Israel is considered to be home to more startups per capita than any other region globally, and ranks highly in startup ecosystem league rankings only just behind Silicon Valley. The opening of Visa Europe Collab in Israel begins the growth of the initiative’s footprint across Europe, with plans already in place to begin operations in other European innovation hotspots, including Berlin, later this year.
In its first year, Visa Europe Collab aims to take a minimum of 20 ideas through its unique 100-day innovation funnel, from initial scoping and qualification, through market testing and design to proof of concept. Of those completed proofs of concept, the best new validated and commercially viable services will be handed back into the main body of the Visa business where they’ll be nurtured into fully grown services that can be rolled out to Visa member banks, retailers and consumers across Europe.
“Israel is known as the ‘startup nation’ and its entrepreneurs are turning their creativity to the FinTech arena,” says David Page, Co-Creator and Innovation Partner at Visa Europe Collab. “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.”
Oded Salomy, previously Visa Europe Subregional Manager for Israel and Malta, will now lead Visa Europe Collab in Tel Aviv, reporting to David Page. Visa Europe’s business in these countries within its South Eastern Europe Region will continue as before, supported by the team in Israel, who will report to Visa Europe Subregional Manager Catalin Cretu until a replacement is recruited.
Visa Europe Collab’s wide range of partners include design agency Seren, Cass Business School and accelerator Mass Challenge. Local Israeli partners include Terra Venture Capital, which recently launched CREATE Tel Aviv – an innovation program that will help entrepreneurs develop products and technologies that address the needs of the international market. Visa Europe Collab is also in partnership discussions with a number of other local incubators, accelerators and government bodies.
“Visa is in a unique position to help Israeli entrepreneurs and startups to develop and scale their ideas,” continues Page. “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. 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.”
Aufmacherbild: Back view of businessman drawing sketch on wall via Shutterstock / Urheberrecht: Sergey Nivens