One of the India’s largest private sector bank, Axis Bank announced the launch of its incubator “Thought Factory” in Bengaluru this week. It aims at the development of innovative ideas in the fin-tech space. This space will have mentors and an access to the world class facilities for startups to ideate & test their product on a huge user database backed by Axis Bank. This is also the first time, one of the public sector banks is working so closely with the startup community in the FinTech space. The accelerator is already accepting applications and a few startups have already been shortlisted to be incubated. The program will be a 3-month long process where the ideas will be brought up to an MVP stage & at the end of three months, there will be a demo day, where all the incubated startups present their ideas to potential Venture Capitalists.
Thought Factory by Axis Bank
Axis Bank ED (Retail Banking) Rajiv Anand said the company is excited about the way financial industry is evolving with a push from innovative startups. “Thought Factory is an endeavour to build on the ideas of innovators that can radically change consumer’s life in banking and beyond. With this initiative, we are creating a vibrant ecosystem of global banks, startups, and tech innovators,” he said.
Lack of start-up friendly environment and good business incubators in the country is stopping the young and fresh talent to step into the field of entrepreneurship. To bridge this gap between the service sector and entrepreneurs in the nation, the Government has asked top companies to spend their 2% of their profits in building incubators for budding enterprises and strengthening the start-up ecosystem. Thought Factory is a praiseworthy step taken by Axis Bank to incubate fresh ideas in the field of Fin-tech start-ups.
Incubators are really very significant for a start-up as it is the phase when the entrepreneurs fund their dream enterprise by borrowing capital from their family and whomever they can approach or convince to invest. Some start-ups die and vanish in this early phase for it is toughest to survive the cut-throat competition in the market without any capital and resources. These incubators are really very valuable for these start-ups as along with capital and a working space they also nurture and mentor the fresh minds so that they could perform their best in the future years and can earn revenues for themselves and the nation.
Incubator and Accelerator
Axis Bank claims that the Thought Factory won’t be just another incubator but much more than that for the young entrepreneurs. Start-ups with aspiring ideas for revolutionising the banking sector would be given all that they need to convert their ideas into models. This can be used for experimenting and further guidance by top mentors from the field of finance and banking. In the accelerator division, the models would be nurtured to grow according to the challenges affecting the present / future market. Further, the handpicked entrepreneurs would discuss their ideas with the industry champions, top corporates and additionally work to refine their ideas based on experiences. They would also be trained and guided for 90 days to perfect their models and groom their marketing skills to pitch their dream enterprises in front of the investors, angel investors and other venture capitalists.
This is a separate wing of the Thought Factory which will work along the incubator and the accelerator. It will help the entrepreneurs to collaborate with other companies to further refine their ideas into an innovation that would actually sell and bring a change in the banking sector.
Axis Bank has gone a step further than just incubating and providing platforms. But it has also partnered with Amazon to start another Hub where fresh ideas & start-ups would be nourished till they are qualified to enter the market themselves and mark a dent of their own in the finance, banking and technology sector.
HOW TO BECOME A PART OF THE THOUGHT FACTORY?
Each enterprising start-up can have 5 – 6 co-founders and Anyone with a registered company in India and who have already started working on their dreams with the aid of technologies like Networking, Open API, BlockChain, Artificial Intelligence etc. can applying for being a part of it. Thought Factory is free for all to encourage budding talent. For applying send your proposals to [email protected]. All you need is an idea and the zeal to mark your presence in the business world and the rest would be taken care by the Thought Factory mentors, corporate leaders and top notch financial advisors.
You can also log on to http://www.axisbank.com/thoughtfactory/ for more details.