Zone Startups, the accelerator operated by Toronto-based Ryerson Futures, has been selected by Axis Bank, to manage the accelerator program at ‘Thought Factory’, Axis Bank’s Innovation Lab in Bangalore.
Axis Bank becomes the first Indian bank to set up a dedicated innovation lab, which will include an accelerator. This demonstrates Axis Bank’s long-term commitment to be an active member of the innovation and startup ecosystem.
The announcement comes less than a fortnight after Zone Startups launched a fintech accelerator in Mumbai with an international bank. Ryerson has now launched a total of six accelerators – with four accelerators under the Zone Startups brand.
Under the agreement, Zone Startups will manage the accelerator program. It will focus on developing prototypes that address internal technology problem statements floated by Axis Bank.
In 2013, Ryerson Futures launched its first accelerator program in India, Zone Startups India, through a joint venture with the BSE Institute in Mumbai. The program’s success and growing reputation led it to receive a grant from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
“Partnering with Axis Bank is exciting because it expands and strengthens our presence within the Indian start-up community,” said Matt Saunders, President with Ryerson Futures. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with Axis Bank to identify, support and grow leading-edge fintech technologies and solutions”
“Technology is causing a huge shift in consumer behaviour and business delivery models. Emerging technologies such as AI, Blockchain, IOT, mobile and cloud are bringing the next wave of innovation in every business. With 'Thought Factory', Axis Bank’s Innovation Lab, we intend to build the future of banking. We aim to simplify banking for customers, increase operational efficiency and build disruptive business models. With the Accelerator, a dedicated 3 month programme run by Zone startups, we will partner with the start-up community to fast-track the innovation journey”, Amit Sethi, CIO, Axis Bank
Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Ryerson Futures India and Zone Startups India, added that creating a verticalized accelerator program in India's startup capital is a great opportunity. “Axis Bank’s domain expertise, coupled with our program management expertise is a powerful combination for fintech startups to leverage. We have been working with Axis Bank on many initiatives over the past months and have had a fruitful engagement with the startup community. With the accelerator program, we look forward to taking our engagement to the next level."