Thought Factory is a recently launched platform by Axis Bank to nurture startups, specifically FinTech Startups. The innovation lab will be 10,000 sq. ft. and will have its base in Bengaluru.
Axis Bank already has an eight-member team in place to work with startups. The lab will run 3 months accelerator program to develop products, have startup groups meet each other to discuss problems and find solutions in order to accelerate the product development.
The bank has also tied up with zone startups, NASSCOM, and venture capitalists to leverage their experience in the field. As of now the bank already has seven startups to work with and plans to expand quickly.
They are also looking for international tie-ups and have already collaborated with Wells Fargo (An American Financial Services Company) along with other UK and Singapore banks; however no official announcement has been made by the officials.
The focus will be on new technologies including Blockchain, Cloud and Artificial Intelligence etc.
Unlike SBI, they are not building any funds for startups but are contemplating about that. However, it is helping startups raise funds through investors and will also invest in some of these startups.
Thought Factory will house startups from all levels i.e. startups with promising/potential ideas to those with products prototypes. The bank has also stated that they will not have any exclusivity clause with the startups during their mentorship program.
Axis Bank has come up with a dedicated team to understand and cater to need of startups as “New Economy Group”.
It has a program in place called “Hack for Hire” which runs country wide hackathons to identify right talent for their in-house team at Thought Factory.
With sudden emergence of support and investments from banks like Axis, SBI, Barclays, we are heading towards interesting times in the Banking Technology space especially in the Retail Banking sector.