Visa Europe Collab innovation pipeline and more fresh and exciting concepts are coming through the door every day."

Partners Visa has recruited to the effort include Cass Business School of City University London, the British design consultancy Seren and the American start-up accelerator Mass Challenge.

Joining them is the Israeli group Terra Venture Capital, with other local partnerships said to be under discussion.

Oded Salomy, former region of manager of Visa in Israel and Malta, has also been chosen to lead the collaboration centre in Tel Aviv, and will report to Page.

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"We have 50 years of industry expertise, the connections and scale offered by more than 3,000 European member banks and financial organisations and now a network of partners from across the fintech ecosystem who can offer their advice," Page said.

"The combination of these things puts Visa Europe Collab in a unique position to offer entrepreneurs with great ideas a means to turn them into commercial reality."

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