Bengaluru city has a new innovation lab, courtesy Kotak Mahindra Bank. The Private sector bank recently started an Innovation Lab in Bengaluru with an aim of exploring the best of the best technology that could have an impact on its operations. In addition to this, the bank is even considering investing in promising startups.

This particular initiative by the fourth largest private sector bank in the country is majorly going to benefit startups working in the fintech sector.

“We started an ‘Innovation Lab’ recently which is right now a dedicated space from where we are partnering with startups in the fintech space to test concepts and launch them into commercial products,” said Deepak Sharma, Kotak Bank’s Chief Digital Officer in a statement to PTI.

In an effort to get things started, the bank has already formed a seven-member core team which is now working meticulously with an equal number of startups belonging to the machine learning, artificial intelligence, biometric, analytics and iris scanning arena.

Majority of the selected startups are based out of Bengaluru, while two are headquartered in United States and one belongs to the land down under, Australia.

Recent times have seen private domestic lenders taking an extra interest in increasing their communication with the growing fintech startup community in the country so as to keep itself close to all their future technologies that will help them stay updated and relevant to the then world.

In order to keep the engagement going, they have undertaken various initiatives like organising ‘hackathons’, ideation contests, launching dedicated funds to invest in startups, and starting incubation centres.

Kotak Mahindra Bank has itself had an eye on the flourishing Indian startup industry for quite sometime now. Prior to this Bengaluru innovation lab, the bank had joined hands with NASSCOM’s Startup Warehouse to provide services to Indian startups and entrepreneurs under the NASSCOM 10,000 Startup Programme.

Even though the facility at MG Road, garden city, Bengaluru is open to the idea of investing in promising ideas and startups, it isn't an incubation centre as of now as they currently don't have a dedicated fund for the same. Hence, for now, the bank is calling the facility as its innovation lab.

Through this initiative, Kotak Mahindra Bank plans to keep reviewing promising opportunities of incubating, partnering and investing in deserving startups. The bank's current to-do list includes hiring more human resources for the Bengaluru innovation lab in the period of next 3-6 months.

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