Stone & Chalk expands to Melbourne, embarks on fintech-agtech collaboration

Elizabeth Barry 24 July 2017

sproutx space
The SproutX co-working space

Stone & Chalk will be housed alongside SproutX to collaborate on the fintech-agtech program and offer desks to fintech startups.

Sydney-based fintech hub Stone & Chalk has announced today that it will be expanding its operations to Melbourne. The move will initially involve Stone & Chalk being housed alongside SproutX, which serves as an agtech innovation hub and accelerator.

The two hubs will be developing a new agri-fintech program to see how fintech innovation can solve issues in the global agtech sector.

“Co-locating with SproutX makes absolute sense for both organisations,” says Andrew Lai, SproutX accelerator director. Lai says this new program will allow startups to take advantage of the huge but "often overlooked" connection between agriculture and financial services.

"The partnership between SproutX and Stone & Chalk is a fantastic opportunity for both organisations to leverage their respective areas of competitive advantage to create a world-first initiative specialised in Agri-Fintech."

SproutX will also provide Stone & Chalk access to 60 workstations to stimulate the fintech and agtech startup ecosystem.

“The tech game is changing at such a rapid pace that we're already seeing top fintech startups develop new innovative solutions that solve key problems faced in primary industries such as in the agricultural sector. It's this insight which makes our partnership with SproutX really exciting," said Alex Scandurra, CEO of Stone & Chalk.

"Together with SproutX we hope to bring together the best our organisations have to offer to help solve the existing and future challenges our farmers face. We are going to do that by helping them collaborate commercially with some of the best startups in Australia and in doing so help Australia lead the world in this new niche of Agri-Fintech."

Fresh off the back of his role as CEO of Fintech Victoria, Alan Tsen, will be the new general manager of the Stone & Chalk Melbourne hub. The rest of the team will be fleshed out in the coming months.

This news comes off the back of Stone & Chalk's announcement about moving its current Sydney location to Sydney's new government-funded Startup Hub. The Victorian government has also announced its own plans to establish a financial technology hub in Docklands in late 2017 or early 2018 to support the state's fast-growing sector.

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