One of the architects of Barclays Bank's global Accelerator Programme has been recruited as the CEO of Sydney’s new fintech hub, Stone & Chalk.
Australian-born Scandurra has returned from the UK, where he served as head of strategic partnerships and Barclays Accelerator Programme, to take up the role supporting the development of Australian fintech start-ups.
Australian banks and tech companies are providing $2 million in funding to get the Stone & Chalk fintech hub off the ground in Sydney. When doors open in May, the facility will accommodate up to 150 entrepreneurs through hot desks, fixed desks and offices plus ‘drop in’ spaces, as well as offer events space to host seminars, industry meetings and conferences.
Stone & Chalk chairman, ex-AMP CEO Craig Dunn, says of the new appointment: “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. 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.”
Prior to Barclays, Scandurra worked for Nokia for seven years, most recently in the Middle East and Africa as head of infrastructure sharing.
“Over the lastfive years, I’ve worked closely with a lot of fintech start-ups across multiple regions and industries. Whilst 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," he says. "As an Australian, it is a fantastic time to return home and help drive the success and momentum of our fintech community, utilising my experience helping fintech companies in London."
The hub has attracted a favourable response from potential start-ups following its debut to the media last month, says Dunn: “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. The other pleasing aspect has been the diversity of the start-ups seeking access to Stone & Chalk, ranging across the full spectrum of the fintech sector - peer-to-peer lending, crowd-funding, investment advice, payments, insurance, crypto-currencies and capital markets.”