Fintech incubator Stone & Chalk launches east coast ‘mega-hub’


Australia’s largest fintech innovation hub, Stone & Chalk, has announced the launch of a new Melbourne base, cementing its place among Asia-Pacific’s leading start-up incubators.  

The start-up hub’s new Victorian home, located at the Goods Shed North in the Melbourne CBD’s ‘innovation precinct’, will create “a new national capability” across its two Australian bases, the company said, allowing it to combine the resources of its Sydney and Melbourne hubs into a single east coast ‘mega hub’.

Sydney and Melbourne account for more than 80 per cent of all fintech activity in Australia, according to the company.

Stone & Chalk’s Melbourne launch coincides with the opening of the Victorian Government’s start-up agency, LaunchVic, which also cohabits with the CSIRO’s Data61, That Startup Show, Startmate, Stone & Chalk partner SproutX, and The Medtech Actuator in Melbourne’s Goods Shed North.

Alan Tsen, general manager of Stone & Chalk Melbourne, said the opportunity to share this space with fellow digital innovators was a major boon for the company.

“Being able to collaborate under one roof with of a variety of industry verticals is a huge advantage of being positioned within the highly diverse Victorian Innovation Hub,” Tsen said.

“We’ve already partnered with other key parts of the Victorian ecosystem to bring this cross-pollination to life, and so [we’re] excited to bring our residents even more possibilities for collaboration across other verticals through our residency in the Hub.”

Stone & Chalk anticipates its new Sydney-Melbourne mega-hub will “cement Australia’s eastern seaboard as a natural centre of gravity for fintech in Australia and across the ASEAN region.”

“We believe that bringing all of these possibilities together into a national program will assist the continuing growth of the Australian fintech ecosystem as a whole,” Tsen said.

The “mega-hub” will offer start-ups, scale-ups, corporates, and investors nationwide opportunities for collaboration and resource-sharing.

Stone & Chalk CEO, Alex Scandurra said the hub was conscious of “[building] density for the sector on local shores in the hopes of also creating flow-on effects for adjacent industries.”

“If Australia is to realise the goals of the National Innovation & Science Agenda and become the ‘innovation nation’ we speak about wanting to be, it will require a strong mentality shift away from a competitive mindset amongst start-ups, towards one of collaboration and mutual success.”