New Australian fintech accelerator names CEO

Australia’s new fintech hub Stone & Chalk will be headed by Alex Scandurra, who will return from Barclays’ London Accelerator programme to support the development of Australian fintech startups.

Last month, Stone & Chalk announced the location of the physical hub – Clarence Street in the Sydney Central Business District – its foundation corporate partners and new chair, ex-AMP CEO Craig Dunn

“Alex is an ideal candidate for the job, given his unique leadership role in helping UK fintech start-ups and bringing about the Barclays fintech initiative with Techstars in London,” Dunn said. “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.”

Since last month’s launch, there has been an “overwhelming response from fintech start-ups keen to participate in the hub, which augurs well for the success of this initiative”, he added.

“In the first three weeks of inviting applications from local fintech start-ups, we have had well over 120 fintech companies apply for residency, with demand for over 300 seats,” Dunn said.

Most recently, Australian-born Scandurra was head of strategic partnerships and the Barclays Accelerator Programme at Barclays, having founded the accelerator programme in partnership with Techstars. He also delivered the Innovation Escalator entrepreneur hub in Europe, and was the architect behind a major Open Innovation Programme which saw hundreds of start-ups pitch to win pilot projects with large organisations.

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.

Stone & Chalk will accommodate high potential entrepreneurs by providing hot and fixed desks, offices and ‘drop in’ spaces, and provide space to host meet-ups, innovation events, investor days and master classes.

“Stone & Chalk will provide a platform of unprecedented access and opportunity to both 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,” Scandurra said.

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