Spotcap launches $10,000 Fintech Scholarship program

Elizabeth Barry 6 September 2017

students scholarship

The scholarship program and Spotcap internship are designed to support local fintech talent.

Online lender Spotcap has this week announced the launch of a Fintech Scholarship program, with $10,000 being awarded to an Australian student attending university in a fintech-related field. The lender launched the program with the aim of supporting local fintech talent and ensuring the longevity of financial innovation in Australia.

"Fintech is a relatively new industry, disrupting the more traditional financial services such as banks," said Spotcap Australia and New Zealand managing director Lachlan Heussler.

"However, awareness of the industry and what we do in general is quite low. The result of this is a natural restriction of local talent actively choosing to start their career in fintech. Spotcap wants to change this."

Spotcap is also offering one paid internship placement at its offices in Sydney alongside the program.

"We have internships available in our international offices, but this is the first time that we have offered anything like this in Australia. The Australian fintech landscape is quite different to that of our international counterparts, which will make for a fast-paced, deep dive into the different roles and functionalities."

Heussler notes that while many internships are admin heavy, the aim is to make the Spotcap internship as beneficial as possible for the chosen candidate, "[to] foster that passion for the industry that will make for a great career in Australian fintech".

Australia's fintech industry association FinTech Australia is also supporting the program, with CEO Danielle Szetho recognising the benefits of grassroots incentivisation in fintech.

"Fintech is a rapidly growing industry and we need to do everything we can to grow our talent pool and spread the word about the great career pathways in this industry,” she said.

"We know that many fintech companies are experiencing critical skills shortages. The Spotcap Fintech Scholarship is a great initiative to inspire a new generation of university students to take part in Australia's boom industry and the future of financial services.”

The scholarship is open to students that are Australian citizens or permanent residents that have achieved, or are expecting to achieve, good academic standing. They must be starting at an accredited Australian university in February/March 2018 in a fintech-related field as part of an undergraduate or master's program.

While "fintech-related field" is quite broad, the examples given include business management, engineering and finance. However, Heussler says they want to leave the university course requirement "quite open".

"Of course, we expect applicants to be tech-minded students who might even have some entrepreneurial flair, but ideally we want to encourage business, engineering and economics students who may have fintech ideas or a general passion for the industry. This absolutely isn't exclusive to students of one particular discipline."

For students looking to get involved in fintech, Heussler says that knowledge is key.

"It’s important to remain across innovation and progression in the tech and finance spaces. I think it’s important for young people to have a grasp of that higher general knowledge in order to be prepared when entering the industry and anticipate the speed at which we iterate our products and services."

Applications for the program are now open. Students looking to apply need to do so by 10 December 2017.

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