Demand pushes fintech hub to bigger home


By Elizabeth Somerville

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Independent fintech hub Stone & Chalk will offer up to 50 additional places for entrepreneurs operating in the space on the back of an overwhelming number of start-up applications.

The group yesterday said the hub had outgrown its first office space in the Sydney CBD before it even moved in, with larger premises nearby to be occupied and open by July.

“None of us envisaged the overwhelming demand we’ve had from more than 350 fintech entrepreneurs for the 150 places initially on offer,” Stone & Chalk chief executive Alex Scandurra said.

“Our primary aim is to facilitate and promote the development of a world-leading fintech start-up community in Australia, and given the high volume and quality of start-up applications, we felt that we needed to accommodate a larger number of entrepreneurs from day one.

“It’s an incredibly high-class problem for us to have.”

Stone & Chalk’s new home on level 2 of 50 Bridge Street offers more than 2300 square metres of agile office space, which is almost double the space contained in the original plan.

“We’re very excited about our Bridge Street solution, which has been endorsed by all of our stakeholders,” Scandurra said.

In its larger premises, Stone & Chalk will accommodate up to 200 entrepreneurs through a combination of dedicated labs, full and part-time desks and secure offices as well as casual ‘drop-in’ spaces.

Further, the hub announced a number of new corporate partners yesterday, including the ASX, IBM, TAL and Thomson Reuters, which all reinforced the strong commitment to assist start-ups in creating the future of financial services.

These companies join Stone & Chalk’s other foundation corporate partners: AMP, ANZ, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, KPMG, Macquarie Group, Suncorp Bank, Veda and Westpac, among others.

Last month, financialobserver reported former Australasian Wealth Investments executives and brothers Ben and Toby Heap would also launch a fintech acceleration firm to invest in 100 early-stage projects over the next three years, which would be located at the Stone & Chalk premises.

The firm, H2 Ventures, was seeking to reinvent financial services by bringing together and investing in talented entrepreneurs, forward-thinking established financial services companies and other thought leaders in the world of finance.

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