Silicon Valley Bank, MasterCard Gear Up for Startup Accelerator

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Silicon Valley Bank and MasterCard are accepting applications for the fourth installment of their startup accelerator program Commerce.Innovated.

Commerce.Innovated is a virtual program for commerce-, fintech- and payments-focused startups designed to help them grow their business. Silicon Valley Bank, a unit of SVB Financial, and MasterCard plan to choose between four and six companies to participate in this iteration, SVB's head of payments strategy Reetika Grewal said in an email.

Companies must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the program including having a working a product and securing seed funding. Previous participants include AppZen, CardFlight and Slide.

During the program, which is set to begin in November, the startups will receive guidance on issues ranging from compliance and security concerns to monetization to marketing.

Grewal said that SVB and MasterCard aim to find "companies that bring unique solutions to business and consumer problems." She said that she expects candidates this year will be focused on different services than in the past.

"The world we live in is constantly evolving with new trends and technologies … our focus on very early stage startups acutely reflects this changing landscape," Grewal said. "As a result, we will likely see a shift from previous classes in the areas in which folks are focusing. For example, a couple years ago mobile wallets was an area that attracted a lot of entrepreneurs - we see a lot less of that today as that market has developed."

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