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Stone & Chalk to open Melbourne startup hub and collaborate on Agri-Fintech initiative

Stone & Chalk is expanding its operations into Melbourne with the launch of a new fintech hub led by Alan Tsen, the founding CEO of Fintech Victoria, in August.  

The co-working space, which will occupy level 1, 259 Collins Street, has 60 desks available and, according to Stone & Chalk CEO Alex Scandurra, will provide fintech startups in Victoria with opportunities to access customers, mentorship and partnerships across Melbourne and Sydney, where the company’s other fintech hub is located.

Stone & Chalk Melbourne will be housed SproutX Accelerator and will collaborate with the agtech innovation hub to launch an Agri-Fintech program. According to Andrew Lai, SproutX Accelerator Director, the joint initiative will “explore how new fintech innovation can help solve major issues, and opportunities in the global agricultural sector”.

Lai continued, “There is a huge but often overlooked connection between agriculture and financial services, and savvy startups are starting to take notice. The partnership between SproutX and Stone & Chalk is a fantastic opportunity for both organisations to leverage their respective areas of competitive advantage to create a world-first innitiative specialised in Agri-Fintech.”

AustralianSuper, Findex, Genworth, Liberty Financial, ANZ and NAB have been secured as anchor corporate partners for Stone & Chalk Melbourne. The company has also lined up partnerships with Melbourne’s leading universities including a blockchain research and commercialisation partnership with RMIT, and a program to help support and encourage more women to participate in entrepreneurship with female-founder experts One Roof.

“Melbourne fintechs have found it hard to access affordable space, as well as mentorship, talent, business programs and capital,” said Tsen, general manager of Stone & Chalk Melbourne. “As an ecosystem, we’re emerging as a real centre of excellence in a number of fintech verticals, like wealth, blockchain technology, and cyber security, and by launching Stone & Chalk in Melbourne we will help local fintech startups feel part of a bigger fintech movement, connecting them with potential investors, and customers nationally, and globally.

“Through my work with Fintech Victoria I’ve seen the huge potential out there, and I’m excited to further help amplify and grow the Victorian fintech ecosystem.”

Expressions of interest from startups, and scaleups who wish to apply to the Stone & Chalk Melbourne community can visit www.stoneandchalk.com.au/Melbourne.

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James Harkness

James Harkness

James Harnkess previous editor at Dynamic Business

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