‘FinTech’, or financial technology, is the business of using software in the provision of financial services. FinTech entities tend to be technologically astute startups founded to disrupt existing financial institutions and systems. Examples include Australia’s Nimble, an online credit provider of small, short-term loans, and Kickstarter, a US-based global crowdfunding platform.
Successful FinTech entities are expected to become business powerhouses in the coming years and decades. KPMG recently identified 50 up and coming FinTech companies, which are likely to become significant disruptors. The success of this new breed of companies will come at the expense of some of the existing major financial industry players and it is likely to result in significant structural changes in the financial industry over the long term. Of course existing industry players can also deploy new technologies in order to fend off FinTech startups.
In October 2014 KMPG published a report titled ‘Unlocking the potential: The FinTech opportunity for Sydney‘ highlighting the potential for establishing a FinTech hub in Sydney and the benefits of doing so for the economy and our competitiveness in global markets.
In light of KPMG’s views of the FinTech market, it is not surprising that they are a foundation partner in Stone & Chalk, a new independent, not-for-profit hub established in Sydney with the overarching goal to foster and accelerate the development of world-leading FinTech startups. The foundation partners of Stone & Chalk are the who’s who of Australian business, which indicates corporate Australia’s strong belief in the future of this emerging new technology sector. Stone & Chalk is located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD on Level 26 at 45 Clarence Street.
Initially Stone & Chalk will be able to accommodate up to 150 entrepreneurs, and will also facilitate corporates to rent office-space to collaborate with startups. In addition to providing working space, Stone & Chalk will also offer mentoring and access to capital.
Craig Dunn, is the newly appointed Chair of Stone & Chalk. He was formerly the CEO of AMP and a panel member for the recent Financial System Inquiry, tasked with establishing a direction for the future of Australia’s financial system.
The establishment of Stone & Chalk is a significant milestone and a necessary step in ensuring Australia’s economic future in a fast-changing global landscape.