India is home to a large number of startups, and has a flourishing startup ecosystem. YES Bank, India’s fifth-largest private sector bank, is one of the corporates that has been playing an active role in augmenting the Indian startup ecosystem with a number of initiatives. In March this year, YES Bank launched its accelerator programme, YES FINTECH, in association with T-Hub, Anthill, and LetsTalkPayments (LTP) – to collaborate with fintech startups working on innovative banking and financial solutions.
Setting the stage
The first cohort of the accelerator concluded in July with the graduation of 10 startups. Now, YES Bank is all set to launch the second cohort of YES FINTECH, which will kick off on November 7, 2017. The banking giant has also collaborated with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), a joint Indo-US initiative, to bring together emerging entrepreneurs and investors. The theme for the event taking place on November 28-30, 2017 is ‘Women First, Prosperity for all’, and it aims to inspire more women to become entrepreneurs.
The initiative will provide a platform for innovators to get networking opportunities and connect with potential mentors. At a recent roadshow in Bengaluru, YES Bank and GES spoke about how their collaboration will help empower entrepreneurs and foster economic growth. The evening saw entrepreneurs, investors, and experts attending in large numbers.
Women in tech
The roadshow began with Chiranth Patil of LetsTalkPayments and the MC for the evening, taking the audience through the current fintech space and describing what YES FINTECH was all about. The roadshow also had a panel discussion on ‘Women in Fintech’ that included the likes of Lizzie Chapman, CEO and Co-founder of ZestMoney, Prashanthi Reddy of YES Bank, and Anna Roy, Advisor at NITI Aayog.
The discussion, moderated by Madhumita Vasudevan, Associate Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, shed light on how more women are seizing every opportunity that comes their way to get ahead. While women still faced prejudices in various stages of their life, there are more who are now making their presence felt in the workforce. Prashanthi said, “I don’t think women in fintech are very few. We definitely have more women in the tech space today. But what we need the most is for them to be at the forefront, instead of staying in the background.” This will not only let the world know that women have arrived, but also inspire more women to join the workforce.
Dr. Roy said there is more scope for women today, especially for women entrepreneurs. “I think the banking sector has the most number of women employees compared to other sectors in India. The government is collaborating with private sector firms and undertaking initiatives like GES to encourage technological innovation and job creation, particularly for women. And that’s great because we want more women to step out and innovate.”
Experience speaks volumes
The evening also saw former YES FINTECH participants who graduated from the Summer Cohort – Shankar Palaniandy, Founder and CEO at FRS Labs, and Ankit Ratan, Co-founder of Signzy, talk about their time in the programme.
The Autumn Cohort of the 15-week programme kicks off on November 7.