The New South Wales government, together with some of Australia's largest banking, property, and technology firms, has launched Stone and Chalk, a not-for-profit fintech hub aimed at supporting startups looking to disrupt the Asia-Pacific financial services industry.
With doors expected to open in May, the Stone and Chalk fintech hub, located in Sydney's CBD, will offer up to 150 entrepreneurs subsidised office space where they will have access to expertise, mentors, and capital. Corporates will also be able to rent the space to collaborate with startups, financial institutions, technology companies, universities, and government agencies.
The hub is expected to offer opportunities for venture capital funds, financial institutions, and investors.
Amazon, American Express, AMP, ANZ, Westpac, Oracle, Macquarie Group, and Woolworths are among the founding partners that contributed more than AU$2 million towards the launch.
Former AMP chief executive Craig Dunn has been appointed as the chair of Stone and Chalk.
"This will become the heart of fintech in Australia and hopefully Asia," he said.
"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 startups compete, thrive, and lead on a world stage."
The launch of Stone and Chalk follows recommendations made in the financial system inquiry report in December, in which Dunn was a panel member. The report called for a permanent public-private sector collaboration committee, made up of industry, government, regulators, academics, and consumers, to be established to ensure that Australia's financial systems keep pace with emerging technology.
Stone and Chalk is also the first project that is part of the NSW government's broader financial services knowledge hub project, established on Tuesday and coordinated by the Committee for Sydney. Stone and Chalk will be one of five knowledge hubs that the NSW government is establishing.