Mastercard today announced the launch of a new Start Path track dedicated to supporting traditionally underrepresented fintech founders as the company continues its work to ensure minority led startups have access to the funding necessary to scale.
The new programming is part of Mastercard’s In Solidarity commitment of $500 million in products, services, technology and financial support to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap. While Start Path has historically engaged growth and expansion stage startups, this new pathway will provide support for early-stage startups led by Black, Indigenous, People of Color and women. These startups will receive stage-relevant support, including enterprise partnership readiness training, mentorship and coaching, as well as curated commercial and investor introductions. Mastercard will consider grants or investments in participating startups on a case-by-case basis. “To achieve inclusive growth, which ensures that the benefits of a growing economy extend to all segments of society, people need access to the vital networks that power the modern economy. But access to these physical, virtual and social networks is not equally available,” said Michael Froman, Vice Chairman and President of Strategic Growth, Mastercard. “A remarkably small percentage of venture capital is invested in Black-founded startups, and the new Start Path programming track is a critical step in connecting Black entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to launch and expand their start-ups.