Thailand’s largest commercial bank is on the hunt for startups with fresh ideas through the launch of a new accelerator programme in collaboration with early-stage VC Nest. Known as InnoHub FinTech Accelerator, the fintech accelerator programme will span over the course of a 12-week programme that will take place in the bank’s home market of Bangkok, Thailand.
The bank is looking for eight startups and has preferences for early-stage companies developing technologies for payments, electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC), machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Besides, the global call out is also geared towards companies with technologies that have direct relevance to the Thai market, or potential for adoption across the ASEAN region.
“Thailand’s start-up ecosystem was going through an exciting period of intense growth and change. We are excited to partner with Bangkok Bank to build further momentum and deliver value for Thailand and the greater region,” said Nest’s Chief Executive Officer, Lawrence Morgan.
“For the companies selected for this programme, our aim is to not only give them access to opportunities domestically in Thailand but also to create a hub for early-stage companies looking to gain traction in other ASEAN markets, thereby positioning Thailand as a gateway into ASEAN,” he added.
Apart from the usual mentoring and support, selected startup founders will also gain unique access to Bangkok Bank’s and Nest’s global network of specialists in technology adoption, who will help prepare them for a potential pilot project or integration with the bank to further develop their innovative services and customer experiences.
The programme is currently open for application and is available to FinTech founders of all nationalities, aged 18 and over. Interested parties can submit an application before its deadline on May 10, and shortly thereafter, the programme will start in June at the bank’s innovation facility.
The accelerator programme will then conclude with a Demo Day in September 2017, when selected startup will pitch their business ideas to members of the wider investment community in a bid to secure funding and partnerships. Meanwhile, this also poses opportunities for the bank’s newly established venture capital arm – Bualuang Ventures – which will focus on exploring investment opportunities with global FinTech startups.
As a whole, Bangkok’s Bank’s initiation of the InnoHub FinTech accelerator programme ties in with the Thai’s government 4.0 policy to build more innovative, value-added and service-oriented economy. With this, Bangkok Bank now officially positioned itself with its other bank competitors, Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikorn Bank to take part in the FinTech ecosystem.
By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork