March 3, 2015
Author: Adam Bender
A new co-working space in Sydney hopes to bring together financial tech startups into 1230 square metres of collaborative office space.
The fintech hub is called Stone and Chalk and will be an independent, not-for-profit entity. It will be located in Sydney’s CBD on Level 26, 45 Clarence Street.
The hub has come together through work by the New South Wales government and big players in the Sydney startup scene and the tech industry. A December report by KPMG and the Committee for Sydney on financial tech had recommended building a fintech hub.
Financial corporate partners include Allens, Amazon, American Express, AMP, ANZ, Capital Markets CRC, CIFR, FINSIA, Finzsoft (NZ), HSBC, IAG, Intel, KPMG, Macquarie Group, Oracle, Suncorp Bank, Veda, Westpac and Woolworths.
DEXUS Property Group was appointed as the property partner for the co-working space.
When doors open this May, Stone and Chalk can accommodate up to 150 entrepreneurs through hot desks, fixed desks, offices and drop-in spaces, the owners said. Stone and Chalk will also allow corporates to rent space to co-create with startups.
In the future, the space could expand to up to 3000 square metres in that location. Besides working space, Stone and Chalk said it will provide mentoring and access to capital for startups.
“This will become the heart of fintech in Australia and hopefully Asia,” said Craig Dunn, the newly appointed chair of Stone and Chalk. Dunn was formerly the CEO of AMP and a panel member for the Financial System Inquiry.
“Digital disruption is transforming the financial services industry and there is much to be gained through greater collaboration between stakeholders in the fintech ecosystem. We are focused on bringing to life our vision for Sydney’s fintech hub to support start-ups compete, thrive and lead on a world stage.”
Toby Heap, managing director of AWI Ventures and one of the hub’s supporters, said, “Our aim is to provide an ecosystem of advice and support that empowers the brightest up and coming financial services executives to leave their often comfortable nests and start a new generation of world leading financial services organisations.”
Suncorp, one of the hub’s sponsors, said it looked forward to potential collaboration opportunities.
“We strongly support the Hub as an industry-led initiative and look forward to seeing the results of collaboration between financial technology entrepreneurs, banks, technology companies, venture capitalists and government,” said Suncorp Bank CEO John Nesbitt.
“The Hub provides Australian start-ups with the opportunity to partner with established financial services companies and the chance to influence and penetrate the global financial services market.”
Startups in the Australian startup scene applauded the announcement.
“Being surrounded and supported by the who’s who of the sector is a critical step to shortening that process of ideation and execution,” said Bosco Tan, Co-founder and COO of Pocketbook.
“We look forward to the tantalising opportunity of bringing innovation to Pocketbook which we today haven’t even thought of yet.”
Posse co-founder Rebekah Campbell said the hub “is a great initiative to drive focus and collaboration in the sector. I’m sure we’ll see some giant disrupters emerge as a result in years to come.”
Livewire Markets managing director, Tom McKay, highlighted an opportunity for startups to collaborate with enterprises.
“The initiative has the potential to drive increased collaboration between start-ups and build a bridge with big business, both of which are a net positive for fintech in Australia.”
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