Alex Scandurra, the former Head of Strategic Partnerships and Barclays Accelerator Program at Barclays Bank PLC in London has been appointed as the CEO of Sydney’s fin tech hub, Stone & Chalk.

Last month, Stone & Chalk announced the location of the physical hub, its foundation corporate partners and new chair: ex-AMP CEO Craig Dunn. “This announcement enables us to seriously progress development of Australia’s new fin tech hub under the guidance of a leading driver of change in this field,” said Dunn.

Alex is an ideal candidate for the job, given his unique leadership role in helping UK fin tech startups and bringing about the Barclays fin tech initiative with Techstars in London. London provides an excellent role model for Sydney to emulate — and Alex brings an invaluable understanding of this market, including a network of strong global relationships to help Australian fintech entrepreneurs.

Scandurra co-founded Barclays Accelerator Program in partnership with Techstars, the only collaboration of its kind between Techstars and a large financial institution globally. He was also the architect behind a major Open Innovation Program that saw hundreds of startups pitch to win pilot projects with large organisations, according to an announcement by the fin tech hub.

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Prior to Barclays, Scandurra worked for Nokia for seven years — most recently in the Middle East and Africa as Head of Infrastructure Sharing. While in Australia, he was a Senior Project Engineer for Lend Lease and began his career in the Australian Army.

According to Scandurra, “Over the last five years, I’ve worked closely with a lot of fin tech start-ups across multiple regions and industries. While local conditions tend to differ, I’ve found that the needs of entrepreneurs are universal irrespective of whether they come from places as different as Singapore, New York, London or Sydney.

Stone & Chalk will provide a platform of unprecedented access and opportunity to high-potential entrepreneurs and their businesses, as well as to early-stage investors and organisations wanting to innovate, collaborate and co-create alongside some of the best entrepreneurs across the region,” he added.

Stone & Chalk is an independent, not-for-profit entity created to help foster and accelerate the development of world-class Australian fin tech start-ups. The fin tech hub will be located on Level 26, 45 Clarence Street in the Sydney Central Business District. Initially, the hub will span 1230 square metres of agile office space, with the potential to grow to 3000 square metres.

Dunn said that since the launch of Stone & Chalk last month, there had been an overwhelming response from fin tech startups. “In the first three weeks of inviting applications from local fin tech start-ups, we have had well over 120 fin tech companies apply for residency, with demand for over 300 seats. The other pleasing aspect has been the diversity of the startups seeking access to Stone & Chalk, ranging across the full spectrum of the fin tech sector — peer-to-peer lending, crowd-funding, investment advice, payments, insurance, crypto-currencies and capital markets,” he added.

Stone & Chalk provides a location for collaboration to occur between start-ups, financial institutions, technology companies, leading academics and universities, government and regulators.

Foundation corporate partners are: Allens, Amazon, American Express, AMP, ANZ, Capital Markets CRC, CIFR, FINSIA, Finzsoft (NZ), HSBC, IAG, Intel, KPMG, Macquarie Group, Oracle, Suncorp Bank, Veda, Westpac and Woolworths. Stone & Chalk has also received strong support from NSW Trade and Investment through the Financial Services Knowledge Hub which is being led by Committee for Sydney.

More information: For fin tech start-ups that would like to express interest in moving to Stone & Chalk, visit stoneandchalk.com.au

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