Stone & Chalk CEO Alex Scandurra is departing the startup hub he’s led for 6.5 years since it launched.
The board chair, Leona Murphy, announced the organisation’s founding boss will finish up in a week, on August 19.
Non-executive director Richard Umbers, a former Myer and StarTrack CEO, will act as interim CEO, with the board reportedly already considering a strong field of candidates, including internally.
Scandurra’s departure comes just weeks after Stone & Chalk’s Sydney-based Head of Community, Cheryl Mack, also left the company after 18 months.
Leona Murphy said Scandurra’s passionate leadership had built Stone & Chalk to global recognition.
“In 2015, we began as an independent, not-for-profit entity to foster and accelerate the development of world-class Australian fintech startups. We have supported the growth of that ecosystem, which has since produced some of Australia’s leading scale-ups,” she said.
“Alex was also instrumental in the Stone & Chalk merger with AustCyber, the Australian Government funded cyber security Industry Growth Centre, which plays a key role in the expansion of Stone & Chalk Group’s capability beyond fintech to all emerging technologies. He should be proud of the legacy he has created.”
From its launch in Sydney’s AMP tower (currently being redeveloped), in 2015 with 100 residents, there are now 1000 residents at hubs in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, alongside the AustCyber’s national network of cybersecurity innovation nodes.
Scandurra said he was proud of the organisation the team had built.
“Stone & Chalk Group residents and alumni have raised over half a billion dollars in capital. We matched hundreds of founders with mentors and customers, helped more than 30 corporate partners transform and digitise, and contributed to vital government policy supporting Australia’s critical and emerging technology industries through advocacy,” he said.
“This year, we merged with AustCyber to create the preeminent organisation supporting founders of emerging and critical technology companies nationwide. I have been privileged to play a role in building the infrastructure to support the new economy in Australia.
“I look forward to pursuing the opportunities that this has created as an advisor, investor and leader in the Australian emerging technology sector.”