MasterCard says the new startups comprising the first global Start Path class, include British AI business, Rainbird. During the six-month program, participants will obtain mentoring from MasterCard experts, access to the company’s commercial partners and the opportunity to integrate with MasterCard products and tools.
The startups will also have access to nearly 40 startups that have been previously mentored by Start Path.
This initial class of early-stage startups, selected from more than 200 applicants, are using big data, mobile and cloud-based applications to build digital relationships, empower consumers and simplify complicated tasks. They are also diverse in terms of geography, team size, level of funding, revenue and sales pipeline.
Launched in 2013, MasterCard Start Path is a global effort to support innovative early stage startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions today. Start Path typically works with businesses in their second phase of development where they’ve already had funding and are looking to connect with bigger corporate partners and clients.
One of the startups is Rainbird, a British company that is aiming to make artificial intelligence (AI) more accessible. It offer clients in banking, insurance, retail – and even music production – services that help digitally capture human knowledge within an organization, and amplify it for decision-making at scale.
As well as offering the augmented decision-making and consistency of judgement throughout an organisation, Rainbird’s specially created AI programme has the ability to solve very complex real-world problems. It brings the equivalent power of supercomputers to a wider market.
By making cognitive computing and machine learning more mainstream, Rainbird is helping businesses of all sizes solve very complex real-world problems by improving the decision-making process and setting new levels in consistency of judgements.
The digital shift in commerce is proving to be a happy hunting ground for startups. As a result, the next-generation of Start Path startups are developing applications that cater to the demands of the always-on, mobile technology and data access. However, out of all startups with great products and services, 50 percent fail in the first five years1 due to lack of mentorship, access to new markets and connections with partners.
MasterCard Start Path will provide Rainbird with the right corporate expertise and mentorship from industry leaders as they move from commercialisation to scale. It will also provide access to its network of partners. Rainbird will participate in Start Path immersion programs hosted in Berlin and Singapore, which will introduces them to geographically diverse opportunities and networks. The immersion programs will be complemented by a robust online program that introduces them to a new way of doing business and provides them access to venture funding, business relationships, mentorships and talent.
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