PayPal is sweetening the pot for its ambitious startup initiative.
Today at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Paypal announced that it’s adding a new round of incubators and accelerators to its Startup Blueprint program, which waives up to $50,000 worth of PayPal processing fees for selected startups. Additionally, the program is getting some new benefits, thanks to PayPal’s continuing integration with newly acquired Braintree.
After launching with four accelerator programs six months ago, PayPal is now adding TechStars, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Kima Ventures (its first VC partner), and around a dozen other firms. PayPal works together with the incubators and accelerators to select tech-focused startups for the Startup Blueprint program.
PayPal already offers “white glove” customer service and advisors to participating startups, but now it’s also covering credit card processing via Braintree. (Previously, the Blueprint program only covered PayPal transactions.)
The company has already added more than 100 startups to the outreach program, PayPal’s head of developer relations, John Lunn, said in an interview. And as the man who helped spearhead plenty of PayPal’s recent developer initiatives, including its global Battle Hack, Lunn was elated to confirm that the Blueprint program is now a permanent initiative.
As Lunn tells it, PayPal is focusing on startups in incubators and accelerators because “someone believes in their business model, someone believes they can be big.” Startups outside of those types of organizations can sign up for Braintree’s Ignition program, which gives out $50,000 worth of processing fees to companies from any industry.
The combination of PayPal and Braintree products in the Blueprint program could be a sign of the company’s coming announcements this year. While Lunn wouldn’t divulge what PayPal is up to, he revealed that it will add another batch of incubators and accelerators to Blueprint later this year.
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