VEI is a global innovation competition that welcomes participants from all over the globe, with application deadlines set for May 14, 2023.
The Kenyan chapter will see a total of Sh5.4 million ($40,000) in prize money distributed among the different categories.
While the overall winner will get Sh2.7 million ($20,000), the audience favorite will get Sh1.35 million ($10,000) and Sh1.35 million ($10,000) will go to an organization whose solution impacts local communities.
“The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a platform that empowers fintechs and entrepreneurs to showcase the most ground-breaking, impactful solutions in the world of payments and commerce,” said Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Country Manager for Kenya.
“Through their technology-driven, innovative solutions, fintechs have the potential to offer broad social benefits – particularly when it comes to providing financial services to those who have traditionally been underserved. VEI is an important means of supporting the innovators playing a leading role in this space.”
Apart from monetary prizes, VEI winners will gain access and exposure to Visa’s vast network of partners in the banking, merchant, VC, and government sectors.
The winners also benefit from receiving recognition from one of the world’s most trusted and valuable brands.
This year’s VEI in Kenya will see an in-person competition on July 6, the winner of which will progress to the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA) finals, which will be livestreamed on July 27 on TechCrunch.
The winner of the CEMEA regional final will proceed to the global finale, which will be held on September 19 at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.
Ngingi said Visa intends to work closely with the Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy as well as the Central Bank of Kenya during this VEI edition to support the innovation ecosystem in Kenya.
The VEI edition opening follows Visa’s recent commitment made during last year’s Jamhuri Day Tech Innovation Summit, attended by President William Ruto, where the organization outlined a five-year plan to digitally enable small businesses in Kenya.