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SPJIMR’s FinNovate Opens Applications For Its 4-Month Startup Accelerator Programme


SPJIMR’s FinNovate programme, starting in March 2024, aims to help startups access industry connections, funding, mentorship and more

Selected startups will also benefit from a curriculum focussed on enhancing product market fit, driven by 30+ CXO mentors

The selected startups will get an opportunity to pitch to banks and financial institutions such as HDFC Bank, Federal Bank, ICICI Lombard, ICICI Bank, IDFC First Bank and more

Business school, S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) is set to host the second edition of its four-month accelerator programme, FinNovate, starting in March 2024.

The accelerator programme aims to empower disruptive startups that leverage innovative technologies in artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, machine learning (ML) and more to revolutionise the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector.

Beyond financial support, selected startups from seed to Series A stages will gain valuable opportunities to network with fellow founders, industry experts, seasoned veterans, CXOs and investors. To foster a conducive environment for growth and innovation, the programme will also host startups at SPJIMR’s Mumbai campus for an immersive five-day experience. 

In the inaugural edition in 2023, FinNovate received interest from over 200 startups. After a rigorous selection process, twelve startups were chosen.

“The startups from the first cohort underwent a transformative journey, with close to 50% refining their product-market fit through strategic pivots,” said Manoj Mohan, the executive director of the Centre for Financial Innovation at SPJIMR.  

He added that the startups gained access to senior business leaders at leading financial institutions and FinNovate’s strategic partners, such as ICICI Lombard, Federal Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDFC First Bank and more

The demo day, concluding in November 2023, saw participation from nearly 30 investors, including Mumbai Angels, ah! Ventures, Blume Ventures, Prime Ventures Partners, Pentathlon Ventures, 3one4 Capital, Jupiter Money’s director of product Manisha Pandita, IIFL and many more.

In the forthcoming edition, about eight to 10 startups are expected to be selected. These startups not only stand to benefit from the exposure to the aforementioned institutions but also from CXO mentors like Sunil Bhatia, former president and CEO of Infogain; Ajay Srinivasan, former chief executive of Aditya Birla Capital; Mrinal Singh, the CEO and CIO of InCred Asset Management, among others. Notably, the accelerator programme is equity and cost-free for the startups. 

The programme will conclude with a demo day in July 2024 and the selected startups will have the opportunity to pitch to investors comprising angel networks, VC firms and family offices.

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What Startups Can Expect At FinNovate

FinNovate aims to bring together 30+ CXOs, seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and subject matter experts who will provide personalised mentorship to the selected startups. The programme features a structured acceleration curriculum comprising workshops and sessions focussed on topics like strategy, growth, financing and leadership.

The accelerator programme mentioned that the only criterion for selection is ‘high-quality, innovative ideas’. Therefore, any early stage startup between seed and Series A can apply.

 Key Highlights Of The FinNovate Accelerator Programme:

  • Networking Opportunities: Shortlisted startups will get the opportunity to attend in-person workshops alongside their cohort peers. This will serve as an excellent opportunity for founders to connect with like-minded individuals and industry mentors.
  • An Equity & Cost-Free Initiative: The accelerator programme is equity-free and cost-free for the selected startups. This means that startups can benefit from the programme without giving up any equity or paying any fees.
  • Demo Day: Select startups will get an opportunity to present their business ideas to banks and financial institutions such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Lombard and ICICI Prudential AMC and investors like Mumbai Angels.
  • Infrastructure Support: The programme will also provide infrastructure support from players like AWS, Pier Law and Microsoft Azure.


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The Fintech Sector Shines Despite A Funding Decline 

According to Inc42’s annual Indian Tech Startup Funding Report 2023, Indian startups secured just over $10 Bn in funding in 2023, reflecting a 60% year-on-year (YoY) decline from the $25 Bn raised in 2022. Despite this significant decrease, sectors like fintech, ecommerce and enterprise tech maintained their leadership in the funding landscape, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total funding raised by Indian startups last year. 

With the fintech sector projected to become a $1.3 Tn market opportunity by 2030, there is a sea of opportunities for startups in this space. However, navigating the market challenges such as compliance needs and market downturns requires the right kind of guidance and resources. It is here that accelerator programmes like FinNovate play a key role in building sustainable businesses of tomorrow. 

Apply Now
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