Visa announced the official launch of the Visa Creator Program, a one-year product strategy and mentorship program for entrepreneurs working in art, music, fashion and film who seek to accelerate their small business through nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. According to Visa, the goal of the Creator Program is to bring together a global cohort of digital creators and empower them on blockchain technology and NFT commerce via education.
Initially announced in October 2021, the program’s first Visa Creator is Micah Johnson, creator of the Aku World NFT community. Johnson is a former professional baseball player who retired after multiple injuries to become a visual artist in 2018. The NFT character “Aku” is a young, Black astronaut who has gone on to ink a film and TV deal and is considered the first NFT art piece to digitally travel to the International Space Station.
Johnson’s art has sold for a total value of 6,178 Ether (ETH), or approximately $20.9 million, at the time of publication, according to CryptoArt. He joins the global payments giant’s inaugural class of content creators and gig economy workers already engaging with NFTs. Prospective candidates must apply and be selected to partake.
Creators like @Micah_Johnson3 are at the forefront of NFTs. His work with Visa is an exciting introduction to the Visa Creator Program, a global opportunity for digital creators & artists looking to deepen their understanding of NFT commerce. Learn more: https://t.co/oAQknwPdB4 pic.twitter.com/E6B9QVTyDl— Visa (@Visa) March 30, 2022
Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, said in a statement that “NFTs have the potential to become a powerful accelerator for the creator economy.” He added that the Visa Creator Program is the company’s way of helping “this new breed of small and micro businesses tap into new mediums for digital commerce.”
Besides mentorship and the community aspect of the program, other perks include the opportunity to engage with Visa’s network of clients and partners, as well as the access to thought leaders in the Web3 space. Participants will also receive a one-time stipend to help kick-start the next phase of the company's business plan.
The Visa Creator Program demonstrates the company’s commitment to crypto following its $150,000 acquisition of a CryptoPunk in August 2021, the launch of its Universal Payment Channel interoperability project and the success of its crypto-enabled cards.