Sydney may be boasting to the world it’s got the chops to be Australia’s fintech capital, but that hasn’t stopped fintech communities in other cities from growing. Now Brisbane’s is set to come together for its first Fintech Startup Weekend on July 8-10.
Set to be held at Suncorp’s headquarters at Brisbane Square, the weekend is looking to boost local interest in the space. With over 20 fintech businesses already headquartered in Southeast Queensland, there is significant space for the sector to grow.
Co-organiser Adrian Juarez said, “There’s never been a better time to be in financial services and fintech; it’s Australia’s largest and fastest-growing industry. The scale and speed of disruption is unprecedented and so many opportunities and paths to industry change exist.”
Speaking at the event will be Alex Scandurra, CEO of Sydney fintech hub Stone and Chalk, with Monica Bradley, founder of Purposful Capital, Scott Hartley, CEO of Sunsuper, Alex Blauensteiner, GM of Business Innovation, Skills and Trade Development, Marek Kowalkiewicz, PWC Chair in Digital Economy to judge.
The Startup Weekend will come just a month after another fintech hackathon held at Brisbane coworking hub River City Labs recently. The hackathon, sponsored by Bank of Queensland, saw Start Young, an idea from a 12 year old participant, take out first prize with a concept that wants to help young people get a handle on their money and spending.
Coming up in August too, River City Labs is hosting a hackathon in partnership with Credit Union Australia (CUA), asking participants to come up with a potential CUA product that can help customers as they hit life’s milestones, like buying their first car, a house, have a child, and so on.
Corporate sponsorship of fintech initiatives and spaces is nothing new, with Stone and Chalk of course supported by a number of banks and other financial services institutions, however the fact that Queensland-based companies like Suncorp, CUA, and Bank of Queensland are also getting involved again shows that fintech startups don’t need to be in Sydney to find either a market or support.
These companies are also looking globally, with Suncorp in April announcing both a US$5 million investment into US on-demand insurance startup Trov and that it would be linking up with the startup to underwrite its insurance risk locally for its Trov Protection app. With Australia the first market for the app, it allows users to buy insurance for individual items of value, such as cameras, laptops, bikes, or instruments, turning it on or off as they please, creating what Trov calls ‘micro-duration’ policies.
You can learn more about and register for the Fintech Brisbane Startup Brisbane Weekend here.