Sydney is three steps closer to unveiling Australia's first fintech hub to help foster and develop local startups after settling on the location, chair and coporate partners.
The hub, to be known as Stone and chalk, is an independent, not-for-profit entity created to help nurture the development of world-class Australian fintech start-ups.
Following a competitive tender process, run by Pepper Property Advisory, DEXUS Property Group has been appointed as property partner.
It will be located on Level 26, 45 Clarence Street in the Sydney Central Business District.
Initially, the hub will span 1,230 square metres of office space, with the potential to grow to 3,000 square metres.
When doors open in May, Stone and Chalk will be capable of accommodating up to 150 entrepreneurs through hot desks, fixed desks and offices plus ‘drop in’ spaces, as well as offering events space to host seminars, industry meetings and conferences.
Corporates will also be able to rent space in order to co-create and innovate with start-ups and other partners.
It provides a location for collaboration between start-ups, financial institutions, technology companies, leading academics and universities, government and regulators to occur.
The objective is to provide low cost services (such as subsidised working space), expertise and mentoring, as well as access to capital for start-ups.
It will also offer a pipeline of opportunities for venture capital funds, financial institutions and investors.
Newly appointed chair, Craig Dunn, said it would become the heart of fintech in Australia and hopefully Asia.
“Digital disruption is transforming the financial services industry and there is much to be gained through greater collaboration between stakeholders in the fintech ecosystem," he said.
"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.”
Dunn was most recently a panel member for the Financial System Inquiry and prior to that, was AMP chief executive. Launched by NSW Premier Mike Baird, a the hub was one of the key recommendations of a milestone KPMG and Committee for Sydney report examining key success factors for fintech to flourish.
At the same time, the fintech community led by Reinventure, AWI and Kim Heras were building the broader ecosystem around the concept.
These efforts came together in the form of a Working Group of senior stakeholders across industry, the start-up community, Committee for Sydney and NSW Trade and Investment who have been working closely together, with significant volunteering of time and effort.
Foundation corporate partners were also announced today. Their financial and professional contributions of more than $2 million have made the launch of Stone and Chalk viable.
Backers inlcude: 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.
The state government is providing support to ensure the successful establishment of Stone and Chalk, which will in turn attract international fintech talent to Sydney, develop and support local industry, and increase financial services exports.
The hub is consistent with recommendations in the landmark Financial Systems Inquiry report, released in December, calling for a permanent public-private sector collaboration committee to be established, comprising industry, government, regulatory, academia and consumers to facilitate financial system innovation and a more flexible regulatory framework.
The Financial Services Knowledge Hub, led by independent think tank Committee for Sydney, is one of five industry-led knowledge hubs being supported by NSW Trade & Investment.