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Axis Bank opens innovation lab ‘Thought Factory’ for startups to redefine banking

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Fintech is all the range — and it should be, specially in a country like India, where most population comprises of rural folks, and more than half of them lack access to banking. Riding on the rage is Axis bank, has announced the launch of a new innovation lab called Thought Factory to support startups.

It will focus on startups who can bring innovative solutions in the banking area. The lab will have an in-house innovation team and an accelerator program which will work with new-age startups to develop modern banking solutions.

Interestingly, Axis bank is the first Indian bank to come up with a dedicated innovation lab for startups. Thought Factory, spread over 10000 sq ft space in Bengaluru, will carry experiments on upcoming technologies like block-chain, artificial intelligence, mobility, and cloud.

These will be aimed towards bringing disruption in traditional processes of banking like credits, deposits, wealth management, mobile payments and security. On the event of launch of Thought Factory, Rajiv Anand, Executive Director (Retail Banking), Axis Bank said,

We are excited about the way financial industry is evolving and how millennials are reimagining the industry. ‘Thought Factory’, our innovation lab is an endeavor to build on the ideas of innovators that can radically change consumers’ life in Banking and beyond. With this initiative, we are creating a vibrant ecosystem of Global Banks, startups & tech innovators.

Thought Factory startup accelerator for mentorship and funding

For its startup accelerator, Axis bank has partnered with Zone startups to run the program under Thought Factory. The program ,spanning across three months, will offer a structured mentorship program to selected startups. The first batch of 6-7 startups is already underway in Mumbai. It will begin the second batch in July in Bengaluru.

Towards the end, Axis Bank will organize an Investor Day where it will bring together investors and VCs to fund shortlisted startups.

The bank has also launched a program called ‘Hack for Hire’. It will organize hackathons across the country to hire in-house employees for innovation lab at Thought Factory.

In future, Axis Bank has also hinted on launching its own fund for investing in these startups. State Bank of India already has a similar corpus for startups. Additionally, Axis bank is also working towards building a competitive platform for FinTech professionals. Under the platform, they will solve real life business problems by using technology.

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