Fintech startups to drive financial inclusion in India

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Chennai: IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC), Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) under the aegis of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), and AIC STPINEXT Initiatives have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in developing the ecosystem of fintech startups in India.

These organisations have agreed to work jointly in developing the ecosystem necessary to identify, support and scale innovative fintech startups in the country.

Through this collaboration, FinBlue, STPI’s FinTech Incubator, and IITM Incubation Cell will jointly incubate startups at different stages, developing pioneering solutions in financial technology.

Incubatees will receive an array of value-added support including mentorship from domain/industry experts, training, access to a large network of banking and financial institutions and investors, business support services and infrastructure/workspaces.

Innovation challenges and hackathons across broad fintech areas, workshops/brainstorming sessions, training, experiential talks, and events will also be conducted intermittently to draw entrepreneurial interest to the sector and further strengthen the fintech startup ecosystem.

“STPI has very domain-specific centres for entrepreneurship, fintech is one of them which is focused on all kinds of financial technologies. The success which IITM Incubation Cell has seen so far is phenomenal, especially in creating financial inclusion for those who are in the lowest strata,” said Arvind Kumar, DG – STPI, MeitY – Govt. Of India.

“We would like to work together through Finblue, to find the brightest ideas in the fintech arena, which can then be nurtured to create a prototype, supported through a go-to market strategy and then finally into a world-class product. We strongly believe this kind of collaboration will help in the overall prosperity of the country,” added Kumar.

To ease market access to the larger fintech ecosystem, incubatees will also gain access to end-to-end digital resource platforms, developed to specifically address entry barriers faced by fintech startups:

IITMIC “Startup Engine” – A digital tool that empowers startups to effectively track, manage their business functions and collaboratively take data-driven business decisions.

FinBlue Marketplace – A platform connecting user bankers, financial institutions, mentors, and investors.

FinBlue Sandbox – An environment that consists of APIs of different participating banks, NPCI products, Core Banking Software, and other enabling services through various stakeholders.
“Fintech startups can intervene in boosting financial inclusion by leveraging the existing financial ecosystem and emerging technologies to make banking simpler, more accessible, and cost-effective for millions of underserved Indians,” said Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala, President, IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC) and IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP).

“We strongly believe that with the support of STPI, we can harness the power of disruptive technology by jointly incubating the next generation of promising fintech startups. Our goal is to work towards making financial inclusion a reality,” added Professor Jhunjhunwala.

The collaboration marks another key development in IITM Research Park’s vision of “Fintech for Inclusion” a mammoth technological goal pursued under their flagship program – 10X.

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