According to Stone & Chalk, the launch of a new national capability across its new home at the Goods Shed North in Melbourne’s CBD innovation precinct, and its residency in the Sydney Startup Hub, cements Australia’s eastern seaboard as a “natural centre of gravity” for fintech in Australia and across the ASEAN region.
The company claims that combined its Melbourne and Sydney innovation hubs represent over 80% of all fintech activity across Australia.
Stone & Chalk says the launch of the new "mega-hub" coincides with the opening of the Victorian Government’s start-up agency, LaunchVic, also in the Goods Shed North, where its Melbourne business is now be housed alongside CSIRO’s Data61, That Startup Show, Startmate, Stone & Chalk partner SproutX, and The Medtech Actuator.
“We’ve already partnered with other key parts of the Victorian ecosystem to bring this cross-pollination to life, and so are excited to bring our residents even more possibilities for collaboration across other verticals through our residency in the Hub.
“We believe that bringing all of these possibilities together into a national program will assist the continuing growth of the Australian fintech ecosystem as a whole.”
The launch of the mega-hub follows Stone & Chalk’s recent signing of the “UK-Australia FinTech Bridge” between Australia and the UK, which notes that “Australia is a strong global player in fintech with Melbourne and Sydney both ranked in the top ten global financial centres”.
Stone & Chalk chief executive Alex Scandurra, who ran the Barclays accelerator program in London before joining Stone & Chalk, says he was inspired by the effects of fintech on the broader UK economy when envisaging the potential benefits of a mega-hub – and wanted to build density for the Australian fintech sector.
“If Australia is to realise the goals of the National Innovation & Science Agenda and become the ‘innovation nation’ we speak about wanting to be, it will require a strong mentality shift away from a competitive mind set amongst start-ups, towards one of collaboration and mutual success,” Scandurra said.
“This collaboration should also be extended between industry and start-ups. As an example, our Accelerated Commercialisation programs bring together corporate partners with start-ups and scale-ups to solve real commercial opportunities within a structured framework. Only by taking a collaborative approach across the board will we come close to achieving our innovation dreams.”