Recently I was invited to a very interesting event in Bangalore which promised to give more information on accelerators for startups. More interesting was the fact that this was for startups in the FinTech industry which are generally ignored. Having seen and used some really cool FinTech products and apps, I was really interested to see what Axis Bank has in store for them so I made my way to Diamond District for this event.
I learnt there that Axis is the First bank in India to introduce a dedicated innovation lab, ‘Thought Factory’ at Bangalore to constantly drive the FinTech innovation. Thought Factory will house an ‘Accelerator’ to collaborate closely with the high potential startup Ecosystem. The Innovation Lab will work closely with the startup community that are redefining banking in the digital era. I think they couldn’t have chosen a better city than Bangalore to start because of the abundance of talent and innovation out here.
‘Thought Factory’ will have a dedicated 3 months program where Axis Bank will engage with the start-up community to fast – track their innovation journey. Each start up group will be provided with mentors who will be specialists from Amazon Internet Services, Payment products company Visa and Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation(OCBC). At the end of the 3 months program, Axis Bank along with Zone startups would organize an Investor Day to facilitate funding for the short-listed startups. The Bank may also offer to invest in high potential startups before the Investor Day. This is something similar to what educational institutes are doing now.
The Main technologies bank is experimenting with are block chain, artificial intelligence, mobility, and cloud to bring about disruptions across functions including Credits, Deposits, wealth Management, Mobile Payments, and Security. They also Launched ‘Hack for Hire’ programme for spotting talent from across the country through Hackathons and bringing them on board as full time employees at Thought Factory.
Executive Director & CIO Rajiv Anand of Axis Bank introduces the Thought Factory in above video and invites startups and entrepreneurs to come and join. He also says that they have already received over 200 applications and are in process of scrutinizing the same.
We interacted with Tenith Adithyaa, who is just 18 but has many innovations in his name. He was there at the launch to share his success story. Axis bank collaborated with GOQiiLife to make a fitness app which will pay you for being fit. This was also launched in this event by GOQii founder Vishal Gondal.