Looking to help further the development of the Victorian fintech sector, the state government has announced its plans to establish a fintech hub in Melbourne.
The government has submitted a proposal to establish the hub at the Goods Shed North in Docklands, within the city CBD.
The hub will look to bring together investors, corporates, researches and startups together to collaborate in a centralised space, helping to boost Melbourne’s image as a fintech city and attractive location for investment.
Minister for Innovation, Philip Dalidakis said, “This fintech hub will turbocharge our startup ecosystem and attract new investment that will strengthen our professional services industry and create jobs.”
The plan comes in hand with the announcement from FinTech Australia that it will be hosting Australia’s first national fintech festival in Melbourne, funded by the Victorian government, with the key focus of fuelling fintech growth in Asia-Pacific.
Named ‘Intersekt’, the festival will be held within Melbourne in partnership with Fintech Victoria, local coworking space York Butter Factory, and global fintech conference organisation NextMoney.
Running for a week from the end of October, FinTech Australia president Simon Cant said Intersekt will look to help connect Australian and Asian fintech environments together.
“Australia has tremendous potential to be world’s leading intersection for fintech innovation and a large part of that comes from our proximity, common time zone and strong cultural links to Asia,” he said.
“Asia presents incredible opportunities for the Australian fintech industry, including venture capital to help grow our globally focussed fintechs.
“Intersekt will play an important role to help expose our thriving fintech environment to an Asian-Pacific and global audience and bring about the connections and insights to help take our industry to the next level.”
Featured within the event will be the Collab/Collide summit, a two-day event from Fintech Australia and NextMoney discussing recent trends in the fintech space such as blockchain and open data. Intersekt will also hold a fintech hackathon, a pitchfest competition, community discussions and events as well as an expo of fintech talent.
York Butter Factory liaison Sahand Bagheri said the organisation was excited to be a part of a new initiative that looks to bring startups, investors and corporates under one roof.
“We hope this will further fuel the advancement of Australia’s startup ecosystem and bring with it more growth opportunities for Australia to compete globally,” he said.
Dalidakis said the government will be working beside Fintech Australia in the coming months to help deliver the festival, which will showcase Melbourne’s “outstanding” fintech talent.
Also looking to promote fintech and a focus on expanding into the Asia-Pacific is the NSW government, which backed the establishment of Sydney fintech hub Stone and Chalk in 2015.
Former NSW Minister for Trade, Stuart Ayres last year said Sydney – ranked eighth in a list of global fintech hubs – is well-placed to be the hub of the country’s fintech sector, however Australia’s geographical positioning generally puts it in a prime spot for global companies.
“There are lots of people wanting to learn about the fintech space here. When you’re a city that has the bulk of $3 trillion in superannuation funds being managed out of here, when you’re a city that has 68 global banks based in it, when you’re a city that has around 65 percent of the nation’s financial services industry based in it, this is a very natural home for fintech, and it’s a very natural home for innovation,” he said.
“As global economic activity shifts from Europe and the United States to emerging markets across Asia, Australia presents a very unique offering for not only a safe landing zone in Asia, but a very, very strong launching pad, especially when you’ve got the capacity to protect IP, a strong rule of law, and the opportunity to access an increasingly deep pool of talent.”
Source: Invest Victoria.