Apply Now for ISME ACE – India's Largest FinTech Accelerator & Gateway to India for Global FinTech Startups

ISME ACE is hosting India's largest FinTech accelerator for startups with the aim to foster creative collaboration by leveraging all elements of the FinTech ecosystem, and fuel next-gen disruptive FinTech innovation.

Source: ISME ACE

ISME Accelerating Creative Entrepreneurs (ACE) is a 360-degree FinTech ecosystem for startups, corporates, investors and students, to accelerate creativity and disrupt the financial services industry. By accelerating over 100 startups in next two years, ISME ACE aims to lead the FinTech revolution in India, backed by enablers such as IndiaStack, Jan Dhan, UPI, GST, new technologies (distributed ledger technology, AI, etc.), and higher mobile and internet penetration.

As a step in that direction, India's biggest FinTech accelerator has been launched. At ISME ACE, entrepreneurs can avail a host of benefits such as funding, space, mentorship, marketing help, technology support, student interns and accounting & legal help. The accelerator has been set up as a thriving partner ecosystem for startups by partnering with KPMG, Indian Angel Network (IAN), YourStory, Luthra & Luthra, AWS, IBM, Awfis, BW Businessworld, Let’s Talk Payments, and TiE amongst others.

The four-month cohort for the final ~12 selected startups will begin in September 2017. The startups will get incubated at ACE’s outstanding campus located at 3rd floor, South Annex, ISME Tower, One Indiabulls, Lower Parel, Mumbai – 400013.

The LTP Team is proud to be a part of this initiative, and invites startups to apply to the first cohort of ISME ACE via MEDICI, FinTech’s global knowledge network for collaborative innovation, which is used by the world’s financial institutions, FinTech investors and innovation programs to boost the process of open innovation and connect with emerging players.

MEDICI provides unique industry insights and startup access, sourced directly from 7,500+ FinTech/InsurTech companies globally, with deep segment analyses by domain experts across 45 FinTech sectors, supported by on-demand strategic consulting and bespoke research.

As Aparajit Bhandarkar, Chief Acceleration Officer at ISME ACE, said, FinTech startups, instead of competing with large financial institutions, are exploring partnerships and synergies, wherein the startups provide cutting edge technology to these institutions and the institutions drive customer adoption, via their existing customer base. ISME ACE is designed to foster this collaboration, by providing seed funding, focused & hands-on mentorship, access to financial services partner firms, technology, fundraising, and marketing support.

Accelerator Focus

The focus sectors of ISME ACE are alternative lending, financial inclusion, smart authentication & security, insurance tech, wealth management & robo-advisory, payments & remittance, and customer services – all of which revolve around the financial activities a common man performs – pay, borrow, lend, insure, or invest.

Startups, either B2C or B2B or B2B2C, that are disrupting these financial activities are welcome to apply for the accelerator program. The focus will be on startups leveraging technologies such as SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud), artificial intelligence, and blockchain.

Program Benefits

Source: ISME ACE

Funding: ~$100k seed funding with ~$33k program fee. Selected startups to get more cash funding. All startups to get $100k-worth cloud credits, marketing credits and a host of other intangibles through the program partners.

Space: Four months of intense acceleration at ACE space in Lower Parel, Mumbai – India's financial hub. Moreover, startups based outside Mumbai to be provided space by the accelerator program partner AWFIS.

Access to ecosystem partners: Open doors to ISME’s financial services partners for startups to use them as a channel to test innovation or get their first client.

Mentorship: Focused, pertinent and need-based mentorship by financial sector leaders, investors, growth hackers and tech experts. Mentors are high-profile individuals from financial services sector companies – banks, NBFCs, Insurance companies, mutual funds, payment banks, wallets, etc., along with technology experts, growth hackers, and startup founders.

Cloud credits: >$100k-worth cloud credits by our program partners – IBM Global Entrepreneur, Microsoft, AWS Activate.

Community support: Media tie-ups to increase visibility (, BW Businessworld, YourStory). Student body support – tech/design interns and crowd-testing.

Demo Day: Startups to pitch to a full house of investors for the next round of funding – VC/PE firms, Indian Angel Network (IAN) & TiE members.

Knowledge support: Knowledge support by KPMG in India.

In exchange for offered benefits, ACE asks startups for a small stake in their company – ~8%. This is subject to negotiation for startups that have already raised a funding round or have established significant scale.

Important dates

Date Stage Message June 20, 2017 Application Open Apply to be part of India’s largest FinTech ecosystem July 25, 2017 Application Deadline APPLY NOW Apply fast – Standout startups to be inducted prior to schedule August 15, 2017 Selection Day Pitch to expert/investor panel at ACE campus/video call September 1, 2017 Batch Begins Get accelerated – the ecosystem benefits are all yours January 15, 2018 Demo Day Pitch to full house of investors for next round of funding

Source: ISME ACE

Expectations from applicants and startups

Criteria include traction, idea, team, market size, competition, but there is no fixed formula, as the organization emphasizes. The selection panel – comprised of some of the top people from the financial services industry – will be the judge and jury.

In addition, ACE does not exclude startups at any stage from participating in the program – it's open to inducting startups ranging from idea level to well-funded startups.

The expectation from startups is the ability to work full-time with ACE at its campus in Lower Parel or at the program partner AWFIS (outside Mumbai) – all co-founders should be full-time and committed to the startup. International startups will have the option to work remotely once selected. However, if convenient, working from Mumbai will be a lot more beneficial for obvious reasons. Pitching, mentoring and other sessions will be conducted online if international startups are working out of their base location.

The last date for application is July 25, 2017.