Empowering change through fintech collaboration

May 30, 2024

From creating new ways to measure sustainability to using technology to overcome healthcare barriers, seven startups join Mastercard Start Path In Solidarity to scale innovation

Mastercard is welcoming seven high-growth startups to the Start Path In Solidarity program, helping to accelerate fintech growth by providing financial tools and connections to a global network that fosters equitable access to opportunities. Spanning industries from artificial intelligence to healthcare to sustainability and beyond, the latest cohort includes startups that are at the forefront of technology in commerce and are looking around corners to unlock fintech innovation.

The Start Path In Solidarity program is a key facet of Mastercard’s broader strategy to drive inclusive growth and provides startups with stage-relevant support, including a dedicated mentor, and curated access to Mastercard’s products, services and in-house expertise. Founders also have opportunities for technology collaboration and forums to pitch their solutions to prospects and refine their strategy. In turn, the startups share local expertise and market knowledge to help Mastercard remain agile, diversify its portfolio and quickly adapt to market changes and emerging trends.

The following startups are joining Start Path to scale fintech innovation:

BlinkSky (Atlanta): Allows users to easily manage, issue and redeem a wide range of digital gift cards from premium brands


“At BlinkSky, our vision is clear: to democratize digital payments so that everyone, from remote villagers to large enterprises, can access goods and services they need to thrive,” says Mark Chambers CEO of BlinkSky Inc. “Our technology aims to enrich lives through digital transactions that are both universally accessible and deeply empowering, for a future where digital payment barriers are dismantled to unlock new opportunities to the Brands we serve.”

Cleva (San Francisco): Empowers African freelancers and businesses to receive international payments and protect themselves from local currency volatility


"We're deeply passionate about using our gained experience to impact the lives of other Africans like ourselves,” says Tolu Alabi, co-founder and CEO of Cleva. "Our mission is to empower Africans to access the global economy and build wealth over time. This has led us to build a delightful product for Africans to receive international dollar payments, spend with a card, and manage their money in the currency of their choice.”

Create Labs (New York): Develops custom Gen AI solutions for enterprise brands and builds inclusive AI products for consumers


"Our primary goal was simply to see ourselves in the tech and innovation industries,” says Abran Maldonado, co-founder of Create Labs Ventures. “Not only have we carved out a space for our culture in the generative AI ecosystem, but the technology itself also allows us all to become world builders and create the future we want to see in the world."

Cyphr (Formerly Foresight) (Kansas City): Offers a fine-tuned model trained to extract, contextualize and translate financial data for fast, de-risked and de-biased financial decision making.


“Businesses should have access to the capital they need, when they need it," says Jannae Gammage, CEO of Cyphr. “Our vision is to reshape financial services by making capital access immediate and straightforward, addressing financial data challenges, empowering businesses, especially the underserved, by providing precise, actionable intelligence.”

Cysurance (New York): Redefines cybersecurity by uniting providers, businesses and insurance companies for complete defense against digital threats


“Driven to create a more cohesive defense, we combined our expertise in cybersecurity, business needs and risk management to transform the cybersecurity landscape," says Kristen Bay, CEO of Cysurance. “We’ve created a robust, interconnected defense ecosystem that proactively addresses and mitigates evolving digital threats, ensuring unparalleled security and peace of mind for organizations worldwide.”

MedTrans Go (Atlanta): Uses technology to connect healthcare providers with services that overcome barriers to patient care


“We envision a future where all healthcare providers are able to provide the care their patients need, when they need it,” says Dana Weeks, CEO of MedTrans Go. “Through MedTrans Go, medical staff can efficiently solve their patients’ unique barriers to care, healthcare facilities can save revenue and treat more patients, and the communities they serve can access the care that they need.”

Planet Fwd (San Francisco):  Tackles the climate crisis through an AI-powered decarbonization platform for consumer companies


“At Planet FWD, we empower companies to take action on Scope 3 emissions reductions – a crucial step to creating more sustainable products for future generations,” says Julia Collins, founder and CEO of Planet FWD. “I’m proud and humbled to work with some of the world’s leading innovators to help them embrace decarbonization and create a world where sustainable consumer products are a part of the climate solution.”

Mastercard has supported more than 400 startups from 54 countries through the Start Path program, many of which have gone on to enter public markets, achieve unicorn status, and establish extended commercial engagements with Mastercard and its customers​. Startups interested in the Start Path In Solidarity program can apply here.

Media contact: Jen Langione, Mastercard Global Communications, (917) 408-2941, jen.langione@mastercard.com