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From Block-chain startups to using IoT in Banking, this discussion had a bit of everything

Team YS
3rd Feb 2017
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Blockchain, AI, Chatbots, and even IoT – these and some more topics were in focus at the second meetup for YES Fintech, YES Bank’s business accelerator, recently held at IIT Bombay.

YES Bank recently launched YES Fintech, a 15-week business accelerator programme for fintech startups, in partnership with T-Hub – India’s largest startup engine, Anthill Venture Capital and LetsTalkPayments – a global fintech insights platform. In less than three weeks after it was announced, the programme received more than 450 applications from fintech startups around the world

Prior to the Mumbai event, a launch session was held at T-Hub, Hyderabad. Two more kickoff events are on the anvil for Bangalore as well as New Delhi.

YES Fintech aims to foster innovation in the fintech space through collaboration. The bank has partnerships with 75-80 fintech startups across domains such as Payments (including merchant acquisition and prepaid card issuance), Lending and Transaction Banking. These collaborations have resulted in tremendous learnings for the bank. The YES Fintech accelerator is a step to create an ecosystem where fintech entrepreneurs can engage in a healthy discussion with the relevant community of experts. The accelerator will have two cohorts in a year, with 10 startups in each cohort.

The Mumbai event saw a Q&A session with panelists from the bank and programme partners.

So, what is in it for startups? 

The accelerator has tied up with India’s largest startup engine based out of Hyderabad T-Hub, a growth stage venture fund Anthill and a global fintech insights platform Let’sTalkPayments as a knowledge partner.

While YES Bank will help the startups with expertise in aspects such as scaling, market accessibility (to its 2 million real customers), compliance and regulatory guidance and business intervention, the partners will work as enablers and connect the startups to their ecosystem for effective knowledge transfer.

In addition to funding and access to customer database, the programme offers the following benefits to startups:

  • Zero upfront equity commitment from startups: The participants do not have to give up any equity to join the programme. At the same time, YES Fintech will facilitate different options of funding for the startups. Startups will have the option to access funding to the tune of USD 1 million through the program’s VC partnerships
  • Enterprise client: As a part of the programme, YES Fintech will provide a guaranteed enterprise client to the startups
  • Regulatory and compliance guidance: YES Bank will also assist the startups in understanding RBI guidelines and compliance regulations. Also, YES Fintech will help the startups in filling patents as well.
  • Digital Infrastructure: YES Bank will open their APIs to the startups for innovation and provide them access to the bank’s digital infrastructure.
  • Global Outreach: YES Fintech’s partners will provide startups access to a global network of fintech experts, angels, VCs, and financial investors.
  • Showcase and Visibility: YES Bank has national and international media and knowledge partners, including Carnegie Mellon University and global fintech festivals. Startups will get an opportunity to showcase their products across the globe.

A unique aspect of the programme is the dual mode of functioning, i.e. three weeks onsite and 12 weeks offsite. The startups can continue to work on their respective businesses from their home locations during the offsite programme. The onsite programme will be held in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Creating a Customer Base for Startups

With customer, capital and compliance being the highlight of the afternoon, the meetup also focused on how the programme was well-crafted.

For example, when asked about the 15 week duration, Anthill representatives said based on what they’ve seen with other accelerators, the shorter span didn’t allow for quality development of the startup, especially when a startup pivots in case of acceleration and the process takes close to 8-10 weeks. Hence, the 15-week duration was based on multiple factors.

Anthill also said that with the help of their in-house Scalability Quotient (SQ), they would figure out gap areas and offer a qualitative assessment of the roadblocks for a startup to scale. These could be customers, guidance or capital, among other things.

In the programme’s 14th week, YES Fintech would facilitate a demo day for startups to pitch their ideas to a host of investors and corporates.

Experience in reality

The meetup also saw participation from YES Bank’s partner startups, and entrepreneurs from these companies spoke about their real experiences of working with the bank.

Benow Cashless Technologies, a startup working to get retail businesses online, lauded YES Bank for the comprehensive APIs provided, while integrating their UPI backend. They added that YES Bank was willing to listen to them and change things from their side when asked for.

Don’t miss out this opportunity to scale your startup with the YES FINTECH accelerator. Apply now at www.yesfintech.com

The last date to register a startup for the YES Fintech accelerator program is February 11th, 2017.

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