Applications are open until May 29 and the initiative will start with a roadshow spanning four cities, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, in April and culminate in a three-day idea validation bootcamp in Kuala Lumpur in June.
Selected startups could be further engaged by both Maybank and 1337 Accelerator.
Rather than going straight to more developed regional markets like Hong Kong and Singapore, the partnership will focus on emerging markets like Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia where entrepreneurs are building solutions for payment gateways and other FinTech issues.
“Maybank has got this new division called the Innovation Centre. What’s interesting is that the entire team is made out of non-bankers — consultants from firms like Accenture and others, who are tasked with finding new innovative solutions for the bank,” 1337 Ventures CEO Bikesh Lakhmichand was quoted in an e27 story.
“They decided to think out of the box rather than build everything with resources always tied up. Could they leverage existing solutions out there that caters towards their needs? They decided to figure out internally what are their pain points, and then came out with seven tenants that they want to improve in,” he added.
The programme is open to even early-stage startups without a product yet in the market, and those beyond the four earmarked roadshow locations.
Lakhmichand noted that Southeast Asia is a developing market, and among the biggest issues found in large populations like Indonesia is in the banking, transactions and payments area.
“I think it would be great if the locals in this region can figure out how to solve their own pain points,” Lakhmichand said.
He also believed that the programme will be well-received as the environment was fertile for FinTech innovations, from cryptocurrencies to cardless transactions on mobile devices.
“If you look at the adoption of mobile, this region is already mobile first. People go to their mobiles before their desktops. It’s a perfect place to innovate, and financial technology is the best thing to start with because it’s a pain point that addresses everyone right now,” he added.
1337 Ventures also just completed its first five-day Alpha Startups pre-accelerator programme in Singapore, which had previously only been available in Kuala Lumpur. The programme included partners from Amazon Web Services, Paypal and Google.