Full Profile is Leaving Stone and Chalk
We were accepted to Stone and Chalk, Sydney’s leading Fintech innovation hub, in January. We have loved being part of this community, but all good things must come to an end, and it’s time for us to move on.
We thought we’d take this opportunity to reflect on the benefits of being part of this amazing community.
Our experience at Stone & Chalk was amazing from top to bottom. The mentor program, master classes, connection with the corporate partners and most importantly working alongside many other startups experiencing the same journey, all added to our unforgettable 6 months there. We look forward to keeping in close contact with S&C as our journey continues. Hats off to the team @ S&C!
-Ben Reid, Director, Full Profile Sales
About Stone and Chalk
Stone and Chalk is an independent, not-for-profit Fintech hub focused on fostering and accelerating the development of Fintech start-ups. As Stone and Chalk explains on their website, they are “an industry led initiative that reflects a collaborative effort between Fintech entrepreneurs, VCs, corporates and government, to incubate and nurture financial services-focused tech start-ups in ways not seen in Australia before.”
More Than A Co-Working Space
Though Stone and Chalk has over 70 residents who indeed co-locate to work, Stone and Chalk is much more than a co-working space.
Stone and Chalk is also unique in that startups must apply and be accepted to the community. To get in, we had to submit a pitch and come in for an interview. This process ensures that the community is full of high caliber members.
To support their budding community of startups, Stone and Chalk cultivates partnerships with industry stakeholders, investors, regional partners and government, all in hopes of helping their residents to accelerate and scale.
As they describe, “we sit at the intersection between financial technology startups with high-growth potential and corporates within the financial services industry who may want to be investors or partners”. Stone and Chalk currently has key initiatives such as Fintech Asia, Cybersecurity, and Women in Fintech.
In particular, we took advantage of the Startup Ready program. This program works with both startups and corporate partners to help both sides get “startup ready.” For example, the program has created standard-form legal documents to guide collaborations on proofs of concept, helped corporates improve the procurement processes to enable startups to engage, and made sure that startups are ready to work with corporates in a frictionless manner.
We have engaged with banks and other large companies thus far, and it’s clear that both sides are writing new rules for how best to work together. Developing principles that underlie successful engagement for both parties is key to bringing innovation out of the hub and into the mainstream.
Working within a Community
Working within a community of high-potential startups creates opportunities for meaningful knowledge sharing and collaboration. We were able to take full advantage of being near other Fintech startups through informal conversations around common challenges like password security, or by sharing tips and tricks for using JIRA (our product management software). No two startups are working on exactly the same thing, but we all have similar challenges. It’s incredibly helpful to be able to ask our peers for help. It’s also just nice to have a group of smart people to sit with over lunch.
We also attended and participated in a number of events during our time at Stone and Chalk. For example, Emma was part of a panel that celebrated the recent launch of the Allens blockchain report that featured a case study on Full Profile. We also took advantage of the MasterClasses. These mini-workshops help startups achieve key milestones, like building a culture and attracting funding.
Leaving the Stone and Chalk Community
Stone and Chalk of course wants to see their residents be successful. But, like with our team, success may mean outgrowing the Stone and Chalk physical space. Stone and Chalk says that they “like to see residents graduate as we can learn from watching each business grow, and pass back the expertise from graduating members to current members.”
But just because we are no longer there each day doesn’t mean we’ve left the community. No start up is successful without collaboration, challenge, and sponsorship. Stone and Chalk offered all three for us. And if a problem shared is a problem halved, then perhaps in sharing our success with those who have helped to make it possible, we can double our impact.