The Central Business District (CBD) in Sydney is known for traditional banking and finance. Most of the major institutions are headquartered there. In the heart of this, the Tyro Fintech Hub has opened and its main objective is to work with startups working to disrupt or innovate in finance, banking, or insurance - whether it involves with cryptography, personal finance, data analytics, Bitcoin, or innovative market models such as peer-to-peer.
The Tyro Fintech Hub was opened in February 2015. The Hub takes up the entire third floor of Tyro’s new offices in the newly refurbished art deco building at 155 Clarence Street Sydney.
In recent weeks, Accenture published a research report showing fintech investment has tripled year over year with no signs of slowing. The report also interviewed 25 executives from traditional financial services who candidly stated that the old model isn’t working anymore and that the rise of fintech will disrupt their businesses.
Sydney has positioned itself to join London and New York as one of the major fintech cities the world over. While the Tyro Fintech Hub is the first to open that is solely dedicated to fintech, others such as Stone & Chalk will be following in the coming months.
The Tyro Fintech Hub is being headed by Andrew Corbett-Jones, a serial entrepreneur who has also spent the better part of a decade advising and mentoring hundreds of Australian startups.
“Australia is late to the party, but the time has come for financial services to be disrupted and radically improved by a swarm of fintech entrepreneurs,” said Corbett-Jones. He added:
“The Hub doesn’t need to make a profit, but it does need to foster innovation, and that is what we will be measured on. We believe this space will be particularly attractive to anyone thinking about leaving a large, slow-moving employer – whether that’s a bank, an insurance company or a professional services firm – and launching their own startup.”
Rent is the most affordable for where it lies in the CBD at AU$625 a month full time, including meeting room bookings, internet and 24/7 access. Tenants can also choose part time plans at AU$420 for 10 days a month and AU$250 for five days a month.
There are no lock-in contracts – commitments are just month on month. The hub aims to offer flexibility and elasticity as the size of a team shrinks or grows according to the stages of development.
As well as co-working, Tyro Payments, an EFTPOS payments company, which processed AU$6.5 billion in transactions for 12,000 customers last year, will select one company per quarter and dedicate resources, banking access and expertise to co-develop open APIs.
Tyro is seeking to help others innovate and disrupt and thereby grow the fintech ecosystem, and will take no equity or fees in return. Companies interested in co-developing with Tyro should ideally work from the Hub during the project. Ideal candidates would have an experienced team, a product on the market and be well funded for their next phase.
Tyro CEO, Jost Stollmann, the former German Shadow Minister of Economy and Technology and Founder and Chairman of Compunet, a company acquired by GE Capital, said:
“[W]e are very keen to see more companies do what we have done – powerfully disruptbanking in Australia.”
Tyro says the new facility, with room for 125 entrepreneurs, will also host accelerators, conferences, hackathons, meetups and seminars in a push to build and support Australia’s burgeoning technology companies in the financial services space.