MasterCard  celebrated 40 years in Canada yesterday by announcing the corporation’s partnership with MaRS Discovery District  to open a new networking space for entrepreneurs and announcing MasterCard N>XT , the first payment network developer challenge with Rogers  and CIBC  as co-sponsors, to be held at the MaRS Center.
“Innovation is in our DNA,” said Betty DeVita, President of MasterCard Canada . “Over the last 40 years, MasterCard has led the way in bringing payment innovations to the fingertips of Canadians and merchants – from chip & PIN to Tap & Go – we continue to find ways to make electronic payments a seamless, convenient and rewarding choice for Canadians.”
The 2-day challenge will take place September 28th and 29th at MaRS and will search for Canada’s next great developer and breakthrough payment solution. With access to MasterCard’s commerce infrastructure, professional and student application developers are invited to create their own payment applications and mobile solutions.
“I think the developer challenge is a great way for coders to gain experience and think creatively. As a student this could be a great way to develop my skills and get my name out there. I also look forward to having the opportunity to use the tools and platforms provided by MasterCard”. – Liana Fisher, Co-op Student at AppHero Inc .
Working in teams, developers will leverage MasterCard’s open API and tool kit to build any type of app with a payment connection. Winners will be chosen by a prestigious judging panel that will bring together some of Canada’s most sought-after technology minds to award three top prizes of $10,000 and access to senior technology executives to pitch their app idea. The judging panel includes:
- Daniel Bader, Senior Editor at MobileSyrup.com 
- Jeppe Dorff, Vice-President, Transaction Services, Rogers Communications 
- Todd Roberts, Senior Vice President, Cards Product Management & Payments Innovation, CIBC 
- Neil Thomas, Staff Software Engineer, Google 
- Alex Baker, Principal, Relay Ventures 
Registration for MasterCard N>XT  begins on July 18, 2013.
In partnership with MasterCard, mobile strategist and product developer Xtreme Labs  will be creating a resource portal for developers as well as delivering an in-person workshop teaching developers how to leverage MasterCard’s API to create payment applications and mobile solutions.
“We are excited to share our mobile expertise with MasterCard for this important event that will not only help drive the Canadian mobile payment industry forward but also create a footprint on the global stage,” said Amar Varma, CEO and co-founder of Xtreme Labs. “The developer challenge is an excellent way to foster innovation, tap into Canada’s exceptional tech talent and push the boundaries of creativity and collaboration.”
In addition, MasterCard has sponsored the creation of the MasterCard deck, an outdoor patio space within the heritage building of the MaRS Centre. The MasterCard deck will continue MasterCard’s tradition of innovation and help build the next generation of great ideas by providing an invigorating networking space for entrepreneurs and stakeholders.
“We are delighted to partner with MasterCard – a global innovation pioneer – in support of the entrepreneurs in our MaRS ecosystem,” said Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District. “The MasterCard deck is a unique addition to the MaRS Centre – strategically located in the MaRS Commons within the iconic Heritage Building. It will provide an inspiring new space for our entrepreneurs to meet and collaborate, further catalyzing the innovation that will drive Canada’s knowledge economy. We also look forward to providing the platform for MasterCard’s upcoming developer challenge, where we can bring together top tech talent both from within the MaRS network and the larger community across Canada.”