Having announced six months ago its plans to build a fintech hub in Melbourne’s Docklands, the Victorian Government has today revealed Stone and Chalk has been chosen to establish and run the flagship space, while YBF Ventures – formerly York Butter Factory – will also establish a dedicated space for fintech startups in its new Bourke St building.
Expected to open in February, the hub at the Goods Shed North will boast 1,500 square metres able to accommodate up to 300 desks, as well as a further 1,750 square metres of shared event spaces, meeting rooms, and other facilities.
Victorian Minister for Innovation and Digital Economy, Philip Dalidakis said, “The activation of the Goods Shed North in Docklands as a fintech and cyber security precinct will provide an important centre for Victoria’s growing technology sector.”
For Alex Scandurra, CEO of Stone and Chalk, the further expansion of the organisation in Melbourne following its move down south earlier this year comes at an important time.
“Fintech is a national opportunity, and the best way to help unlock the value of this opportunity is to create national networks to bring Australian startups, corporates, governments, and academia together and maximise collaboration,” he said.
“Australia needs Sydney and Melbourne to come together to build density in our startup sector in a way not seen before. We are embarking upon the creation of a national asset for Australia, one that will create an interconnected mega hub along the eastern seaboard.”
With its Melbourne operations headed up by Alan Tsen, Stone and Chalk had opened its first space in the city in July, working beside agtech hub SproutX on Little Collins Street.
In addition to the Docklands hub, YBF Ventures has also received support from the government to establish a dedicated space for fintechs.
Along with the physical space, YBF Ventures will partner with Startupbootcamp to deliver a three month fintech-focused accelerator program.
Startupbootcamp’s Trevor Townsend added that the partnership between the accelerator and YBF will boost fintech startups across Melbourne by connecting them to Startupbootcamp’s international network of more than 60 corporate partners.
“Between YBF and Startupbootcamp, we have the capability, experience, and network to take fintech startups from concept to international scaleup,” he said.
For YBF, the news follows its acquisition of fellow Melbourne coworking space Teamsquare earlier this month, through which it has moved to Teamsquare’s 3,100 square metre space on Bourke St, growing its footprint by five times.
The boost in support for fintech comes after the 2017 Startup Muster report found fintech is the most popular sector for local startups, with 19.7 percent of founders working in the space, up from 15.9 percent in 2016.
Image: Alan Tsen. Source: Supplied.