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Ideas, Innovation, Co-creation and Disruption are some of the buzz words that have gripped the headlines lately. More often than not the words get associated with the startup boom in the country. Certainly, while startups are changing the technology landscape in India, there is an ecosystem that is enabling them in every step of the journey. In a way, it is this symbiotic relationship which is the real ‘disruption’.

We have come a long way since India’s first incubator; STEP (Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Park) was set up in 1986 at Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College. India now has the third-highest number of startup incubators and accelerators in the world after China and the US, according to a report by IT industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). USD 5.5 Bn has been invested in Tech startups in India between Jan-Jun'17.

While over 50 % of accelerators and incubators are run by the state universities across themes like Agri-tech, Health-tech, Reg-tech and Fintech amongst others, a host of corporates are also encouraging such innovation programs. Banks have led the way around the world in co-creating solutions with Fintech startups in accelerator or incubators; one such program which catches the eye has been launched by YES BANK, India's fifth largest private sector Bank in January 2017 - YES FINTECH.

Certain benefits are unique about YES FINTECH and the success of the inaugural cohort can be attributed to that as well. For example, unlike most accelerator programs, YES FINTECH does not end up taking equity in the startup, yet is equally involved in helping the startup scale up and address key startup needs– business expansion and access to funding. In case any of the cohort startups are looking for funding, YES FINTECH assists them via their network of VC partners. In the summer cohort, the program promised startups a minimum of $ 1mn funding and at the end of the cohort; $ 4 mn funding was raised by startups who required the same for their scale-up plan.

YES FINTECH provides an enterprise client to the selected startups, i.e. YES BANK, with an additional outreach to the YES BANK corporate, retail and SME customers as well. This provides an opportunity to a startup to directly do a PoC with the Bank and test out their solutions. In its inaugural Cohort, 9 out of 10 startups ended up with successful PoC and five have already prepared for go-to-market with YES BANK, all in a matter of 15 weeks. These startups are getting access to the customers of YES BANK with a joint go-to-market strategy. The startups also get access to over 200 APIs of YES BANK.

YES FINTECH program was launched by YES BANK in January this year and in a matter of weeks, the program garnered the interest of 753 startups keen to work with the Bank. The success can be somewhat attributed to the unique program structure which does not require the founders to spend 15 weeks at headquarter of YES FINTECH, or the multitude of benefits of the program. While every accelerator assists selected startups in scaling up their business, the key element of YES FINTECH that steals the spotlight is a ready Banking partner for integration and testing innovative solutions.

With regards to additional assistance for scaling up startups, YES FINTECH is providing access to co-working space for the period of a year, even after the cohort program. This is a huge benefit for global fintechs looking at Indian market for expansion. In summer cohort, YES BANK ended up working with Paykey (Israel), which is a digital payments solution, across all social media platforms and soCash (Singapore) which is building a cash distribution network via merchants.

With partners like ourCrowd (Israel), MaGIC (Malaysia), Lattice80 (Singapore), Nestholma (Finland), Holland Fintech (Netherlands) and QC Fintech (US) amongst other, YES FINTECH is building a bridge with all major Fintech hubs globally. These bridges will provide startups from these countries to use YES FINTECH as a springboard to enter the India market, while also providing YES FINTECH affiliated startups an opportunity to expand into these markets.

Fintech startups looking at co-creating products now have an opportunity to also expand into multiple global markets - the Autumn cohort applications are open now for the interested startups and we might even see a spike in the number of startups being selected for this cohort.

Apply now at www.yesfintech.com

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