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New startup hub Stone and Chalk wants to make Sydney Asia’s FinTech leader

- March 4, 2015 2 MIN READ

Less than a month out from the state election, NSW Premier Mike Baird this week unveiled a new FinTech startup space, which is set to open in the heart of Sydney’s CBD in May.

The coworking space, named Stone and Chalk, is a key project of the Committee for Sydney think tank’s Financial Services Knowledge Hub. It is an independent, not-for profit organisation that will aim to provide startups with low cost services, mentoring, and access to capital.

The creation of a FinTech hub was just one of the recommendations set out in a report from KPMG, commissioned by The Committee for Sydney, on how to unlock Sydney’s potential to become a leading FinTech space in the Asia-Pacific region.

Stone and Chalk’s foundation partners, which include Amazon, American Express, HSBC, Woolworths, Suncorp Bank, and Intel, have contributed $2 million to make its establishment possible, with the NSW Government also providing support for the space. DEXUS Property Group has been appointed property partner.

Tim Williams, CEO of The Committee for Sydney, believes the city has solid foundations to become a thriving FinTech hub.

“Sydney’s financial services sector contributes $57 billion to New South Wales’ economy and produces 5 percent of Australia’s GDP, with a significant extra multiplier effect in innovation and job creation for the rest of the economy. At the same time, Sydney is also the centre of Australia’s ICT industry and leads the nation in tech startups,” Williams said.

Craig Dunn, the newly appointed chair of Stone and Chalk, believes the space will become the heart of FinTech in Australia and even 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. 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,” said Dunn.

Dunn, previously CEO of AMP, will be bringing more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry to his new role.

The name Stone and Chalk defines the principles the hub will aim to live by: ‘everything is set in stone’ speaks to the unchangeable foundations of the fintech community, including upholding the integrity of the financial industry, regulatory compliance, and earning the trust of customers and putting them first, while ‘everything else is writing in chalk’ highlights the innovative nature of the startup community.

Applications are now open for startups interested in moving to Stone and Chalk.

Image: The Australian. Original Source: The Courier Mail

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