Stone & Chalk unveils foundation start-ups


By Julie May

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Not-for-profit fintech hub Stone & Chalk, which aims to foster and accelerate the development of world-leading start-ups in the financial technology space, opened its doors in Sydney last night, unveiling 41 Australian fintech start-ups as foundation members.

”From the outset our aim has been to attract the highest-quality fintech start-ups in Australia, co-locate them under one roof and support fast-tracking their growth to ultimately help them go global,” Stone & Chalk chief executive Alex Scandurra said.

“We have been inspired by the talent and diversity of the start-ups who have applied and the potential they have to transform Australia’s multi-billion financial services sector,” Scandurra said, adding the group would continue to welcome more members over the coming months.

Stone & Chalk’s initial line-up spans a range of industries, including superannuation and predictive data analytics, as well as technologies that encompass consumer apps and cryptocurrencies.

Speaking to financialobserver, Andrew Connors, who is the director of funds management firm Quilla and one of the people behind inaugural Stone & Chalk member firm Fincast, said the new start-up enabled businesses to take a more hands-on approach in streamlining investment advice delivery.

Connors said Fincast, which specialises in creating innovative investment technology for clients, advisers and sophisticated investors, was designed to forecast market outcomes that would empower users to dynamically manage investment portfolios.

“Our solutions are constructed using the group’s experience as a funds management business,” he said, adding Fincast was borne out of a funds management world and aimed to bring investment capabilities to advisers, dealer groups, family offices and others.

He said he was excited to be part of the Stone & Chalk group of start-ups, which would change how industries did business, highlighting it was about evolution as much as it was about disruption.

Scandurra said through Stone & Chalk start-up firms would have access to support from financial institutions, technology companies, leading universities, government and regulators.

Further, the New South Wales government would provide support, with the aim of attracting international fintech talent to Sydney and to increase financial services innovation and exports.

Stone & Chalk is also backed by a number of corporate partners, which have contributed more than $2 million towards its establishment.

These groups include Allens, American Express, AMP, ANZ, the ASX, Capital Markets CRC, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, Finzsoft, HSBC, IAG, IBM, KPMG, Macquarie, Optus, Oracle, Suncorp, TAL, Thomson Reuters, Veda, Westpac and Woolworths.

Stone & Chalk chair Craig Dunn said together businesses were co-creating the future of financial services in Australia and he was confident they had the foundations to create something world class.

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