For companies that are just starting out, having a great idea is only half of the equation. The other half: having enough money to survive. Obviously companies at this stage often have very little in terms of resources, though makng it so that every little bit of money they can save helps. It can mean the differenc between going just a little bit longer and having to close down.
The people who run PayPal are well aware of this, as many of them having been entrepreneurs themselves in the past. So they have decided to offer a little bit of help by launching a new initiative called the Startup Blueprint programme, it was announced on Wednesday,
Through the programme, PayPal will waive up to $50,000 in fees for about $1.6 million in transactions, or for 18 months, whichever deadline arrives first.
In addition, PayPal will "also provide dedicated support for developers," meaning that the companies will get a direct contact at PayPal to deal with any transactional issues, and their accounts will be monitored for any anomalies.
"As part of this global program, we are providing mentorship, workshops and one-on-one time with PayPal developers for startups to get advice on technical and business topics. Furthermore, we are also offering white-glove support from PayPal’s customer service, risk management and developer teams," PayPal spokeswoman Kathy Chu told VatorNews.
Part of the reason that PayPal decided to go this route, rather than investing directly into companies, has to do with "returning to our startup roots," but also it allowed for more widespread investment.
"With a venture wing, you can only back certain companies, and with today’s announcement we can spread a wider net and support more startups," said Chu.
Here are the qualifications for startups that want to enter the programme:
- Focus on making mobile or web software or service
- Make less than $3 million in annual revenue, or be less than 5 years old
- Be nominated by PayPal, 500Startups, Seedcamp or Elevator
"The program is looking for the next generation of commerce startups, for whom we can help monetize their great ideas and connect with PayPal’s 137 million active account holders and 15,000 financial institutions around the world," Chu said.
The site is currently launching with accelerator partners located in EMEA and North America, but it says that its aim is to expand to accelerators in other regions soon. And while there will be only a certain number who are able to sign up at first, the program will soon be open to anyone.
"We'll let several startups into the program. We're working with incubator and accelerator programs to nominate startups right now, but we'll expand the program soon to let any startup apply," Chu told me.
The Startup Blueprint is not the only program that eBay and PayPal have started to help startups save money.
There is also StartTank, which provides Boston-based early stage startups free working space with access to PayPal mentors and thought leaders for six months. The space includes over 50 collaborative spaces, two common areas with seating for over 60 people, and two break areas with gaming and dining space.
And there is Friends of eBay, which provides six months worth of free office space for early stage companies located in New York City.
It's good to see that the guys in charge of PayPal have not forgotten where they came from.
(Image source: http://www.creditcardimagelogos.com)